Two Faculty Books Named Finalists for PROSE Award

Two Faculty Books Named Finalists for PROSE Award

Paula and SallyPaula Olszewski-Kubilius and Sally Nuamah are finalists for the PROSE awards.

Books by Northwestern University professors Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Sally Nuamah and have been named finalists for the 2020 Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Awards,, which honor scholarly books, journals, and electronic content.

Olszewski-Kubilius, director of the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at the School of Education and Social Policy, co-edited The Psychology of High Performance: Developing Human Potential Into Domain-Specific Talent, published by the American Psychological Association.

Nuamah, assistant professor of human development and social policy, is the author of How Girls Achieve published by Harvard University Press. She recently won an Andrew Carnegie grant.

The PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing. A panel of 19 judges reviewed more than 630 entries in this year’s competition, ultimately discovering works that speak to the breadth, depth, and essential need for of scholarly publishing.

Olszewski-Kubilius, a professor in the School of Education and Social Policy, co-edited The Psychology of High Performance with Rena F. Subotnik and Frank C. Worrell. The authors explore how an individual's early potential develops into high performance in five areas:

  • sport (specifically golf and team sports)
  • the professions (medicine, software engineering, professional teams)
  • academics (mathematics, psychology)
  • the performing arts (dance, acting)
  • the producing arts (culinary arts, drawing/painting)

Using a mix of scholarship and interviews with recognized gatekeepers in the field, the book offers new insights based on psychological science and best practices to inform educators, parents, coaches, and psychologists who guide young people on their path to becoming high performers.

Over the past 30 years, Olszewski-Kubilius has created programs for all kinds of gifted learners and written extensively on issues of talent development, particularly on programming for under-represented gifted students. She is past president of the National Association for Gifted Children, from which she received the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2009. 

Creating “Feminist Schools”

Nuamah’s new book, How Girls Achieve, looks across race and gender to shed light on the unequal costs—school closure, sexual harassment, punishment—facing poor black girls striving to succeed.

Nuamah argues that preaching grit doesn’t help girls; it actively harms them. Drawing on her deep immersion in classrooms in the United States, Ghana, and South Africa, she calls for a new approach: creating feminist schools that will actively teach girls how and when to challenge society’s norms and allow them to carve out their own paths to success.

Educated women raise healthier families, build stronger communities, and generate economic opportunities for themselves and their children. Yet millions of disadvantaged girls never make it to school―and too many others drop out or fail.

Upending decades of advice and billions of dollars in aid, Nuamah argues that this happens because so many challenges girls confront―from sexual abuse to unequal access to materials and opportunities―go unaddressed. But it isn’t enough just to go to school. What you learn there has to prepare you for the world where you’ll put that knowledge to work.

Nuamah’s research explores issues of race, gender, education policy, and political behavior. Her Carnegie award project explores how the punishment of black women and girls affects democracy.




By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 10/2/22