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Marci Hamilton // CC BY-SA 3.0

Marci Hamilton, a 1988 Penn Law School graduate and a leading advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, has just been hired as Penn’s third "professor of practice" in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program in the College, according to an announcement by the University. 

Practice professors are subject matter experts from outside of the world of academia, brought in to teach real-world applications of theory. The position is non-tenured and involves a term of three years for an associate practice professorship and five years for a full professorship.

Hamilton, who is also a scholar on church-state relations, will be teaching a seminar on law, religion and politics.

"I loved going to Penn’s law school -- it was a formative part of my career and it’s nice to be back," Hamilton said. She formerly served as the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

Hamilton is the founder, CEO and academic director of CHILD USA, the first research-based nonprofit think tank dedicated to preventing child neglect and abuse. Hamilton has dedicated her professional life to supporting victims of abuse. She is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, “God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty .”

“Marci Hamilton is a force of nature on issues of religious freedom," John J. DiIulio, Jr., the Frederic Fox Leadership professor of Politics, Religion and Civil Society, said in a statement. “She is also a national champion for abused children, an amazing classroom teacher and a brilliant writer. We’re lucky to have her with us at Penn.”

In addition to her new role, Hamilton is already a co-chair of the Common Ground for the Common Good program run out of the Fox Leadership Program's Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society program, which brings together two groups, one conservative and one liberal, to discuss issues of civil liberty. Hamilton says the purpose of this group is to “show and model civil discourse on difficult issues.”

The professor of practice role is “a wonderful position for people like me who straddle the academic and the real worlds on a regular basis," Hamilton said. 

“I really enjoy talking to undergraduates about how they view the current culture wars and how they view discussing these issues," she added. 

"It’s a really good change of pace from teaching in the law schools."