Acton Institute Powerblog

Acton Institute Names Catherine Ruth Pakaluk the 2015 Novak Award Winner

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CP Headshot May 2014Named after distinguished theologian, Michael Novak, this award recognizes outstanding scholarly research that examines the relationship between religion, economic freedom, and the free and virtuous society. Catherine Ruth Pakaluk, assistant professor of economics at Ave Maria University, is the latest Novak Award Winner.

Pakaluk is Founder-Director of the Stein Center for Social Research at Ave Maria University. This center is an interdisciplinary institute for advanced studies in social science and social thought. It focuses on questions of gender, personality development, marriage and family formation, fertility and demographic change, religious practice, and the formation and education of children. Pakaluk currently works in the areas of demography, family studies, the economics of education and religion, and the interpretation of Catholic social thought. She earned her doctorate in economics at Harvard University (2010), where her dissertation under Caroline Hoxby examined the relationship between religion and educational outcomes. Prior to earning her doctorate from Harvard University, Catherine received a master’s degree in economics from Harvard (2002), and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in mathematics and economics (1998).

Catherine Pakaluk is also a widely-admired writer and sought-after speaker on matters of culture, religion, gender, the social science of the family, the vocation of women, Catholic social thought, and the work of Edith Stein.

Recipients of the Novak Award make a formal presentation on such questions at an annual public forum known as the Calihan Lecture. The Novak Award comes with a $10,000 prize. The Novak Award forms part of a range of scholarships, travel grants, and awards available from the Acton Institute that support future religious and intellectual leaders who wish to study the essential relationship between theology, the free market, economic liberty, and the importance of the rule of law. Details of these scholarships may be found at

Read the full press release here.


Sarah Stanley