UMass Amherst Provost Katherine Newman Wins National Public Understanding of Sociology Award

Katherine Newman

AMHERST, Mass. – Katherine S. Newman, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been awarded the 2015 American Sociological Association’s Public Understanding of Sociology Award.

The award, which will be presented in August at the ASA annual meeting in Chicago, honors exemplary contributions to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research and scholarship among the general public.

Newman, who came to UMass Amherst in the fall of 2014, is also W. Torrey and Doris Tilden Little professor in sociology and author of 12 books and five edited volumes dwelling on issues of poverty and policy.

Newman said, “This award is particularly meaningful to me because as a new provost at a huge public university, I have to work very hard to preserve my time for research and writing. But I am absolutely committed to doing so because I value this public voice so much.”

Allison Pugh, a University of Virginia sociologist and chair of the award committee, wrote to Newman, “There were a number of outstanding candidates with high-profile research records and much success in conveying sociology to the broadest audience. But you were, for the committee, a very clear choice.”

Newman was most recently James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and professor of sociology at the Johns Hopkins University. She previously served as director of the Institute for International and Regional Studies and professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University, and also taught at Harvard and Columbia. She holds a doctorate in anthropology from the University of California Berkeley.

Her books include “After Freedom: The Rise of the Post-Apartheid Generation in Democratic South Africa,” “Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings,” and “The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents and the Private Toll of Global Competition.” Her latest, “Learning to Labor in the 21st Century,” which focuses on the potential of apprenticeship education in the U.S. and Germany, will be published later this year.