UMass Sociologist Michael Lewis Gives Memorial Lecture at Penn State

AMHERST, Mass. - Michael Lewis, professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, delivered the 1998 Francis M. Sim Memorial Lecture at Penn State University in University Park, Pa., Oct. 12.

Lewis’s lecture was titled "Professing." A member of the UMass faculty since 1969, Lewis has directed the sociology graduate program and was founding director of the Community Research Group in the Social and Demographic Research Institute in the department of sociology.

His publications include seven authored or edited books addressing contemporary social issues. The most recent is the controversial "Poisoning the Ivy: The Seven Deadly Sins and Other Vices of Higher Education in America." He is presently at work on a collection of critical essays titled "A Crank’s Progress."

Besides his writing and undergraduate teaching, Lewis has provided guidance for more than 20 Ph.D.s who have gone on to teach at major colleges and universities in the United States.

As an undergraduate at Brooklyn College in the 1950s, he was active in the youth chapter of the NAACP and came under the influence of two faculty advisers, sociologist Charles Radford Lawrence and historian John Hope Franklin. He did his doctoral work at Princeton University and taught at the University of Illinois before joining the UMass faculty.

A noted sociologist, Sim taught at Penn State from 1967 until his death in 1985. He was well known for his contributions to the sociology of organizations, network analysis, and social science computing. Each year the memorial fund in Sim’s name supports a lecture by a recognized scholar.