Joya Misra, Provost Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Chair, served as Director of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst - from 2019-2023. She is also the President of the American Sociological Association, and a recent Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Award winner.
Dr. Misra is is deeply committed to a publicly engaged social science, with the aim of leveraging knowledge to foster more equitable societies. Her research and teaching primarily focus on social inequality, including inequalities by gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, citizenship, parenthood status, and educational level. Her work explores the role that policies play in both mediating and entrenching inequality, and primarily falls into the subfields of race/gender/class, political sociology, work & labor, family, and welfare states. Her most recent book, with Kyla Walters, is Walking Mannequins: How Race and Gender Inequalities Shape Retail Clothing Work.
Five major grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) since 2006 have helped to support Misra’s research, which in 2009 garnered her and Michelle Budig the inaugural World Bank/Luxembourg Income Study Gender Research Award. She is currently PI on the 5-year, $3 million NSF Advance Institutional Transformation grant, sustaining ISSR's leadership role in this important vehicle for advancing equity at the intersections of race and gender in science careers at UMass. Other accolades include the SBS Outstanding Teaching Award (2004-05), UMass Sociology Mentoring Award (2009-10, 2014-15) and Sociologists for Women in Society Mentoring Award (2010). She served as Editor of Gender & Society, one of the most important journals in the fields of Sociology and Gender Studies.
Misra brings a wealth of experience in creating and leading interdisciplinary research teams, a core strategic direction for her tenure as ISSR director. She has been an avid supporter and active beneficiary of ISSR's methodology, grants development and administration and social science networking and collaboration services, and views her tenure as Director as an opportunity to continue the development of an institution that has already amply demonstrated its value to the university community.
She succeeded Laurel Smith-Doerr, ISSR's inaugural Director and fellow co-PI on the ADVANCE grant..