Joya Misra Appointed Director of the Institute for Social Science Research

Joya Misra
Joya Misra

Joya Misra, professor of sociology and public policy, has been appointed director of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) for a three-year term effective Sept. 1, 2019.

Misra succeeds Laurel Smith-Doerr, who has served as director of ISSR since 2012. Misra expressed that she was “delighted to have this opportunity, given the impact that ISSR has had on the college and university under the leadership of Laurel Smith-Doerr.”

“Joya brings a wealth of experience in creating and leading interdisciplinary research teams,” said John A. Hird, dean of SBS. “It is with great excitement that we look forward to welcoming her as the new director of ISSR,” he added.

Misra’s research and teaching primarily focus on social inequality. She is deeply interested in analyzing how and when policies can mediate inequality and create more equitable societies, and believes effective public engagement can influence policy decisions.

Misra says that she received valuable support and guidance “from the wonderful ISSR staff and faculty,” during the course of her own research projects, and views this opportunity as a way to give back.

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. 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 is also vice president of the American Sociological Association, and a recent Samuel F. Conti Faculty Fellowship Award winner.

The social science community is welcomed to attend the “Celebration of ISSR” event on Monday, Sept.16 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Old Chapel. This will serve both as a celebration of outgoing director Smith-Doerr's tenure and as a welcome for Misra as ISSR’s director.