The following faculty members serve as mentors to some of the research affiliates:
Thomas A. DiPrete is Giddings Professor of Sociology, co-director of the Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality at Columbia University, and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center. DiPrete’s research focuses on the socioeconomic life course, on educational outcomes, particularly as they differ for males and females, on the school-to-work transition and particularly the impact of institutional differences in educational and labor market institutions that affect the quality of linkage between school credentials and occupations, and the determinants of persistence rates in post-secondary education. He also researches the managerial and executive labor market, and is particularly interested in the process by which corporations determine their compensation for executives. His education and life course research focuses on the U.S. and on several Western European countries, and he has recently also started a project on Brazil.
Thurston Domina is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research pairs demographic and econometric empirical methods with sociological theory to better understand the relationship between education and social inequality in the contemporary U.S. Much of this work focuses on student transitions from middle and high school into higher education. During the course of this transition, students move from the largely undifferentiated instruction of elementary education to the highly stratified U.S college and university system. Domina’s primary intellectual interests are: (1) Understanding how this sorting process shapes students’ life chances, (2) identifying educational strategies that can expand opportunities for all.
Eric Grodsky is Associate Professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He also currently serves as Coordinator of Opportunity and Achievement Gap Initiatives for the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and Deputy Editor of Sociology of Education. Most of Grodsky’s research is focused on inequality in higher education, including work on affirmative action, socioeconomic inequalities in college attendance and completion, changes in the role of merit in these processes over time and the role of information about their college readiness in high school students’ college preparatory behavior. In addition to extending some of these earlier projects, Grodsky is currently involved in a study of the relationship between adolescent sexual activity and educational attachment and achievement, work on the effects of college remediation on persistence and time to degree, research on the determinants of entry into and persistence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields of study at baccalaureate institutions. Grodsky is also working with colleagues at the University of Texas and University of Minnesota on follow-ups to the High School and Beyond studies, two panel studies nationally representative of adults who were first surveyed as high school sophomores or seniors in 1980. Grodsky’s work has appeared in American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Sociology of Education and the Annual Review of Sociology among other venues.
Andrew Penner is currently an associate professor and Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, where he is a member of the Irvine Network on Interventions in Development. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Master of Public Policy program, the UC Educational Evaluation Center, the Center for Demographic and Social Analysis, and the Center for Organizational Research. Andrew Penner’s interests lie broadly within the field of inequality, where his work has focused on race, gender, and family inequality in education and the labor market. He is currently involved in projects examining the role of marriage and children in creating gender wage inequality in Norway, the implications of racial fluidity for inequality in the United States, and how national contexts shape gender inequality in education.
Brian Powell is a James H. Rudy Professor, Department Chair, and Co-Director of the Preparing Future Faculty program at Indiana University’s Department of Sociology. His research focuses on family sociology, sociology of education, gender, and social psychology. With grants from the National Science Foundation, American Education Research Association, and the Spencer Foundation, he has examined how families confer advantages (or disadvantages) to their children and how structural and compositional features of families (e.g., parental age, family size, birth order, one vs. two-parent households, inter-racial composition, adoptive vs. biological parents) influence parental social, intellectual and economic investments in children. He is especially interested in several increasingly visible groups of “atypical” family forms: families with older parents, bi/multiracial families, adoptive families and gay/lesbian families. In addition, he is exploring Americans’ views regarding higher education and the role that parents, children, and the government should assume in college funding.
Barbara Schneider is the John A. Hannah Chair and Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Department of Sociology at MSU. She is the principal investigator of the College Ambition Program (CAP), a study that tests a model for promoting a STEM college-going culture in high schools that encourages adolescents to pursue STEM majors in college and occupations in these fields. She worked for 18 years at University of Chicago, holding positions as a professor in Sociology and Human Development and senior researcher at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). She remains a senior fellow at NORC, where she is the principal investigator of the Center for Advancing Research and Communication in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. She uses a sociological lens to understand societal conditions and interpersonal interactions that create norms and values that enhance human and social capital. Her research focuses on how the social contexts of schools and families influence the academic and social well being of adolescents as they move into adulthood. Professor Schneider has published 15 books and over 100 articles and reports on family, social context of schooling, and sociology of knowledge. She recently served as editor of Sociology of Education and as president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Website: https://education.msu.edu/search/Formview.aspx?email=bschneid%40msu.edu