Presenting the 2020-2021 W. Allison Davis Research Award Recipients

Dear SSA Community,

We are pleased to announce the 2020-2021 recipients of the W. Allison Davis Research Awards

The awards, through support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will be made to eight doctoral students who are conducting research on issues related to those Professor Davis, PhD ’42, studied throughout his life.  
 
These awards are part of an initiative that honors the life and work of Professor Davis, a faculty member at the University of Chicago from 1942 to 1983. Davis studied systems of stratification and segregation between and within racial and ethnic groups in the United States. He was committed to documenting the effects of social stratification and segregation on family life, language use, educational attainment, and the development of personality and character of children and adolescents in American minority groups. He aimed at discovering social policies and practices that promised to promote the healthy development of all children and youth.  
 
This inaugural cohort will carry forward the important themes found in Professor Davis’s lifelong work on the causes and consequences of racial and social inequality. Our vision is to not only to honor Professor Davis’s legacy, but also to foster projects that focus attention on the work that still lies ahead. The 2020-2021 awardees are: 
 
Karlyn J. Gorski, Department of Sociology  
Project: On Edge: Schooling in the Urban Periphery 
 
Justin Harty, School of Social Service Administration 
Project: Fatherhood in Foster Care: Black Fathers Aging out of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Care 
 
Ezra Karger, The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics 
Project: The Unequal Expansion of High Schools across the United States: 1850–1951 
 
David Knight, Department of Political Science 
Project: Reconceptualizing Youth to Early Adulthood in the Era of Mass Incarceration 
 
Darnell Leatherwood, School of Social Service Administration  
Project: A National Assessment of School District Variation in Black Student Academic Achievement 
 
Helen Lee, Department of Comparative Human Development  
Project: “Fighting Back is as ‘American’ as You Can Get”: A Case Study of Chinese American Youth Collectively Constructing Alternative Racial Narratives 
 
Marion Malcome, School of Social Service Administration  
Project: African American Mothers’ Experiences of Racism, Depression and Neighborhoods: A Mixed Methods Investigation 
 
Ilana Ventura, Department of Sociology 
Project: Building an Uncertain Future: Understanding Immigrant Financial Behaviors and Investment 
 
We thank the members of the W. Allison Davis Research Awards Faculty Committee for their work in reviewing applications and selecting the recipients: Cathy Cohen, David and Mary Winton Green Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science; Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration; Stephen Raudenbush, Lewis-Sebring Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Sociology, and Chair, Committee on Education; Shantá Robinson, Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration; and Richard A. Shweder, Harold Higgins Swift Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Comparative Human Development. 
 
The Division of the Social Sciences and the School of Social Service Administration are co-organizing a symposium to honor Davis’s legacy. Originally planned for May 11, 2020, it has been postponed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. An announcement of the new date and the program for the event will be made as soon as circumstances allow. 
 
With best wishes, 
 
Deborah Gorman-Smith 
Dean of the School of Social Service Administration 
Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor 

Amanda Woodward 
Dean of the Division of Social Sciences  
William S. Gray Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology