Back to Action Items

James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

The university will establish a new career award, administered by the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID), to celebrate and honor faculty whose scholarship has contributed significantly to our understanding or appreciation of groups that have traditionally been understudied. Primary goals of this award will be to build a more robust body of knowledge and teaching in these areas, elevate these research foci nationally and provide important recognition to scholars whose work may have been undervalued in the past.

Progress update

The James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship is bestowed biennially on faculty members who have made significant contributions to understanding diversity and addressing disparities in contemporary society. Established in 2017, the award is named for its first recipient—whose passing on September 1 of 2020 was a major loss to our community. A new recipient was selected in 2021.

Consistent with the biennial award process, in April, 2021 the selection committee reviewed nominees representing schools and colleges across the U-M campus.

In July 2021, the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) announced Dr. Arline Geronimus, professor of health behavior & health education and associate director & research professor at the Population Studies Center in the Institute for Social Research, as the 2021 award  recipient. Dr. Geronimus is a national and international leader in population health. She has made unique and seminal contributions to theory, empirical research, methodology and practice as it relates to diversity. Her interdisciplinary abilities and collaborations have been consistently at the vanguard of several fields including public health, medicine, economics, political science, critical race theory and applied anthropology. 

In 2019, the award recipient was Dr. Patricia Gurin, the Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s Studies. A social psychologist, Dr. Gurin’s work has focused on social identity, the role of social identity in political attitudes and behavior, motivation and cognition in achievement settings, and the role of social structure in intergroup relations.

Responsibility: National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID)