Four join Institute faculty

Three new faculty members join the Institute this fall, including Elizabeth Frankenberg, Anna Gassman-Pines and Alexander Pfaff. In addition, after splitting his time between the Institute and UNC, Chapel Hill, William "Sandy" Darity joins Duke full-time as Arts & Sciences Professor of PPS, economics and African and African-American Studies.

“I’m excited about what each of these interdisciplinary appointments will do not only for the Institute, but for the university as a whole,” said Institute Director Bruce Kuniholm. “Each was our first choice, and each has a remarkable capacity to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries.”

William “Sandy” Darity

Portrait of William DarityWilliam “Sandy” Darity was the Cary C. Boshamer Professor of Economics at UNC, and now directs Duke’s Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality. The program’s mission is to analyze and recommend solutions for intergroup disparity in a cross-national, comparative context. The program is supported by the Office of the Provost, the Dean of the Faculty and the Institute.

Darity’s research focuses on inequalities by race, class, and ethnicity; stratification economics; North-South theories of development and trade; social psychology and unemployment exposure; reparations; and the racial achievement gap in schools. He is also editor in chief of Macmillan Reference’s new edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, projected for publication in 2008.

“Sandy is a distinguished professor whose research on racial and ethnic inequality encompasses an extraordinarily broad range of disciplines. We are delighted that he can at last become a full-time member of our faculty,” said Institute Director Bruce Kuniholm.

Elizabeth Frankenberg

Elizabeth FrankenbergElizabeth Frankenberg, assistant professor of PPS, was an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also served as associate director of the Population Research Center at RAND between 1999 and 2001.

Her research is focused on health and mortality, family decision-making, developing economies, and Southeast Asia. She works on global health issues—in multidisciplinary environments on multidisciplinary teams—developing sustained longitudinal surveys and identifying and measuring causal relationships that influence outcomes.

“Duke offers a terrific environment for conducting interdisciplinary research and it’s exciting to be joining a university and an institute with such a deep commitment to the kind of work I want to do,” Frankenberg said.

Read related article, Married With Degrees, about academic couples including Frankenberg and her husband, Duncan Thomas, a Duke economics professor.

Anna Gassman-Pines

Anna Gassman-PinesFor her community psychology dissertation at New York University, Anna Gassman-Pines researched the relationship between mothers’ working conditions, parenting, and children’s development in low-income families. Her broader research interests include the effects of welfare and employment policy on child and maternal well-being in low-income families. She joined the Institute as as an assistant professor of public policy.

“I was drawn to a position at the Institute because of the interdisciplinary nature of the faculty,” Gassman-Pines said. “Also, the Institute's students have a reputation for being highly engaged, committed and bright, and I look forward to teaching and working with them.”

Gassman-Pines received the National Research Service Award Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health as well as the Koppitz Graduate Fellowship in Child Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation.

Alexander Pfaff

Alexander PfaffAlexander Pfaff is part of the Institute’s new effort to build faculty strength in the area of environmental policy. The initiative will connect faculty with other Duke environmental policy researchers to help translate science into effective solutions. He was appointed an associate professor of PPS.

Before moving to Durham, Pfaff was associate professor of economics and international affairs at Columbia University, and then executive director of the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development within the Earth Institute at Columbia. His expertise is in environmental and natural resource economics, and he is interested in the interplay among the environment, resources, and economic development—with the goal of making certain that interventions both have their intended impacts on the environment and resources and benefit the people they are designed to help.

“I am delighted to be at Duke since it has so many analytic strengths and I look forward to working with a wide variety of experts who bring a great diversity of perspectives to the problems on which I am working,” Pfaff said.