Kate Cagney and Sasha Killewald

ISR celebrates Sasha Killewald’s appointment as inaugural Schoeni professor

November 29, 2023

Contact: Jon Meerdink ([email protected])

ANN ARBOR — The University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) is celebrating the launch of its first named professorship, recognizing Sasha Killewald, Ph.D., as the Robert F. Schoeni Research Professor during a presentation on Nov. 14, 2023.

Named for long-time ISR researcher Robert Schoeni, the professorship was created in 2020 with the intention of fostering greater interdisciplinary partnerships between ISR and other researchers across the U-M campus. Schoeni had a long, distinguished career in the social sciences, his research appearing in publications even beyond his death in 2021 after a 13-year battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He had long been known for his interdisciplinary collaborations, and the professorship will continue to foster that spirit.

“The professorship serves as a tool to spark collaborative and groundbreaking scholarship. related to Bob Schoeni’s areas of inquiry, such as economics, population studies, demography, health and aging, survey methodology, and public policy,” said Kate Cagney, director of ISR.

Killewald, the first to hold the professorship, also has longstanding connections to the ISR community. She was named the director of the Stone Center for Inequality Dynamics in July 2023, but also did graduate work on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Health and Retirement Study. She completed her Ph.D. in 2011 and joined the sociology faculty at Harvard University in 2012.

“Over the last few months, I’ve had the chance to sign my email signature, and every time I see Bob’s name in that signature, it really reminds me of the kind of scholar, the kind of mentor, and the kind of person that I want to be,” she said. “I take this professorship as a deep honor, but also as a call to action, and I promise to do my best in this role to live into the legacy that Bob has already brought to this university.”

In her remarks on the professorship, Killewald announced an additional fellowship at ISR intended to support pre-tenure scholars. The visiting fellowship should allow academics in that category enough support for a full-year sabbatical, giving them key time to complete the research required for a tenure track position. It’s all a part of Killewald’s focus on supporting research across disciplines and different levels of career achievement.

“I think Michigan is about hard work. I think it is equally about doing that work together in collaboration. And, at least for me, not just about striving for excellence, but about thinking  about how we can serve the public good, how we can be in relationship with each other and in the world,” she said. “I certainly believe that Michigan has done all these things for me, and I am just thrilled to be part of continuing that tradition.”

For more information about how to support the Schoeni Professorship, please contact a member of ISR’s development team.

Scroll to Top