February 9, 2009 (Vol. 9, No. 2)
Lehman Sociology Professor Wins Prestigious Grawemeyer Award
Professors Lavin and Attewell were selected among fourteen nominations worldwide for their research, published in the award-winning 2007 book Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations? The study showed the benefits of providing disadvantaged students, particularly women, with access to higher education. Some two thousand disadvantaged women who entered CUNY in the 1970s were tracked over a thirty-year period. The research revealed that they were able to achieve a seventy percent college graduation rate and increase their incomes, and that their children had better educational success. The results of the study were also consistent with a national sample.
Professor Lavin is the second Lehman faculty member to receive the Grawemeyer Award. Distinguished Professor of Music John Corigliano received the award in 1991.
A professor of sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center as well, Professor Lavin has spent much of his career focusing on the impact of higher education on disadvantaged families. He has completed fourteen research grants and co-written three books and a half-dozen articles on the topic of open enrollment. A graduate of Colby College, he earned his masterís and doctoral degrees from New York University and also has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.
Established in 1984 by University of Louisville alumnus H. Charles Grawemeyer, an industrialist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, the award is given out annually in the fields of music, political science, psychology, education, and religion. It honors accomplishments that "help make the world a better place."