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Welcome Ruby Mendenhall

The Department is pleased to announce that Ruby Mendenhall has accepted a joint appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Professor Mendenhall also holds appointments in the departments of Sociology and African American Studies. She is a Fellow at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan during calendar year 2010.

Professor Mendenhall studies social inequality over the life course and the role of public policy and individuals’ agency in facilitating social and economic mobility. She uses quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze welfare and employment data from secondary sources, interviews, and focus groups. Among other projects, she is currently involved in a multi-site study examining how low- to moderate-income families use their Earned Income Tax Credit for social and economic mobility in Champaign and Boston.

Among Mendenhall's courses of interest to students in urban and regional planning is AFRO 598 (SOC 596), Urban Commmunities and Public Policy, a graduate seminar which explores how public policy has shaped urban communities and the life chances of families of color. She also teaches SOC 586, Advanced Social Statistics I.

Professor Mendenhall received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University in December 2004. She also holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. From 2004-2006 she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Click here for Professor Mendenhall's faculty page, including full biography, list of publications, curriculum vitae, and contact information.

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