Affiliated Faculty

Ruby Mendenhall

Associate Professor of Sociology
Associate Professor of African American Studies
Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
Associate Professor of Social Work
Affiliate at the Institute for Genomic Biology and Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (I-CHASS)

PhD, Northwestern University, 2004


Ruby Mendenhall holds joint faculty appointments in Sociology, African American Studies, and Urban and Regional Planning. She is currently a Fellow at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on issues of 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 administrative welfare and employment data, census data, in-depth interviews, and focus group data. Her publications have appeared in academic journals such as Social Forces, Social Science Research, Demography, Housing Policy Debate, The Review of Black Political Economy, and The Black Scholar. She is currently involved in a multi-site study, Investing in Enduring Resources using the Earned Income Tax Credit, which examines how low- to moderate-income families use their EITC for social and economic mobility in Champaign and Boston. She is also involved in a study that examines job loss among middle-class and upper middle-class professionals and executives, and their efforts to avoid downward mobility, and she continues to research the Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program.

Contact Information
Department of Sociology
605 E. Springfield
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-333-2528
E-mail: rubymen@illinois.edu
CV: Download my C.V.


Current Research Areas

Race and residential housing patterns; social networks; stress and health; life-course and developmental pathways; and public policy.


Selected Publications

Mendenhall, R. Forthcoming. The Political Economy of Black Housing: From the Housing Crisis of the Great Migrations to the Subprime Mortgage Crisis. The Black Scholar.

DeLuca, S., Duncan, G.J., Mendenhall, R., and Keels, M. Forthcoming. Gautreaux Mothers and their Children: An Update. Housing Policy Debate 19(3).

Mendenhall, R. 2009. Families in the Gautreaux Families Housing Mobility Program: Perceptions and Responses to the U.S. Political Economy. The Review of Black Political Economy 36(3/4): 197-226.

Mendenhall, R., Kalil, A., Spindel, L.J., and Hart, C. 2008. White-Collar Woes: Later-Career Job Displacement in the “New Risk Economy.” Social Forces 87(1): 185-210.

Mendenhall, R., Duncan, G.J., and DeLuca, S. A. 2006. Neighborhood Resources, Racial Segregation and Economic Mobility: Results from the Gautreaux Program. Social Science Research 35: 892-923.

Keels, M., Duncan, G.J., DeLuca, S., Mendenhall, R., & Rosenbaum, J.E. 2005. Fifteen Years Later: Can Residential Mobility Programs Provide A Permanent Escape from Neighborhood Segregation, Crime, and Poverty? Demography 42(1): 51-73.

Lee, C.D., Rosenfeld, E., Mendenhall, R., Rivers, A., & Tynes, B. 2003. Cultural Modeling as a Frame for Narrative Analysis. In Narrative Analysis: Studying the Development of Individuals in Society, edited by Colette Daiute and Cynthia Lightfoot. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

Mendenhall, R. 1996. Inventory of Services in the Grand Boulevard Neighborhood for Families With Preschool Children. Chicago: The Ounce of Prevention Fund.

Mendenhall, R. 1996. The Wells Community Initiative Retrospective Analysis. Chicago: The Ounce of Prevention Fund.

Ruby Mendenhall