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Villanova Sociology Professor Awarded Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant

Rory Kramer, PhD

Will support research on minority education at elite colleges and universities

Villanova, PA - Rory Kramer, PhD, assistant professor of Sociology and Criminology in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a $398,333 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

The grant is entitled, “Diverse Students, Diverse Experiences: Minority Achievement at America’s Selective Colleges and Universities.” The grant is for 24 months and Dr. Kramer is the co-principal investigator, along with Camille Charles, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania.

The grant will allow Dr. Kramer to work and conduct research as a visiting scholar in the Africana Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania. The goal of the grant is the completion and publication of two books. The first book will focus on diversity among black student backgrounds and experiences at elite colleges. The second book is the final installment of a trilogy published by the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NSLF) of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.  The NSLF follows a cohort of first-time freshman at selective colleges and universities through their college careers.

“This highly prestigious award recognizes Dr. Kramer’s rising reputation as a leading young scholar of race, education, and urban society,” said Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, interim dean, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “The work he will complete thanks to the Mellon Foundation support will have significant impact on our understanding of diversity in higher education.”

"Obtaining the grant is a tremendous accomplishment, especially for someone at Dr. Kramer’s career stage,” said Robert DeFina, PhD, chair and professor of the Department of Sociology and Criminology, Villanova University. “The research is highly important and will likely make a significant impact on how we think about the influence that race and race relations have on college outcomes and experiences. Dr. Kramer’s grant, and the work it will fund, will bring great credit not only to the Sociology and Criminology department, but also to the College and University."

Dr. Kramer is an expert on racial identity, urban sociology, social mobility, segregation, and education and inequality. He is currently working on a new measure of spatial segregation that better represents the growth of multi-race residential areas and the complexity of racial segregation in the United States. He holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and recently published the article “Out with the Old, In with the New? Habitus and Students’ College Satisfaction and Achievement” in Sociology of Education.

Media Contact

Jennifer Schu

Director of Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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