Brea Perry is serving as Interim Vice Provost for Research and Associate Vice President for Research (emphasis on “interim”) this year and is looking forward to being on sabbatical for the 23/24 academic year. Brea was recently awarded an R01 grant from NIH to identify epigenetic pathways underlying the effects of social connectedness on aging-related morbidity and mortality. The study will examine whether structural social network characteristics (i.e., stable social signatures) can slow or disrupt biological aging associated with DNA methylation, thereby promoting resilience to stress exposures, reducing healthcare costs, and increasing healthy years of life.
Bernice Pescosolido was appointed the inaugural Director of the Irsay Institute at Indiana University Bloomington for five years from July 1, 2022 until June 30, 2027. The newly established Irsay Institute targets sociomedical sciences research and will focus on addressing the stigma surrounding mental health and other health challenges, as well as developing opportunities for transdisciplinary collaboration among researchers interested in health and health care. In spring 2023, the Irsay will occupy two floors in Morrison Hall, currently being renovated thanks to a $3 million gift from the Jim Irsay family, owners of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts franchise. This fall, Bernice was honored to receive the 2022 Henry R. Besch, Jr. Promotion of Excellence Award, conferred by the Alliance of Distinguished and Titled Professors for distinction in promoting and encouraging the growth of excellence at IU, and to be invited as a guest speaker at the Alliance annual dinner event. Continuing her role heading up the Scientific Advisory Council of Glenn Close’s advocacy group, Bring Change to Mind, Bernice has been overseeing the expansion of BC2M’s high school program throughout Indiana and the expansion of the UBC2M college program on all IU campuses. These are designed to provide students with a place of belonging and leadership development surrounding mental illness and to make school campuses safe and stigma free zones.
Brian Powell’s book, WHO SHOULD PAY? Higher Education, Responsibility, and the Public, was published earlier this year. He co-authored the book with IU alumna Natasha Quadlin, and IU alumni Emma Cohen, Emily Meanwell, and Oren Pizmony-Levy contributed to chapters. This book has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Chronicle of Higher Education, among others. Powell also was the recipient of the ASA Sociology of Education Section’s Willard Waller Award for lifetime achievement in the field of sociology of education.
Kody Steffy is thrilled to return to IU Sociology as a lecturer after a stint as senior researcher at the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research, and Education (NIFU) in Oslo, Norway, where he remains a “tilknyttet forsker” (i.e., an affiliated researcher). At IU, Kody teaches for both the Sociology and LAMP Honors programs. His most recent article is “Research as Discovery or Delivery? Exploring the Implications of Cultural Repertoires and Career Demands for Junior Economists’ Research Practices,” published in Higher Education (with Liv Langfeldt). Another article, “Habits of the Millennial Heart: Individualism and Commitment in the Lives of Young, Underemployed Americans,” is forthcoming in Sociological Focus. His current project investigates scientists’ understandings of research quality.