Assistant Professor of Sociology Adam Pittman and Associate Professor of Sociology Cassi Meyerhoffer have been awarded the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) Early Career Pipeline Grant. This grant program is highly competitive and prestigious, with past awardees hailing from the University of Chicago, UC Berkeley, and NYU, to name a few. “Using New Haven as a case study, Cassi and I will investigate the town-gown dynamics between universities and their host cities,” Pittman explains. They are excited to represent Southern Connecticut State University in this prestigious program.
Under the program, Pittman and Meyerhoffer have been awarded $30K in grant funding to support their project, “Navigating Town-Gown Dynamics in New Haven, CT.” They will examine how living in poor, segregated neighborhoods in close proximity to universities affects residents’ daily lives and will conduct interviews and participant observation for their study.
Pittman is the principal investigator, and Meyerhoffer is the co-principal investigator. In their proposal, Pittman and Meyerhoffer write that “Universities have long shaped the racial segregation of neighborhoods in their host cities” and “also worsen economic inequality across urban neighborhoods.” They say that “urban scholars explain how universities affect the political economy, landscape, and racial segregation of their host cities at the structural level [but that]…Few studies, if any, integrate the structural ways universities shape cities into explanations of how residents experience their neighborhoods at the micro-level.” Pittman and Meyerhoffer’s proposed project “fills this gap by bridging the structural ways universities shape their host cities with the micro-ways residents experience their neighborhoods.”
Meyerhoffer and Pittman’s award is one of 18 that RSF, in partnership with the Economic Mobility and Opportunity program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, recently announced in the fourth round of their Pipeline Grants Competition. This initiative supports early-career scholars who are underrepresented in the social sciences.
The competition also seeks to promote diversity in the social sciences broadly, including racial, ethnic, gender, disciplinary, institutional, and geographic diversity. Early-career faculty who have not previously received support from RSF in the form of a Trustee or Presidential research grant or a visiting fellowship from RSF are eligible to apply.
Pittman and Meyerhoffer anticipate that the project will be a book manuscript published with Russell Sage Press. They also intend to publish in peer-reviewed journals and present their findings at academic conferences, and they hope to present their findings to community members at Community Team Meetings across New Haven, which they plan to attend as part of the information-gathering they will conduct for the project.