Celeste Watkins-Hayes, professor of sociology in LSA and of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, has been appointed a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor.

The University Diversity and Social Transformation Professorships recognize and reward faculty for outstanding contributions to excellence through their commitments to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Board of Regents approved her appointment Sept. 17.

“Dr. Watkins-Hayes is an outstanding researcher and award-winning teacher, whose work focuses on concerns related to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Susan M. Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“She is also deeply engaged in bringing research to bear on key public policy questions. We are pleased to recognize her multifaceted contributions by naming her a University Distinguished Diversity and Social Transformation Professor.”

Watkins-Hayes will maintain the appointment for five years. She also will receive special faculty fellow status at the National Center for Institutional Diversity and spend at least one semester as a faculty fellow-in-residence.

“The University Diversity and Social Transformation Professors are exceptionally accomplished senior scholars who, throughout their careers as faculty, have made significant contributions to knowledge innovation and production,” said NCID Director Tabbye Chavous, professor of psychology and education. “They are also leaders and innovators in the application and use of scholarship for institutional change, within higher education and the broader society.”

Vincent Hutchings, Amy Schulz, Daphne C. Watkins and Camille Wilson were named UDSTP professors earlier this year.

Watkins-Hayes, who also is the Jean E. Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, is an internationally-recognized scholar and expert on HIV/AIDS, urban poverty, social policy, and racial, class and gender inequality. Her work illuminates social problems of great interest to scholars, communities and policymakers.

Her first book, “The New Welfare Bureaucrats: Entanglements of Race, Class, and Policy Reform,” examines how public resources are distributed to low-income families by exploring how the work experiences and racial, class and gender identities of public workers shape the new welfare system.

Originally published in The University Record.