This month the University of Michigan Regents approved the appointment of Professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes approved the five-year appointment of Watkins-Hayes as a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, in recognition of her exceptional contributions to enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through her scholarship, teaching, and service. The Regents also named Watkins-Hayes as the Jean E. Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy for a five-year renewable term.

Professor Watkins-Hayes joins the second cohort of University Diversity and Social Transformation Professors. The professorship recognizes senior faculty who have shown a commitment to the university’s ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion through their scholarship, teaching, or service and engagement. 

“My intellectual commitments are motivated by a desire to offer analyses and prescriptions, based on empirically and conceptually rich research, that address the real-world issues that limit human potential,” said Watkins-Hayes. “I'm thrilled to join a community of such interdisciplinary breadth with scholars who share those same goals and see the work as critical to do both within and outside of the academy.”

This summer Professor Watkins-Hayes was also recogized with two awards from the American Sociological Association for her book Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality  (2019, University of California Press).  

The ASA’s Section on the Sociology of Sex and Gender bestowed its 2020 Distinguished Book Award recognizing the book’s scholarly contributions and cutting edge sociological inquiry. 

She also was named as the winner of the 2020 Eliot Freidson award, given to a book or journal article that has had a major impact on the field of medical sociology. In the citation, the award committee said it was “very impressed with the depth of your data collection and the many contributions of your book to both medical sociology and other fields in sociology. Your book very nicely demonstrated a case of the social safety net doing what it is intended to do--in this case, providing women with HIV with the support necessary to not only get by, but ‘transform’ their lives in multidimensional ways. The book was beautifully written, and we expect that scholars in medical sociology and beyond will benefit from its insights for years to come.”

The awards will be given at the (virtual) ASA Annual Meeting in August and in person at the ASA’s 2021 meeting. 

Congratulations Dr. Watkins-Hayes!