Past Features

March 23, 2009 (Vol. 9, No. 5)

Lehman Sociology Professor Receives Book of the Year Award

David Lavin
Professor David Lavin
Lehman Sociology Professor David Lavin and CUNY Graduate Center Sociology Professor Paul Attewell have received the American Educational Research Association's Book of the Year award for their book Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations? They will be presented with the award at the association's annual meeting in April.

Published in 2007, Passing the Torch tracked some 2,000 disadvantaged women who entered CUNY in the 1970s over a thirty-year period and explored the benefits of providing disadvantaged students, particularly women, with access to higher education. The study revealed that the women were able to achieve a seventy percent college graduation rate and increase their incomes. Their children also had better educational success. The results of the study were consistent with a national sample.

The association's annual award recognizes publications that make a substantial contribution to the literature and/or practice of higher education by broadening the understanding of a particular problem in this field or looking at it in a new way. Its more than 26,000 members come from a broad range of educational disciplines.

Professors Lavin and Attewell also were recently awarded the esteemed 2009 Grawemeyer Award in Education, which included a $200,000 prize, for Passing the Torch. They were selected from among fourteen nominations worldwide for the Grawemeyer Award, which honors accomplishments that "help make the world a better place." Professor Lavin is the second Lehman faculty member to receive the Grawemeyer—Distinguished Professor of Music John Corigliano was the recipient in 1991.

Professor Lavin has spent much of his career focusing on the impact of higher education on disadvantaged families. He has completed fourteen research grants and co-written three books and a half-dozen articles on the topic of open enrollment. A graduate of Colby College, he earned his master's and doctoral degrees from New York University and also is a member of the faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center.