TRESSIE MCMILLAN COTTOM

tcottom@emory.edu   OFFICE ADDRESS Emory University Department of Sociology Tarbutton Hall 1555 Dickey Drive Atlanta, Georgia 30322 tcottom@emory.edu

www.tressiemc.com

STATEMENT OF INTERESTS An increasingly number and type of goods and services central to how we enact citizenship are mediated by organizations. With this understanding, my research, teaching, and public scholarship is guided by my interest in how organizations reproduce inequality. My doctoral research examines how organizational arrangements like college admissions in the for-profit college sector. My public scholarship at Slate, The Feminist Wire, The Nation and other outlets broadly examines how social processes work in tandem with benign organizational practices to reproduce different outcomes for different groups. Future interests include how discourse and policy are shaped by organizational change in media and technology. For example, I am examining when “racist” and “racism” became style guide violations in mass media and euphemisms like “racially insensitive” became standard. Pedagogically, I engage contemporary case studies of how identity, stratification, and policy responds to social change like the Great Recession. My work often draws on intersectional frameworks of race, class, and gender.

EDUCATION Emory University; Atlanta, GA Present Ph.D. Student, Sociology Project: “Signaling, Sorting, and Stratifying: For-Profit Colleges and the Reproduction of Inequality GRANTS Laney Graduate School Research Grant (2012); $2,500 AERA Conference Grant (2011); $55,000 AWARDS Fall 2013, Graduate Fellow, The Center for Poverty Research at UC-Davis: How has social policy shaped demand for workforce certificates in the for-profit college sector? The project will produce both a dissertation chapter and a policy paper distributed by the Center for Poverty Research, a federally designated research think-tank housed at UC-Davis. 2013 Robert Dentler Award for Outstanding Student Achievement from ASA: Honorable Mention for paper on race, class, gender and decision-making among for-profit students.

Tressie McMillan Cottom PUBLICATIONS Peer-Reviewed

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Curriculum Vitae

McMillan-Cottom, Tressie. (Under Review). “What Am I ‘Sposed to Do?” Interrogating the Organizational Structure of Admissions in the For-Profit College Sector Social science and public policy understands that for-profit colleges have grown rapidly empirical evidence to explain that growth remains inconclusive. This corporate era of expansion of high-cost, low-prestige degrees does not conform to previous higher education expansion or dominant theories of credentialism. Stratification and education literature has documented that organizational characteristics of institutions reveal the social processes that similarly constrain the choices of different students differently. I participated in the enrollment process at nine forprofit colleges that represent the institutional diversity of the sector. Interviews with students, admissions counselors, and document analysis of internal institutional documents augment fieldwork data. I find that the admissions structure of for-profit colleges is distinct, urgent, and bureaucratically simple. These characteristics appeal both to immediate financial concerns of lower-income students that are overrepresented in the for-profit sector as well as higher status students seeking credentials as insurance from economic precarity. McMillan-Cottom, T & Tuchman, G. Forthcoming. “The Rationalization of Higher Education” in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences eds. Scott, Robert A. and Kosslyn, Stephen M.. New York: Sage. Since roughly 1980, the rationalization of higher education has been escalating. That is, meansend schema and bureaucratic organization have become ever more dominant as the authority over academic matters has been shifting from the professoriate to managers who in the midtwentieth-century had been mainly responsible for economic affairs and "making things run." We conceive of the institutional field of higher education – the universe of diverse institutions existing within a prestige hierarchy – as existing along a spectrum of rationalization with the forprofit college organization at the extreme right. We discuss the theoretical and empirical conditions that have increased the rationalization of higher education. We then explicate on the ideal form of rationalization in higher education and put forth an agenda that builds on emerging research in organizations, education, and rationalization.

Invited McMillan Cottom, T. & Goldrick-Rab, S. (2012). The Education Assembly Line: The Problem with For-Profits. Contexts, 11(4), 14-21. McMillan-Cottom, Tressie & William Darity, Jr., eds. (forthcoming) For-Profit U: The Growing Role of For-Profit Colleges in U.S. Higher Education. Washington, DC: AERA Books. McMillan-Cottom, Tressie (under review) Working Title: The Fix Is In: The Public Interest in For-Profit Higher Education.

 

Tressie McMillan Cottom Public

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Curriculum Vitae

“Whistling Vivaldi Won’t Save You: Stereotype Threat and the Death of Jonathan Ferrell”. September 2013. Slate Magazine. “Race, Gender and Going to Class: The Color of the Public Face of For-Profit College Marketing”. May 2013. The Feminist Wire.

PRESENTATIONS Research Conclave, The Center for Poverty Research (9/13); Davis, CA; “Welfare Eligibility When There’s No Work: Constrained Choice of For-Profit Students in the Welfare System”. Conference, Association of Black Sociologists (8/13); New York; “Organized for Urgency: An Organizational Analysis of Admissions at For-Profit Colleges.” Conference, Association of Black Sociologists (8/13); New York; “We’ll Tweet Until We’re Free: Social Media and Social Movements” Conference, Southern Sociological Society (4/13); Atlanta, GA; “Stratification and For-Profit Colleges” Conference, Southeastern Women’s Studies Association (3/13); UNC-Greensboro; “Raging Against The Machine: The Case of Black Studies and The Chronicle of Higher Education” Conference, Latino Youth Education Conference (11/11); Emory University; “Structure of Opportunity in Secondary Education” Conference, International Globalization, Diversity, and Education (02/11); University of Washington; “Survey of Space, Place, and Educational Research” Conference, Humanities Spring Symposium, NC Central University (05/09); “African American Women in Philosophy” Conference, Monuments and Memory: Race and History, Duke University (06/09); “The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project” Conference, Future of Diversity in Academia, UNC Chapel Hill (07/09); “Buying Public Memory: The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project” Research Presentation, Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality Research Conclave, Duke University (03/10); “HBCUs As Model for the Emerging Urban University” INVITED TALKS

 

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Curriculum Vitae

UW-Madison Sociology and Women’s Studies, December 2013: “Race, Gender, & Class: Constrained Educational Choices of Single Mothers in a ‘Work First’ Culture” Google’s Fairness Matters Forum, November 2013: “MOOCs and Inequality” San Jose State University Sociology and Ethics Center, November 2013: “MOOCs and Other Disruptions: Lessons from For-Profit Colleges” National Association for Community Colleges and Entrepreneurship, October 2013, Keynote Address: “The Hustleman is an Entrepreneur: Understanding Racial and Ethnic Group Economies to Support Diversity in Entrepreneur Programming” UC-Irvine, University Commission on Humanities Research, May 2013: “Degrees of Debt: Demographics, Debt, and For-Profit Colleges in the U.S.” University of Toronto; Organizations, Inequality Conference, May 2013: “Gendered Degrees: How For-Profit Colleges Respond to Gendered Inequality” Southeastern Women’s Studies Conference, UNC-Greensboro, April 2013: “Raging Against The Machine: Black Studies and the Case of Naomi Schaefer Riley and The Chronicle of Higher Education.” MIT, Media in Transition International Conference: Public Media, Private Media; “The Organizational Logic of Blurring The Public and The Private in Today’s Media”, May 2013 Spelman College, February 2012, Social Activism and Public Scholarship Workshop Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario conference: Learning to Earning | Higher Education and the Changing Job Market, November 2012 Applied Research Center, Facing Race Conference, November 2012: “Race, Inequality and ForProfit Colleges” Georgia State University, “So Many Degrees, So Much Inequality”, Social Problems, October 2012 Spelman College, November 2012, Social Activism and Public Scholarship

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE Cengage Publishing Bibliography Editor 2012

 

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Curriculum Vitae

Conducted literature searches, identified most salient sources, edited and authored bibliography citations for “Encyclopedia of Race and Racism” VENADAR Consulting (May 2012) Contract Researcher Conducted marketing analysis for international client seeking vertical product integration; education expertise; created written and multi-media presentations Institute of Higher Education Policy (October 2011) Contract Researcher Conducted research on qualitative and quantitative research on attainment, enrollment, and course-taking by class, race, gender and institutional types within and between for-profit and notfor-profit higher education systems; final white paper from the Institute for Higher Education Policy retrieved from http://www.ihep.org/Publications/publications-detail.cfm?id=154 TEACHING Emory University, Atlanta, GA Research Methods Class, Status, Stratification Introduction to Sociology (TA) Juvenile Delinquency (TA) Psychology of Learning (Instructor) Socio-cultural Context of Learning (TA) Corporate Teaching Technical and Soft Skills Training, Sprint PCS (Curriculum Design, Trainer) SERVICE Laney Graduate School, Emory University, Investigator, 2013: Conducted program assessment of diversity programming, prepared five-year diversity initiative with benchmarking and assessment. American Sociological Association, Chair, Public Scholarship for Sociologists, 2013 American Sociological Association, President’s Social Media Task Force, 2013 AERA Conference Grant Team, Duke University 2011 Liberal Arts Commission, Emory University, Nominated Representative, 2012 Psychology of Popular Media Culture, Manuscript Reviewer, 2012 AERA, Division J: Higher Education; Social Media Director (2011)

 

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Curriculum Vitae

ASHE, Peer Reviewer; National Conference (2011) AERA, Peer Reviewer; National Conference (2012) AERA Proposed Ethics Publication; Performed Review, Authored Group Analysis Emory University, DES (09/10-09/10) Graduate Student Government Association Representative Emory University (10/10-present) SIRE Undergraduate Poster Presentation judge Emory University (10/10-10/10) HONORS AND AWARDS Public Voices Fellow, Faculty Engagement Commission, Emory University (2012) Engaged Research Fellow Office of University-Community Partnerships, Emory University (5/11-9/11) 2011 William Boyd National Education Politics Workshop, Emerging Scholar, AERA Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program UNC Chapel Hill (6/09-8/09) NC Consortium South Asian Studies Research Fellow Duke University (9/09-12/09) Ms. Magazine Feminist Bloggers in Education Designation, September 2012 Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellow, 2012-2014 Invited Guest Editor, Feminist Wire, “Health and Black Women in Academe”, Winter 2012

PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP Huffington Post, January 2012, “Race, Class, For-profits and Education Justice” Huffington Post, September 2012, “For-Profit Higher Education Is Not the Only Way Forward for Higher Education” Feminist Magazine, August 2012 WBAE Public Radio, September 2012 Inside Higher Education, “Saliency of Black Studies and the Black Subject”, June, 2012

 

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Curriculum Vitae

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES American Sociology Association; Graduate Membership: Sociology of Education, Organizational Theory American Educational Research Association, Graduate Membership: Policy, Higher Education focus group membership Sociologists for Women in Society, Member DOCTORAL COURSES Race and Ethnicity Gender and Society Researching Discrimination Schooling and Society Regression Analysis Educational Research Culture, Narrative, and Identity Inferential Statistics Communities and Crime (Sociology) International and Comparative Education OTHER RELEVANT EXPERIENCE Commission for Liberal Arts, Emory University, Atlanta, GA (2012-present) Research Assistant Appointed to University commission convened for the study of liberal arts education across the University; Conduct empirical research on higher education policy, curricula, and debates. Venadar, Atlanta, GA (2012) Researcher Conducted state level analysis of political climate for educational reforms. Academic Achievers, Durham, NC (2009-2010) Lead Teacher Supervise multi-site academic preparation academy in conjunction with Durham County Schools and education consultants; Teacher training, curriculum implementation and measurement ITT Technical Institute, Charlotte, NC (2008) Admissions and Financial Aid Counselor Enrollment management and federal financial aid counseling

 

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