Baruch Professor Wins the American Sociological Association's 2007 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award

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Professor Robert Smith
Professor Robert C. Smith

New York, NY – January 17, 2008—Robert C. Smith, an associate professor of public affairs in Baruch’s School of Public Affairs (SPA) is the winner of the American Sociological Association's (ASA) 2007 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award for his acclaimed work, Mexican New York: Transnational Worlds of New Immigrants (University of California Press, 2005).

“I am surprised and very honored to receive the award,” Smith said. He was notified about the honor on his birthday, no less. “It’s definitely the best birthday present I have ever received.”

Since the ASA consists of 44 special interest sections and has over 21,000 members, the award’s prestige is considerable and places Smith in the top rank of scholars in his field. The 102 year-old organization presents the award annually to the best single overall book published in the last two years. The official award ceremony takes place at the 2008 ASA meetings in Boston.

Robert C. Bulman, chair of the ASA’s Distinguished Book Award committee this past year, and an associate professor of sociology at Saint Mary's College of California noted, “It is a marvelous book and we are thrilled to be able to award it this honor.”

A recognized expert on Mexican-American immigration patterns and issues, Smith’s latest work is no stranger to accolades, having won the ASA’s 2006 Thomas & Zaniecki Award from the organization’s International Migration Section.  That award is given annually for outstanding social science scholarship in the field of international migration.

Smith has been a featured panelist on “Feet in Two Worlds: Immigrants in the Global City,” a radio documentary on New York’s ethnic communities that aired on National Public Radio’s affiliate WNYC in 2006. That same year, he also was interviewed by WNYC's Daniela Gerson in a story examining the hurdles facing Baruch graduates who are also illegal immigrants as they embark on their career paths.

He is currently working on his next book, entitled: Gendered Ethnicity: Diverging School and Work Fates of Mexican American Boys and Girls.

An associate professor at SPA since 2004, Smith has taught courses such as PUB 1250: Public Administration in Modern Society and an honors class entitled The Peopling of New York.  For the Spring 2005 semester he developed PAF 9199: Selected Topic in Public Administration -The Immigrant Experience and American Institutions.

“I am very pleased Professor Smith has won another award, one that many sociologists dream about winning. Baruch is truly fortunate to have him on our faculty,” said SPA dean David Birdsell.

Lara Moon
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