UMBC inaugurates new center to serve as hub for social science research

UMBC’s Center for Social Science Scholarship has opened its doors this fall with Christine Mallinson, professor of language, literacy and culture, as its inaugural director. The new center, which will promote faculty, student, and alumni research across multiple fields of study, is the result of many years of cultivating deep levels of scholarship on campus as well as collaboration and planning by the social science faculty.

“The Center for Social Science Scholarship answers a longstanding need at UMBC: to provide a hub, a connector, and a microphone for our extraordinary work on critical issues facing communities and societies today,” explains Scott Casper, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS).

The Center will emphasize areas of research such as civic and political participation, global patterns of labor and migration, educational access, the relationship between humans and the environment, human behavior and health equity across the lifespan, the social context of technology, and policy impact.

Mallinson, who joined UMBC in 2006, researches the context of and mechanisms involved in communication within major social institutions, including education, the workplace, and the legal system. By working with teachers, lawyers, and judges to better understand how perceptions cause bias, Mallinson’s has developed research-based strategies to remove inequalities and barriers.

Christine Mallinson presents her research at the Labs@Light City, April 2018.

“Christine Mallinson’s innovative, collaborative scholarship has influenced academic debates, informed policy, and empowered communities. I look forward to her leadership on behalf of UMBC’s social science research community,” says Casper.

Through her interdisciplinary work in language, literacy, and culture, Mallinson said she has immersed herself in multiple campus partnerships and experienced first hand the extent of dynamic social science research happening across UMBC.

Banner image (l-r): Mejdulene B. Shomali, gender, women’s, & sexuality studies; Carole McCann, gender, women’s, and sexuality studies; Christine Mallinson, director of the Center for Social Science Scholarship; Charissa Cheah, psychology. All images by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.