Welcoming Four New Members to the William T. Grant Scholars Selection Committee

We are pleased to announce four new members of the William T. Grant Scholars Selection Committee, a dedicated group of academics who are committed to the Scholars Program’s priorities of career development, mentoring, and the bold pursuit of new research challenges.

Nonie K. Lesaux, Roberto Lewis-Fernández, and Karolyn Tyson will join the Committee in July 2018. Bruce Western will begin his term July in 2019.

The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports career development for promising early-career researchers. The program funds five-year research and mentoring plans that significantly expand junior researchers’ expertise in new disciplines, methods, and content areas. We recognize that early-career researchers are rarely given incentives or support to take such risks, so this award includes a mentoring component, as well as an emphasis on community and collaboration.

Selection is based on applicants’ potential to become influential researchers, as well as their plans to expand their expertise in new and significant ways in order to tackle the most pressing social problems facing young people. Scholars Selection Committee members review applications before choosing about ten finalists, who are then invited to New York City to interview with the Committee. Following the interviews, the Selection Committee ultimately selects four to six William T. Grant Scholars.

The newest members of the Scholars Selection Committee are:

Nonie K. Lesaux
Nonie K. Lesaux is Academic Dean and the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society. Her research focuses on promoting the language and literacy skills of today’s children from diverse linguistic, cultural and economic backgrounds, and is conducted largely in urban and semi-urban cities and school districts. Lesaux’s work has earned her the William T. Grant Scholars Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. She has served on the U.S. Department of Education’s Reading First Advisory Committee, and the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council’s Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age 8. In addition to her faculty appointment at HGSE, Lesaux currently serves as the chair of the Massachusetts’ Board of Early Education and Care.

Roberto Lewis-Fernández
Roberto Lewis-Fernández is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State (NYS) Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Hispanic Treatment Program, and Co-Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, at NYS Psychiatric Institute. He is also Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University. Lewis-Fernández’s research focuses on developing clinical interventions and novel service-delivery approaches to help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups

Karolyn Tyson
Karen Tyson is Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tyson specializes in qualitative research addressing issues related to schooling and inequality, and she is particularly interested in understanding the complex interactions between schooling processes and the schooling outcomes of black students. She is the author of Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students and Acting White after Brown, and is also working on a study documenting the decades-long overrepresentation of black students in special education in an affluent, suburban school district and the resulting crisis of trust between African American families and American public schools.

Bruce Western
Bruce Western is Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Distinguished Visiting Research Professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. Western served as vice chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Incarceration Rates in the United States, and he is the principal investigator on the Harvard Executive Session on Community Corrections and the Boston Reentry Study. He is the author of the award-winning book Punishment and Inequality in America.


Learn more about the William T. Grant Scholars Program.

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