Faculty and Staff Features for January 2018

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Ravi K. Perry, Ph.D., associate professor and chair, Department of Political Science, College of Humanities and Sciences

Ravi K. Perry, Ph.D.
Ravi K. Perry, Ph.D.

Perry was selected as an Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in the magazine’s Jan. 25 issue. Perry was one of 15 scholars honored this year.

Perry’s research interests focus on issues facing African-Americans in the United States. In a profile in the magazine, Perry said that he views himself as a “scholar/activist” and that “all of my work has been aligned with my goal of trying to impact the lived conditions of marginalized communities.” Khalilah Brown-Dean, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at Quinnipiac University, said Perry’s work “highlights the continuing struggle to confront issues of equality, inclusion and accountability. Ravi’s work is on the cutting edge of those questions. He’s a force.”

Perry is the editor of the book, “21st Century Urban Race Politics: Representing Minorities as Universal Interests,” and the author of “Black Mayors, White Majorities: The Balancing Act of Racial Politics.” He also co-authored “The Little Rock Crisis: What Desegregation Politics Say About Us,” with his mother, D. LaRouth Perry, Ph.D.

Perry is the immediate past president of the National Association for Ethnic Studies. Among his other affiliations, he recently accepted an invitation to join the inaugural editorial board of the official journal of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the policy arm of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Center for Policy Analysis and Research. The multidisciplinary journal, released every two years, publishes original research and analyses on public policy issues related to black politics in the U.S. and abroad.


David Chester, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Psychology, College of Humanities and Sciences

David Chester, Ph.D.
David Chester, Ph.D.

Chester has been named to the Association for Psychological Science’s annual list of “Rising Stars.”

Chester is an expert in human aggression and revenge-seeking behaviors. He is the director of the Social Psychology and Neuroscience Lab, which investigates why some people act aggressively and others do not.

The APS Rising Star designation is presented to outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-Ph.D. This designation recognizes researchers whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions.

Individuals being considered for Rising Star designation are evaluated for their promise of excellence in research based on the following criteria: significant publications, significant recognitions, significant discoveries, methodological innovations, or theoretical or empirical contributions, and work with potentially broad impact.

“David’s theoretical and empirical contributions have helped to promote new approaches to aggressive behaviors, including a new line of investigation into the potential similarities between aggression and addictive behaviors, such as those involved in substance abuse and risky gambling. These research activities not only inform us about the causes of aggression, they also suggest novel interventions that might reduce aggressive behavior (e.g., blunting the pleasure of aggression with opioid antagonists such as Naltrexone)," said Kirk Warren Brown, Ph.D., associate professor of social psychology, who nominated Chester for the award.

"Given the disproportionate amount of violence that is inflicted upon members of ethnic/racial minority groups and individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds, these advances in our understanding and treatment of aggression may lead to correspondingly disproportionate benefits for members of these marginalized groups," Brown said.


Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Sociology, College of Humanities and Sciences

Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D.

Cottom was ranked Wednesday on a list of the 200 scholars in the U.S. who are “doing the most to shape educational practice and policy.”

Cottom ranked 72 on the 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which is compiled by the American Enterprise Institute’s Rick Hess and published at his Education Week blog “Rick Hess Straight Up.”

Cottom is is co-editor of two volumes on technological change, inequality and institutions: “Digital Sociologies” (2016, UK Bristol Policy Press) and “For-Profit Universities: The Shifting Landscape of Marketized Higher Education” (2017, Palgrave MacMillan). And her book “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy” (2017, The New Press) has received national and international acclaim.

Cottom serves on numerous academic and philanthropic boards and publishes widely on issues of inequality, work, higher education and technology.