Two UAlbany Professors Receive SUNY's Highest Honor

Contact: Lisa James Goldsberry (518) 437-4989

University at Albany professors Richard Alba and John Logan have been appointed Distinguished Professors by the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees -- the highest rank that can be achieved by a SUNY educator and is above that of full professor. Both faculty members have joint appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Public Administration and Policy at UAlbany.

State University Chancellor Robert L. King said, "The professors we honor today have achieved distinction in several disciplines: sociology, cinema, biology, and psychology. We are pleased to honor these outstanding individuals with the special University-wide designation of Distinguished Professor."

Alba has played a critical role in the intellectual life of UAlbany as founding director of the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis, the precursor of the University's federally-funded population research center, one of only 12 in the nation. He is widely recognized as one of today's top sociologists. His current research focuses on the assimilation of Italian Americans into the mainstream of American life.

This past year, Alba was awarded one of only two Guggenheim Fellowships for 2000-2001 to study second generations in immigrant societies. As a result, he will devote half of the year to his role as associate director at the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. By year's end, Alba expects to complete a comparative paper on bilingualism and language assimilation, and at least two others on aspects of socioeconomic incorporation.

In nominating Alba for the honor, University President Karen R. Hitchcock said, "The institution's current capacity for and international reputation in demographic analysis owes much to the foundation that Dr. Alba established during the ten years he provided leadership for this vitally important interdisciplinary research unit."

Alba joined UAlbany as an associate professor of sociology in 1980 and was promoted to full professor in 1985 when he was also jointly appointed to the Department of Public Administration and Policy. Prior to his career at Albany, he served as an assistant professor at Herbert H. Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (1974-77) and Cornell University (1977-80). He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Logan serves as director of the University's Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research. His work on ethnic and immigrant populations draws on his highly respected expertise and skill in the quantitative analysis of large, demographic datasets.

In addition to authoring and editing numerous books, Logan is author or co-author of more than 100 articles and book chapters. A recent study, which compiled a count of publications in the three leading sociology journals for 1975-84 and 1985-94, ranked Logan first in the entire field in the total count of publications. He was one of only three scholars to rank as a "top article publisher" for both time periods.

"Not surprisingly, the knowledge, imagination, and rigor that characterize Dr. Logan's contributions in research are also features of his performance as a teacher and mentor," said University President Karen R. Hitchcock in nominating Logan for the honor. "He has been particularly gifted in involving students in his research, in initiating students into the culture of professional publication, and in placing students in academic and research positions at other research universities and institutions."

Logan has been associated with SUNY since the beginning of his academic career, serving as a faculty member at SUNY Stony Brook from 1972 to 1980. He joined UAlbany in 1980 as an associate professor of sociology and public administration and policy, and was promoted to full professor in 1986. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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January 11, 2001


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