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Daphne Watkins Awarded the Diversity and Social Transformation Professorship

July 21, 2020

Professor Daphne Watkins has been named a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, and jointly administered by the U-M National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI), the Diversity and Social Transformation Professorship is an honor designation for senior faculty who have the highest levels of achievement in demonstrating a commitment to the university’s ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion through their scholarship, teaching or service and engagement. The initial appointment is for five years and also includes special faculty fellow status at NCID.

Watkins’ research uses an equity approach to improving mental health, expanding definitions of masculinity, and increasing social support among Black men. She is also a global thought leader in mixed method research, and uses technology and social networks to improve the health of underrepresented communities. She is the founding director of the award-winning YBMen Project, which uses popular culture and social media to provide health education and social support for young Black men. 

Watkins has a demonstrated record of leadership. She is a mentor to students and faculty across a variety of disciplines, and directs the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Center for Health Equity Research and Training.  She has served as president of the American Men's Studies Association (2013-2017), director of the Joint PhD Program at Michigan Social Work (2017-2018), and is the founding director of the Gender and Health Research Lab (GendHR Lab) and the Certificate Program in Mixed Methods Research. In 2018, she was recognized as an outstanding alumna at Texas A&M University and received the Thought Leadership Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

“It is an honor to be recognized by the University of Michigan in this way. The NCID is a powerhouse in their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and I look forward to actualizing their mission, and that of the School of Social Work, through this amazing opportunity.”

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