GWB’s Rank named to Hadley professorship

Mark R. Rank, Ph.D., professor in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, has been appointed the inaugural Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare, announced Shanti K. Khinduka, Ph.D., dean and the George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor.

Mark Rank

Hadley was the University’s chancellor from 1923-27. He also served as governor of Missouri from 1909-1913.

Rank’s formal installation will take place Dec. 11.

“Mark Rank is one of the most important scholars of poverty in our nation today,” Khinduka said. “His work is a blend of scientific rigor and a passionate commitment to the American idea of equality.

“His approach to estimating the likelihood of someone becoming poor in contemporary America is novel, and his argument for treating poverty as a concern of all Americans, rather than the fate of only a small segment of the society, is compelling. Rank’s thesis is of as much relevance to policy-makers as it is to social work practitioners.”

Rank earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduate school, he spent a year as a fellow at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center at the University of North Carolina.

Rank joined the Washington University faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor of sociology in Arts & Sciences, and in 1989 he became a GWB faculty member.

His areas of research and teaching have focused on issues related to poverty, social welfare, economic inequality and social policy. His recent research investigated the life-course probabilities of experiencing poverty in America.

Rank’s first book, Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America, explored the circumstances of surviving on public assistance and achieved widespread critical acclaim. His most recent book, One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All, is scheduled for publication this spring.

In addition, Rank has written numerous articles for a variety of journals such as Social Work, American Sociological Review, Psychological Science and Social Science Quarterly. He has also provided his expertise to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well many national organizations involved in economic and social justice issues.

At the University, Rank is well respected by faculty and students alike, having received a Distinguished Faculty Award at Founders Day, the Kemper Foundation Faculty Award to Improve Learning and the Council of Students of Arts & Sciences’ annual Faculty Teaching Award.

He has also received the Feldman Award from the Groves Conference on Marriage and the Family and the Outstanding Research Award from the Society for Social Work and Research. He has been listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers: The Best Teachers in America Selected by the Best Students.

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