some of us are brave
Tressie McMillan Cottom is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University (Fall 2015). She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a case study of the political economy of for-profit colleges in the era of financialized U.S. higher education.
Tressie’s current research examines how we learn for work in the new economy. That includes thinking about academic capitalism, labor market correspondence, for-profit and online credentials, and media interactions. You can find her with FemBot, SSS, ASA, and SWS.
Tressie lectures and publishes widely. Currently, she is a contributing editor with Dissent and a contributing writer with The Message. She has been invited to speak on issues of education, race, gender, social movements and inequality at MIT, the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia, Duke, UGA, GSU, UC-Irvine as well as national and international public policy agencies in Canada, New Zealand and across the U.S. Her public writing has appeared in Inside Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, Dissent Magazine, and The New York Times. Additionally, she has appeared on NPR and Dan Rather Reports.
In 2014, she was selected as a PhD Intern at the Microsoft Research Network’s Social Media Collective in Cambridge, MA. She is also a former research fellow at the Center for Poverty Research at UC-Davis. As a fellow, she wrote a public policy brief (forthcoming) that examines the link between 1996 changes that purported to “end welfare as we know it” and the rise in for-profit workforce credentials among poor women. She is honored to join the Barnard Center for Research on Women as an organizing consultant for their 40th anniversary Scholar & Feminist conference on gender and education. She will be co-editing a special journal issue based on conference papers. With colleagues Jessie Daniels and Karen Gregory, she is currently working on a published volume of emerging discussions in Digital Sociology.
With Sandy Darity of Duke University, she is the lead editor of “Profit U: The Rise of For-Profit Higher Education”, forthcoming from AERA books. A second book, a solo-authored manuscript on inequality and for-profit higher education, is under contract with The New Press.
Tressie considers teaching a foundational research activity. She teaches introductory sociology courses and has developed seminars in contemporary stratification (post-Great Recession), critical university studies, and technology and inequality. Her students seem to enjoy her pedagogical enthusiasm. To be fair, students do occasionally complain that she threatens to incorporate interpretative dance into lectures. Tressie thinks they doth protest too much.