Lantz and Young honored with prestigious U-M awards

October 27, 2023

Ford School professors Paula Lantz and Alford A. Young Jr., were among 29 faculty recognized by the University of Michigan provost for their scholarly contributions, teaching, and service at an awards ceremony on October 23, 2023. Lantz and Young were each awarded University Diversity and Social Transformation Professorships. Lantz was also one of five faculty honored with the Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award.

Paula Lantz, the James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy at the Ford School, is a nationally renowned social demographer and health policy scholar who builds bridges among academic researchers and policymakers to reduce socioeconomic, racial, geographic and other types of health inequality. She researches the real-world issues driving population-health science, including how socioeconomic and racial inequality affects health over the course of one’s life and how restrictive abortion policies are likely to have negative effects on the health and social welfare of women and children. At U-M, Lantz has helped lead meaningful changes to the curricula, recruiting procedures and protocols, school climate and accountability structures, with a focus on making lasting change through organizational policy reform.  As a dedicated and inspiring educator, she is said to be  “quite literally the best person to have on your side as a student.”

Alford A. Young Jr., courtesy professor at the Ford School and a Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Sociology, has richly expanded sociological scholarship on Black identity. His widespread service at U-M and nationally reflects a longstanding commitment to Black Americans’ essential role in shaping strategies and establishing outcomes for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Young stands at the forefront of a generation of scholars who study Black lives on their own terms, not in relation to a white standard. He examines African American history and culture through the prism of structural racism and persistent racial privilege. Young is faculty director of the Anti-Racism Collaborative at U-M’s National Center for Institutional Diversity, and an associate director for the Center for Social Solutions where he supervises four research areas: Diversity and Democracy, Slavery and its Aftermath, The Future of Work, and Water, Equity and Security.

Read more about Lantz’s and Young’s achievements in the University Record.

About the awards

The University Diversity and Social Transformation Professorships (UDSTP) were launched in 2019 to honor senior faculty whose work has promoted the university’s goals around diversity, equity and inclusion. Recipients will hold their initial appointment for five years. They also will receive special faculty fellow status at the National Center for Institutional Diversity and spend at least one semester as a faculty fellow-in-residence.

The Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award honors senior faculty who consistently have demonstrated outstanding achievements in the areas of scholarly research or creative endeavors, teaching and mentoring of students and junior colleagues, service and other activities.


Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from a story published in The University Record. The information for this story was written and provided by the Office of University Development and compiled by Katie Kelton.