AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Liberal Arts has hired sociologist Dr. Mark D. Hayward as director of its Population Research Center.
Hayward has more than 20 years experience in higher education. His research interests center on how adult health problems develop in response to physical or social exposures during childhood, adolescence and adult life. These interests are reflected in his projects on the early life origins of socioeconomic and race disparities in adult health and the social and economic factors that both truncate the lives of black Americans relative to whites and expand the years blacks live with health problems. Hayward also has studied early adult biomarkers of socioeconomic differences in later-life health and the health consequences of marriage, divorce and widowhood.
“I was drawn to the University of Texas because its faculty in the field of population health are probably the best in the nation,” said Hayward. “I’m excited to be joining this vital scientific group and a university that is very forward thinking.”
Hayward, who spent the last 13 years at The Pennsylvania State University serving most recently as director of its Center on Population Health and Aging, has served on numerous national advisory boards and held leadership positions in several professional associations. Hayward chairs the Council of the Inter-university Consortium on Political and Social Research and serves on the Board of Overseers for the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the Technical Review Board of the National Longitudinal Surveys. He also is a founding member of the Brookdale Institute on Aging.
“The university’s academic leadership has pledged to provide the resources necessary to grow the Population Resource Center,” Hayward said. An important component will be expanding faculty in scientific areas to capture opportunities for large-scale interdisciplinary research.
“Many of the social problems facing Texas and the nation are highly complex and need to be examined by scientific teams that blend researchers from different disciplines,” he said. “Researchers from the biomedical and social sciences, for example, are collaborating to tackle issues such as the consequences of the growing economic inequality for the nation’s health; how educational institutions and family change affect adolescents’ psychosocial and cognitive development; and the ways in which welfare policies have affected child health and family well-being.”
According to Hayward, it’s no longer unusual to see collaborations involving geneticists, sociologists, epidemiologists and anthropologists, or some other combination of fields, tackling tough problems as a team.
Hayward has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior and Research on Aging. His recently published work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Demography, and Social Science and Medicine.
For more information contact: Dr. Mark D. Hayward, 512-471-8382.