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Curriculum Vitae

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Ford School of Public Policy | 735 S. State Street | Ann Arbor, MI 48109






University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, 2020 – present 

Founding Director, Center for Racial Justice, Ford School of Public Policy

University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor

Jean Fairfax Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, Ford School of Public Policy

Professor of Sociology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts


Northwestern University, 2003 – 2020

Administrative Appointments

Associate Vice President for Research, Office for Research, 2018 – 2020

Founding Director, ASCEND, A Senior Faculty Professional Development Program, 2018-2020

Chair, Department of African American Studies, 2011 - 2013


Faculty Appointments

Ad Hoc Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, 2020 – present 

Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, 2017 – 2020 

Associate Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, 2010 – 2017

Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research, 2003 – 2020

Faculty Fellow, Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health, 2007 – 2020

Faculty Affiliate, Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), 2018 - present

Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, 2003 - 2009


University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, 2005-2006

National Science Foundation Fellow, National Poverty Center, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy


University of California – San Francisco, 2004-2008

Visiting Summer Fellow, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, HIV-Prevention Research in Minority Communities Collaborative Program





Harvard University, Ph.D. Sociology, June 2003.

Dissertation: The Incomplete Revolution: Constraints on Reform in Welfare Bureaucracies.

Committee: Katherine Newman (Chair), William Julius Wilson, & Barbara Reskin.


Harvard University, Fellow, 1998-2003. Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy.


Harvard University, M.A. Sociology, June 2000.

Masters Thesis: The Long Road to Independence: Understanding the Process of Welfare-to-Work Transitions.


Spelman College, B.A. summa cum laude, May 1996.

Independent interdisciplinary major: sociology, economics, and education.


Wellesley College, Fall 1994. Domestic exchange student.





Urban poverty; social policy; HIV/AIDS; non-profit & government organizations; and race, class, and gender



2019          Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality.

University of California Press. 

- Co-Winner, the Mirra Komarovsky Book Award, Eastern Sociological Society, 2021

- Winner, Betty and Alfred McClung Lee Book Award, Association for Humanist Sociology, 2020

- Winner, Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award, Section on Medical Sociology, American Sociological Association, 2020

- Co-Winner, Distinguished Book Award, Section on Sex and Gender, American Sociological Association, 2020 

- Winner, Alison Piepmeier Book Prize, National Women's Studies Association, 2020

-Honorable Mention, Ida B. Wells Book Award, Association of Black Sociologists, 2020

-Honorable Mention, Sara A. Whaley Book Prize, National Women's Studies Association

-Honorable Mention, Outstanding Publication Award, Section on Aging & the Life Course, American Sociological Association, 2020

- Finalist, PROSE Book Award, Association of American Publishers, 2020

- Gold Medal, Women’s Issues, 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2020

-#1 new release in the areas of AIDS, Gender Studies, and Health Care Delivery on at various points throughout summer 2019

-Selected to receive a Book Salon at the American Sociological Association Meetings, 2021

-Reviewed in: Gender and Society, United States Studies Online, Choice Magazine, Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care


2009         Watkins-Hayes, Celeste.  The New Welfare Bureaucrats: Entanglements of Race, Class, and Policy Reform.

Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

-Finalist, C. Wright Mills Book Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems, 2009.

-Honorable Mention, Max Weber Book Award, Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work, American Sociological Association, 2011.

-Reviewed by: American Journal of Sociology, Contemporary Sociology, Choice Magazine, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Social Forces, Social Service Review.





2020: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste, Rikki Byrd, and Candice Merritt. “Eclipsed: Darkness, Light, and Motherhood in the Sexualized Drug Economy of Moonlight.” Invited by The Western Journal of Black Studies 43(3/4): 81-89. 


2016: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste and Elyse Kovalsky. “The Discourse of Deservingness: Morality and the Dilemmas of Poverty Relief in Debate and Practice.” Pp 193-220 in The Oxford Handbook of Poverty and Society. David Brady and Linda Burton (Editors). New York: Oxford University Press. 

2014: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “Intersectionality and the Sociology of HIV/AIDS: Past, Present, and Future Research Directions.” Annual Review of Sociology 40: 431–57.

2013: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “The Micro-Dynamics of Support Seeking: The Social and Economic Utility of Institutional Ties for HIV-Positive Women.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 647: 83-101.


2012: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste, LaShawnDa Pittman, and Jean Beaman. “‘Dying From’ to ‘Living With’:  Framing Institutions and the Coping Processes of African American Women Living with HIV/AIDS.” Social Science and Medicine 74 (2012): 2028-2036.


2011: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste, Courtney Patterson, and Amanda Armour. “Precious: Black Women, Neighborhood HIV/AIDS Risk, and Institutional Buffers.” The DuBois Review 8(1): 229-240.


2011: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “Race, Respect, and Red Tape: Inside the Black Box of Racially Representative Bureaucracies.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 21: i233- i251.

-Reprinted: Work and the Welfare State: Street-Level Organizations and Workfare Politics. Evelyn Brodkin and Gregory Marston (Editors). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. 2013.


2009: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste.  “Race-ing the Bootstrap Climb: Black and Latino Bureaucrats in Post- Reform Welfare Offices.” Social Problems 56(2): 285–310.


2009: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “Human Services as ‘Race Work’? Historical Lessons and   Contemporary Challenges of Black Providers.” Pp 313-339 in Human Services as Complex Organizations, 2nd edition. Yeheskel Hasenfeld (Editor). Sage Publications (Submission invited by the editor).


2008: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste.  “The Social and Economic Context of Black Women Living with HIV/AIDS in the US:  Implications for Research.” Pp 33- 66 in Sex, Power and Taboo: Gender and HIV in the Caribbean and Beyond. Dorothy Roberts, Rhoda Reddock, Dianne Douglas, and Sandra Reid (Editors). Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle Publishers.


2003: Domínguez, Silvia and Celeste Watkins. “Creating Networks for Survival and Mobility: Social Capital Among African-American and Latin-American Low-Income Mothers.” Social Problems 50(1): 111-135.

-Honors:   Finalist, Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research, Center for Families at Purdue University and the Boston College Center for Work and Family, 2005.  Honorable Mention, Section on Race, Gender, and Class Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Article Award, American Sociological Association, 2005.


2001: Watkins, Celeste.  “A Tale of Two Classes: Socio-Economic Inequality Among African- Americans Under 35.” Pg 67-85 in The State of Black America 2001.  New York: National Urban League.

-Reprinted: Race and Ethnicity in U.S. Society:  The Changing Landscape.  Elizabeth Higginbotham and Margaret L. Anderson (Editors).  Belmont, CA:  Thomson Wadsworth Press. 2005.


2000: Watkins, Celeste.  “When a Stumble is Not a Fall: Recovering from Employment Setbacks in the Welfare to Work Transition.”  Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy 6(1): 63-84.




2019: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste “What Jonathan Van Ness’s Story Teaches Us About the H.I.V. Epidemic.” New York Times OpEd, September 24, 2019.


2019: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “Interview on Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality.” SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. Forthcoming.


2016: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “Symposium Introduction: The Asian American Achievement Paradox.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 39(13): 2370-2371. Invited Contribution. 


2016: Brewer, Rosalind, Romie Tribble, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, and Mary Schmidt Campbell. “Anatomy of a Search: Four Key Players in the Spelman Presidential-Search Process Reflect on What Went Right.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. April 6, 2016. 


2015: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “The Pick and the Process: Leading a Presidential Search in the Digital Age.” Cover Story - Trusteeship Magazine. Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities. 


2014: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “The Immorality of Evading the Nanny Tax.” The Atlantic. March 26, 2014.    


2013: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “Government Already Has Tools Available.” The New York Times. October 1, 2013. 


2013: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “The Supreme Court's Critical Call on Prostitution and HIV.” The Atlantic. June 25, 2013. 


2013 Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “The Power of the Prenup: Let's Broaden This Discussion.” The New York Times. March 21, 2013. 


2013: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “No More Working at Home: Is It the End of the Smart Mom?” Al Jazeera English. March 5, 2013.  

2012: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “Ending the AIDS Epidemic.” Need to Know on PBS Commentary.

November  26,  2012. 


2012: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “How Neighborhoods Can Help Poor Black Women Fight AIDS.” Scholars Strategy Network Policy Brief. 


2012: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste, LaShawnDa Pittman, and Jean Beaman. “‘Dying From’ to ‘Living With’:  Framing Institutions and the Coping Processes of African American Women Living with HIV/AIDS.” Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research Working Paper 12-01.


2011-2012: Guest Blogger, “Off the Grid.” Chicago Magazine.

  • “Betwixt and Between: Middle Class Women Living with HIV/AIDS,” January 22, 2012.
  • “Brian Babylon and Comedy as a Social Science,” December 21, 2011.

  • “Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Post-Racial America,” December 14, 2011.

  • “HIV/AIDS and the 99 Percent,” December 2, 2011.


2009: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste.  Review of Two-Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Frontstage

by Leslie Houts Picca and Joe R. Feagin.  Social Forces 87(4): 2183-2185.


2008: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste. “What Obama Really Means for Black America and Beyond.” Women’s Media Center Commentary. November 21, 2008. 


2008: Watkins-Hayes, Celeste.  “The Social and Economic Context of Black Women Living with HIV/AIDS in the US:  Implications for Research.”  Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research Working Paper 08-06.


2006: Watkins, Celeste.  Review of The Cost of Being Poor: A Comparative Study of Life in Poor Urban Neighborhoods in Gary, Indiana by Sandra L. Barnes.  American Journal of Sociology. 111(6): 1987-1989.


2006: Watkins, Celeste. “It’s Not Just About the Money: Governmentality and Resistance in Post Reform Welfare Offices.” Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research Working Paper 06-17.


2005: Comfort, Megan and Celeste Watkins.  “HIV/AIDS among People of Color:  Think Local, Not Just Global.”  Institute for Policy Research News.  Northwestern University.  27(1).


2000: Watkins, Celeste.  “Dashed Expectations: Organizational Dilemmas and the Pitfalls of Self- Esteem Training in Welfare-to-Work Programs.”  Unpublished manuscript.

-Awards: Honorable Mention, ASA Section on Community & Urban Sociology Student Paper Competition, 2000.


Projects Currently Funded:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Co-Investigator (PI: Amelie Petitclerc). $250,000. Funding period: 11/15/2019 – 11/14/21. Understanding How Justice-Involved Parents Navigate Income-Support Programs. 


National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Co-Investigator (R01 PIs: Newcomb & Mustanski). $353,610. Funding period: 09/01/2018 – 08/31/22. Characterizing PrEP Adherence and Patterns of Use in a Diverse Community Cohort of Young Men. 


Projects Previously Funded:

National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award. $411,473. Funding period: 9/1/09-8/31/15. Resource Attainment and Social Context in Negotiating Illness among Marginalized Populations.


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. $323,526. Funding period: 7/1/09-6/30/14. Health, Hardship, and Renewal: Economic Survival Strategies among Black Women Living With HIV.


National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship. 24 months of salary, $19,000 research grant, and

$10,000 host institution allowance. Funded sabbatical leaves in 2005-06 (University of Michigan – Ann Arbor) and 2007-08 (University of Chicago). The Incomplete Revolution: Dynamics of Organizational Change in Welfare Offices.


Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, HIV-Prevention Research in Minority Communities Collaborative Program Pilot Study Grant. 6 weeks of salary for 3 summers, $25,000 seed grant. 2004-2008. Sister to Sister: An Ethnographic Study of the Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS for African American Women.



Department of Sociology Graduate Mentoring Award, Northwestern University, 2019

E. LeRoy Hall Award for Excellence in Teaching, Northwestern University, 2017-2018 (highest teaching 

award bestowed by the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences)

Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll, Northwestern University, 2015-2016, 2004-2005

Department of African American Studies Distinguished Teaching Award, Northwestern University, 2016, 2007, 2004

The Phi Beta Kappa Society, Spelman College, Alumnae Initiate, 2014

The Jacquelyne Johnson Jackson Early Career Award, Association of Black Sociologists, 2013

Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellowship, The OpEd Project and Northwestern University, 2012

Department of African American Studies Distinguished Service Award, Northwestern University, 2010 

Honoree, YWomen Leadership Awards, YWCA Evanston/North Shore, 2010

Honoree, Chicago Top 40 Game Changers Under 40, Ariel Investments and Urban Business Roundtable, 2010

Honoree, New Vision of Hope Foundation Annual HIV/AIDS Benefit Gala, 2010

Blue Diamond Woman of Excellence, Spelman College National Alumnae Association, Chicago Chapter, 2009

Nominee, Clarence Ver Steeg Graduate Faculty Award, nominated by sociology graduate students, 2008-2009

Visiting Scholar, University of Chicago, Department of Sociology, 2007-2008

Visiting Scholar, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty, 2006

Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, declined, 2005-2006

Northwestern University Dissertation Fellow, 2002 – 2003

Robert W. Hartley Dissertation Fellowship, The Brookings Institution, in residence 2001-2002

Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Fellowship, 1999-2002

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, 1996-1999

Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society Graduate Award, 1996

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Summer Fellowship, 2000 

YWCA Distinguished College Women of America Honoree, 1995




Epidemics of Inequality: Sociological Dimensions of the HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 (undergraduate course)

Interview Methods (graduate course)

Theorizing Black Genders and Sexualities (graduate course)

The Sociology of HIV/AIDS (undergraduate course)

American Society (undergraduate course)

Social Inequality: Race, Class, and Power (undergraduate course)

Introduction to African American Studies (undergraduate course) 

Introduction to Black Social and Political Life (undergraduate course)

Race, Sexuality, and Representation: HIV/AIDS in Black America (undergraduate course)

Controversial Blackness (undergraduate seminar that includes 3-event speaker series)

Race, Poverty, and Public Policy in America (graduate, advanced undergraduate, or first-year seminar) 

Race, Class, and Gender (graduate course, undergraduate seminar)

Families, Inequalities, and Social Policies (graduate course)

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