Lisa Dodson is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School, Brandeis University and a (retired) Research Professor of Sociology, Boston College. Her research focuses on low-income women & children and social mobility. She specializes in research collaborations with community-based and national organizations that are committed to advancing policy and programs for low women, children and their communities.
The Ford Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kellogg Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have supported Dr. Dodson’s past research. Her work has been used by numerous popular and scholarly publications, including The New York Times, Huffington Post Live, The Boston Globe, Chronicle of Higher Education, The American Prospect, The Ed Show, Alternet, Scholars Strategy Network and Yes Magazine. In the past she has presented research findings in numerous US Congressional hearings and to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as academic, community, labor, and human service organizations around the country.
Dr. Dodson’s past appointments have included the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Departments of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Harvard University and the Radcliffe Public Policy Center. Her publications include two books and numerous research articles and public testimonials. Her most recent book, The Moral Underground: How Ordinary People Subvert an Unfair Economy (The New Press, 2010) is based on eight years of research that uncovered cross-class alliances and themes of American resistance in response to growing economic inequality and family care crises. Her earlier book Don’t Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor America (Beacon Press, 1999) integrated eight years of field-based research to uncover an alternative account of welfare reform, told from the perspective of hundreds of single mothers and their children.
Dr. Dodson holds a PhD in Social Research and Public Policy from Brandeis University and a Master’s Degree in Public Health focused on maternal and child health from Boston University.
Her most recent work has focused on social mobility policy and access to higher education for low-income parents and the effects on children. She is a member of the NCSPP advisory board and one of the first Advanced Scholars, developing the collaborative project, Families Climb Together, piloted at Portland State University. She is also co-chair of the 2018 Student Parent Symposium planning committee.
For more information about Dr. Dodson’s recent research on student parents visit: