Maureen R. Waller has been promoted to Professor of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. Professor Waller is a sociologist who studies families, poverty, and social policy. She received her PhD in Sociology from Princeton University. Before joining the PAM faculty, Professor Waller was a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.
Professor Waller’s research has used a mixed methods approach to examine social and policy issues which deeply impact the lives of poor families. This work draws on hundreds of qualitative interviews she conducted with low-income mothers and fathers as well as national survey and policy data to provide new insight into parents' experiences with fatherhood, marriage, coparenting, and the child support, welfare, family court, and criminal justice systems. One current project uses qualitative interviews and survey data to explore low-income, unmarried parents’ decisions to establish legal child support and parenting time agreements in family court. A second collaborative project uses multiple data sources to investigate whether fathers can reduce disparities in outcomes for low and high income children, and which social and economic policies are effective levers for supporting disadvantaged men's involvement. In other collaborative work, she is investigating how child support arrears and other forms of legal and household debt destabilizes disadvantaged families involved in both the criminal justice and family court systems. Funding for Waller's research has been provided by NICHD, NSF, NIFA (USDA), the WT Grant Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California, the Cornell Population Center, the Cornell Center for Social Sciences, and the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center.
She has taught the following courses at Cornell:
PAM 3120/ SOC 3150: Research Design, Practice and Policy
PAM 3350: Families, Poverty and Public Policy
PAM 4160/SOC 4160: The Ethnography of Poverty and Inequality
PAM 4950: Capstone Projects Course
PAM 6040: Qualitative, Survey & Mixed Method Approaches to Policy Research
Congratulations on this well deserved honor, Professor Waller!