Bonnie Thornton Dill was appointed dean of the University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities in 2011. She joined the university in 1991 as professor and served as chair of the women’s studies department for eight years.

As dean, Thornton Dill worked to increase support for and the visibility of arts and humanities research and scholarship; provide leadership for interdisciplinary initiatives within the college and across the campus; support student engagement with underserved communities; and increase the number of UMD’s national scholarship award recipients.

A pioneering scholar on the intersections of race, class and gender in the U.S. with an emphasis on African-American women, work and families, she is founding director of both the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis and the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at UMD. Her scholarship includes three books and numerous articles.

She is former president of the National Women’s Studies Association; former vice president of the American Sociological Association; and former chair of the Committee of Scholars for Ms. magazine.

She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in sociology and human relations, respectively, from New York University and her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Rochester.  

Areas of Interest

  • Intersections of race and gender
  • Black and Latina women in higher education
  • Work, family, and poverty


  • PhD
    1979, New York University
  • MA
    1970, New York University
  • BA
    1965, University of Rochester
Bonnie Thornton Dill
1102 Francis Scott Key Hall
Department of Sociology
btdill [at]