The Department of Sociology is pleased to announce that Nicholas Smith will be joining us as an Assistant Professor in fall 2023. "My colleagues and I are so thrilled that Dr. Smith will be joining our department as an Assistant Professor," writes Chair Jeff Lucas. "His research interests in medical sociology, racial disparities, and social networks both complement our department’s existing strengths and will bring exciting new directions in research and teaching to our faculty."
Smith was hired through a College of Behavioral & Social Sciences initiative intended to hire a cohort of racial inequality scholars. He will join a larger community of scholars in the college conducting fundamental research on inequities as they arise as a function of race, gender, sexual orientation, economic or immigration status, and the intersectionality of these and other identities. This cross-disciplinary group of researchers aims to develop a richer understanding of the social, economic, historical, political, and institutional factors underlying social justice and inequalities—and in particular racial inequalities—as well as their social, political, and personal consequences for the well being of individuals and communities.
Smith is no stranger to the campus, having double-majored in Sociology and Communications. Dr. Kris Marsh writes glowingly of his time at Maryland:

I am elated to call Nick Smith a colleague. As a professor, I garner inspiration from my undergraduate students, graduate students, colleagues and staff members. Nick Smith has been an inspiration to me since he was an undergraduate at UMD. His eagerness to learn, take on challenging statistical models, and embrace sociological knowledge with a smile and a pleasant disposition has been a staple in Nick's trajectory from my undergraduate student to an incoming Assistant Professor at UMD. I am inspired that of all the universities interested in Nick Smith, he stood confident, emphatic, and steadfast that family and being home was important to him. We are glad to have you at UMD, Nick Smith. And I am glad to have you back, Nick Smith. Welcome home!

marsh and smith at graduation
Nick Smith and Kris Marsh at the Sociology Department's graduation ceremony in 2016.

Smith, too, is excited to be joining his former mentors. Being able to return home and work at the University of Maryland is a dream come true," he writes. "Words cannot express how excited I am to join such a vibrant and collegial intellectual department, and build with supportive colleagues and brilliant students. I very much look forward to giving back to a campus community that has given so much to me.
Dr. Rashawn Ray, chair of the search committee, notes that Smith's "work on race, place, and health is forcing scholars to rethink how segregation impacts Black Americans." Smith's research spans three interrelated areas that lie at the intersections of medical sociology, social psychology, and race-ethnicity: (1) racial residential segregation and health, (2) stress-related mechanisms of health inequalities, and (3) social network activation during health-related crises. Smith employs multiple quantitative methods and leverages U.S. census and individual-level survey data. His research has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Horowitz Foundation. "Our department is delighted to have such an amazing scholar join the University of Maryland," writes Ray.
nicholas smith smiling in gray jacket