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Humanities and Social Sciences Names Robert Hawkins Associate Dean for Academic, Faculty Affairs

The 1911 Building on NC State's North Campus

NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences has named Robert L. Hawkins associate dean for academic and faculty affairs, effective July 1. Hawkins will also join NC State with faculty rank as a professor in the School of Social Work. 

Currently, Hawkins serves as associate dean for academic and faculty affairs at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where he’s also the McSilver Associate Professor in Poverty Studies, an endowed professorship.

“With an impressive record of teaching, scholarship and administration, Robert has a wealth of expertise to help move our college forward,” says Deanna Dannels, dean of the college. “Robert’s extensive experience managing complex academic systems, forging partnerships, and advocating for diversity and social justice will be essential to developing academic solutions and opportunities that empower everyone in our community.

“I am more than thrilled to welcome Robert to NC State and look forward to his leadership as we grow the impact of our college on campus, across North Carolina and beyond.” 

Robert Hawkins.

Hawkins joined NYU in 2004 as an assistant professor before earning the McSilver Professorship in Poverty Studies. He went on to serve as assistant dean and director of undergraduate programs, and was named to his current position in 2020. 

At NYU, Hawkins has also served as the founding chair of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research; the director of the Restorative Justice Lab; a mentor for the Silver School Anti-Racism Peer Consultation program; and a faculty diversity search liaison for the NYU Provost Working Group. 

His accomplished career also includes previous roles as a clinical instructor, research associate and ethnographer for several prominent institutions.

“I am so very excited and honored to join the NC State community,” Hawkins says. “I am particularly excited about working with Dean Dannels and the faculty and staff in the college. The college’s commitment to creativity, innovation and diversity is inspiring. I look forward to building strong relationships, providing meaningful leadership, and returning to my home state.” 

Hawkins’ research explores complex poverty in the United States and globally, social capital use and development, race and social policy, community participatory research, and social policy analysis. He also has extensive programming, research and teaching expertise in the psychological impact of racism and poverty, human behavior, diversity, oppression, and privilege.

Among his many awards and recognitions, Hawkins was appointed to the Expert Working Group of the German Marshall Fund in the United States (2021); selected to receive the Sterling Network Fellowship for the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation (2019); the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award and Medal (2016); the NYU Silver School Distinguished Teaching Award (2015-16); the Dorothy Height Teaching Award for Distinguished Faculty (2010); the NYU Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Teaching Award (2008); and the National Institute of Mental Health Investigator Award (2005).

Hawkins, a North Carolina native, holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in social policy from Brandeis University, a Master of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts in speech communications from Appalachian State University.