UMass Boston Sociology Professor Russell K. Schutt to Receive Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award at 2007 Commencement
making the world a better place through his research, Russell K. Schutt,
Professor of Sociology, will receive the 2007 Chancellor’s Distinguished
Service Award at the University of Massachusetts Boston commencement
exercises, to be held on campus Friday, June 1, at 10:00 a.m.
“Through his commitment to excellence, UMass Boston and service, he inspires
in others that it is possible to work harder to do more,” one nominator
wrote. “He embodies what it means to be a professor, but more importantly a
professor at UMass Boston –a place steeped in the community and public
“I am myself a graduate of a public urban university, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and I feel students at a school like ours deserve the best from their faculty and can achieve at the highest levels with the appropriate opportunities,” Schutt said. “I have been very committed to providing opportunities for our students to engage in the types of research projects that both allow them to develop their skills and interests and also provide meaningful service in the urban community.”
Schutt aims to make a difference by focusing on, among others, issues of housing and employment for the mentally ill and homeless. “All of his research is ‘applied,’ or service-oriented, guided by his background in organizational sociology, methodology and his commitment to making the world a better place,” one colleague said.
Acting on the advice of a panel directed by Schutt, the state Department of Public Health is working to improve the Women’s Health Network program that provides screening and referral services to low-income, underinsured and uninsured women at risk for breast and cervical cancer as well as cardiovascular disease.
Schutt is currently working with the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center on a project funded by the National Cancer Institute that focuses on the disparate rate of participation between ethnic groups in cancer clinical trials. He is also continuing to analyze and publish data from a research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health on homelessness and housing in Boston that began in 1990 at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.
Schutt has a passion for sociology because it can provide decision makers with information about the impact of and need for particular programs and policies. “In my belief, sociology provides a way of understanding and improving the world around us,” Schutt said.
As graduate program director, Schutt is credited with developing the Graduate
Program in Applied Sociology into what “may well be the best program in
applied sociology in the United States,” according to one academic reviewer.
As chair of the Department of Sociology, Schutt helped create the Criminal
Justice major, recruit new faculty, mentor existing faculty and lead a major
Off campus, Schutt has served as secretary to the Eastern Sociological Society, chair of the American Sociological Association’s MA-Level Certification Committee and as Associate Editor of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. He is also a lecturer on sociology in the Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School.
The author of Investigating the Social World: The Practice and Process of Research and of Organization in a Changing Environment, co-author of Responding to the Homeless: Policy and Practice, and co-editor of The Organizational Response to Social Problems, Schutt has authored or co-authored more than 50 articles and book chapters on topics including homelessness, mental illness, law, substance abuse and sociology.
Schutt earned a PhD from the University of Illinois, Chicago and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University.
Citation for Commencement 2007