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Recognizing Transformative Work

Carolina faculty member awarded “genius grant”

McMillan Cottom

Carolina faculty member awarded “genius grant”

Tressie McMillan Cottom, sociologist, author and public scholar within the UNC School of Information and Library Science, was recently named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow.

The MacArthur Fellowship is a $625,000, no-strings-attached prize presented to “extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential.” Having received this fellowship, which is informally known as the “genius grant,” McMillan Cottom joins a cohort with a legacy of excellence that even includes Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, who was named a fellow nine years ago.

McMillan Cottom’s transformative work includes a recent book centered on Black women’s intellectual traditions and her current research regarding the ways in which digital technologies have transformed the public good and social institutions, especially as they relate to race, class and gender inequality.

“I want to say congratulations to fellow MacArthur grant winner Tressie McMillan Cottom,” said Guskiewicz. “Her work to shed light on inequality and reimagine how our society functions is incredible, and we are honored to have her at Carolina.”

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