Ethnic GEM: Lacee Satcher


Boston College Assistant Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies Lacee Satcher has received the American Sociological Association Dissertation Award for “(Un)Just Deserts: Examining the Consequences of Economic, Social, and Environmental Disinvestment in the Urban South.”

Satcher’s dissertation focused on the concept of compounded disadvantages—a series of adverse circumstances, particularly in an urban area, that have a negative cumulative effect on those living in the area. She developed the term multiply-deserted areas, or MDAs, to describe neighborhoods that have a shortage of multiple social, economic, and health-related resources, specifically, the lack of affordable or good-quality fresh food, green space, and pharmacies. This term identifies historical processes of environmental racism and racial capitalism as catalysts for the emergence of MDAs. Satcher identified MDAs in cities across the South and demographic predictors for which neighborhoods are MDAs, and examined linkages between MDAs and health issues such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity.

Satcher, who earned a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, joined the Boston College faculty in 2021. She teaches Urban Sociology and Research Methods in Environmental Studies.

“I am so thrilled to be honored with this award,” said Satcher. “I am eternally grateful to the amazing students and faculty at Vanderbilt Sociology for shaping my Ph.D. journey, and I’m so happy that my new home, Boston College, is sharing in this proud moment.”

“I’m delighted for Professor Satcher,” said Sociology Department Chair Andrew Jorgenson, professor of sociology and environmental studies. “This is one of the most prestigious awards given in our discipline, and it is so well deserved!”

Founded in 1905, the American Sociological Association is the national professional membership association for sociologists and others who are interested in sociology. Its mission is to serve sociologists in their work, advance sociology as a science and profession, and promote the contributions and use of sociology to society.

The ASA Dissertation Award will be presented at the organization’s 117th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles on August 7.

Kathleen Sullivan | University Communications | July 2022


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