Skip to content

2010 Dean’s Award: David Brady

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring

David Brady received his B.A., cum laude, in Sociology from the University of Minnesota in 1994, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Indiana University in 1997 and 2001, respectively. While pursuing his master’s degree, he also participated in the Executive Training Program at the London School of Economics and earned a certificate in Higher Education and Pedagogy at Indiana University.  He joined the faculty at Duke in 2001, and has been the director of the Duke University Center for European Studies since 2008, as well as holding a secondary appointment with the Sanford School of Public Policy. Professor Brady’s research focuses on poverty across demographic groups, the sources of poverty and inequality, and the consequences of globalization. Professor Brady’s nominators attest to his energetic cultivation of student success, offering them thoughtful feedback, extensive collaboration opportunities, and active assistance in their professional development.

Professor Brady mentors, respects, and aids students in ways unmatched by others . . . . He consistently takes a strong interest in the work and morale of students . . . . In Professor Brady I have found not only a mentor but also an advocate and colleague . . . . He has also cultivated in me an increased confidence in my ability to collaborate with scholars outside public policy departments.

Another nominator lauds him for his accessibility, both in terms of substantive written feedback and hands-on mentoring.

He always gives feedback in a timely manner, and his comments are consistently thoughtful, candid, and constructive. Professor Brady goes out of his way to be accessible. He is not only readily available for meetings in person, but he also makes himself available by telephone and responds quickly to emails . . . . In preparation for a conference, he showed me an effective way to present information graphically on a poster. He helps me think through the theoretical framing of my research projects and interpret the statistical results. In these ways, his mentorship continually helps me master the content and skills of sociology as an academic discipline.

Additionally, Professor Brady steers students toward appropriate venues for professional and career development.

Professor Brady often sends me e-mails about opportunities to further my professional development, such as conferences, talks and lectures, visiting scholars I should meet with, and other happenings regarding the American Sociological Association.

Professor Brady continually provides excellent career guidance by recommending ways to best situate my research projects into a more cohesive agenda, while maintaining a level of productivity to best position myself on the job market . . . . Moreover, his guidance continually helps refine my vague career ideals into concrete, achievable criteria for future success.

Students also enjoy the benefits of collaboration with him, which often yields publishable work.

Professor Brady’s support and encouragement with my class research project enabled me to submit the work to an academic journal. Moreover, Professor Brady suggested that I present the results of this project at an upcoming conference; further evidence of the ways in which he has encouraged my professional development.

Since 2006, Professor Brady has co-authored eight different publications with graduate students . . . . with another four works in progress co-authored with current graduate students. I believe it is especially impressive that [he] has devoted such energy to collaborating with graduate students—many of whom are not his formal advisees—as he progressed to the rank of Associate Professor.

Professor Brady’s energetic enthusiasm extends even to the departmental summer softball team, where he is described as “a lively second baseman,” who mentors between innings and “likely fields more questions from graduate students than he does ground balls.” Professor Brady generously takes every opportunity to cultivate and guide his advisees and other graduate students, and, as his nominations for this award demonstrate, his high esteem for them is clearly returned in full measure.