Skip to main
Headshot of Anna Gassman-Pines
Anna Gassman-Pines

Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Associate Professor of Public Policy and Psychology and Neuroscience


Anna Gassman-Pines is an associate professor of public policy and psychology and neuroscience and has been at Duke since 2007. Her mentorship has been significant in providing students consistent, in-person contact; encouragement; and networking. She was singled out, in particular, for her mentorship in support of minority and marginalized students. She has supervised 3 undergraduate honors theses, 13 master's projects, 4 Ph.D. dissertations and 1 poctdoc.

Gassman-Pines’s research examines the factors that influence the development of low-income children in the United States. She focuses on settings outside the family—low-wage workplaces, labor markets, interactions with social services—that affect parents and also spill over to affect children. Her most recent honors include the William Duncombe Excellence in Doctoral Education Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration; the Emerging Scholar award from Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse; and her inclusion as a participant in “Data-Intensive Research to Improve Teaching and Learning - An Ideas Lab to Foster Transformative Approaches to Teaching and Learning” by the National Science Foundation. Gassman-Pines’s research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, American Psychological Association, National Head Start Association, and National Institute of Mental Health, and various private foundations.


“For me the way that I’ve created inclusion goes back to the idea of valuing each student as an individual and understanding his or her own unique life experiences, perspectives, what he or she is bringing to the research enterprise, and really trying to demonstrate in all my interactions with students how much I value them as people. … I think we are, as faculty members, responsible for making sure the next generation of scholars is more diverse”

On a Guided Research Mentorship Approach 
On Mentoring the Next Generation of Scholars 


Excerpts from Gassman-Pines's Nomination

“My successful progress in my program can largely be credited to Dr. Gassman-Pines’s excellent mentorship. From the beginning of my time at Duke, she has made it clear that I can come to her with any questions about courses, approaching other faculty, and professional development.”

“By making race, ethnicity, and gender central aspects of her work, Dr. Gassman-Pines signals to students that the experiences of minority and marginalized groups matter in how we study and understand policies. While these issues are at the heart of many modern policy debates, few scholars critically engage in ways that contribute both scientifically and practically. Of all the professors and administrators with whom I have interacted, I cannot think of anyone who more closely exemplifies the spirit of mentorship.”

“As a woman, I cannot imagine a better role model of how to integrate family, personal wellness, and a successful career. Her passion and excitement about her research and the potential for that work to make a difference in people’s lives is infectious, but it is her grounding in her community and her family that inspires me most.”

“Anna always pushes her students to take more credit for the work they do. To own their expertise and own their status as colleagues, not just students.”