April 13, 2015

Laura Tach named 2015 William T. Grant Scholar

Laura Tach

Cornell sociologist Laura Tach joins four other professors nationally as 2015 William T. Grant Foundation Scholars, receiving a five-year, $350,000 award to fund research on U.S. families.

With a majority of American children being raised outside a nuclear family headed by two married, biological parents, Tach, assistant professor of policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology, will study how new nontraditional arrangements shape children’s well-being and experiences. She plans to analyze family settings by race and socioeconomic status, while also doing in-depth, qualitative interviews with multiple blended families living in New York state.

“This research will help us understand how inequality is reproduced across generations in nontraditional family settings,” Tach said. “This will help us design policies and programs that recognize and support the diverse needs of modern-day families. I am extremely grateful to the William T. Grant Foundation for making this research possible.”

Tach first began the work with seed funding from the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, performing a pilot study on parent-child relationships in nontraditional families.

A sociologist who studies urban poverty and family life, Tach recently co-authored the book “It’s Not Like I’m Poor: The Financial Lives of the Working Poor,” capturing low-income families thoughts on the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Launched in 1982, the William T. Grant Foundation scholars program supports professional development for promising early-career researchers in the social, behavioral and health sciences.

Ted Boscia is director of communications and media for the College of Human Ecology.