Pictured Dr. Chinelo L. Njaka and Dr. Jennifer Sims with Bookcover 

Photo Credit Paul Wright

UAH Assistant Professor Dr. Jennifer Patrice Sims has won the 2020 Stanford M.  Lyman Distinguished Book Award for her co-authored book Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future (Emerald Publishing, 2020). The award is given annually by the Mid-South Sociological Association (MSSA) to “honor MSSA members whose recently published work makes a significant contribution to the field of sociology.”

The Association held its annual conference virtually October 14-17. Dr. Andrea Hunt, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of North Alabama and Chair of this year’s Book Award Selection Committee, presented the award at a virtual ceremony Friday evening. Dr. Hunt noted that six books were nominated this year, which she said is the largest amount received in the last several years. She described the 2020 nominations as “very very competitive. The scores were very close. In fact, there was a 0.28 difference between the first and second place scores.”   

Speaking of Dr. Sims’ Mixed-Race in the US and UK specifically, Dr. Hunt quoted one member of the Selection Committee as saying the book “helps to open an emerging area in the study of race and demography and has created a new and interesting area for social scientists that will guide research for decades.”

Drawing on original data collected by Dr. Sims and her co-author, UK-based scholar Dr. Chinelo L. Njaka, Mixed-Race in the US and UK focuses on the census, racial identity, civil society, and everyday experiences at the intersection of race, gender, class, and sexuality. A methodological discussion of qualitative cross-national research practices is included at the end. The book is the second in Emerald Publishing’s Critical Mixed Race Studies series, and it is also the second to be recognized for excellence. Last year, the first book in the series, Black Mixed-Race Men: Transatlanticity, Hybridity and ‘Post-Racial’ Resilience by Dr. Remi Joseph-Salisbury, won the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize for the best first and sole-authored book within the discipline of sociology.

“I was so happy when Remi won the BSA book award last year,” Dr. Sims said, “And now for my and Chinelo’s book to be recognized by MSSA, it’s just so wonderful for the book series and for sociological research on mixed-race populations in general.” At Friday night’s virtual awards ceremony, Dr. Sims and Dr. Nkaja thanked the committee for the recognition of their work and expressed how honored and excited they were to receive to the award.

Dr. Sims has a BA from Hampton University, an MA from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, all in Sociology. She has authored several peer reviewed journal articles on topics of race, perception, and identity and has presented her research at regional, national, and international conferences. Since arriving at UAH in 2017, her research and teaching have been featured in media such as The Washington Post, Psychology Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and WHNT News 19 Huntsville.

For more information on the Department of Sociology and the research of Dr. Jennifer Sims, please contact soc@uah.edu