Dr. Mazelis is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, where she was the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Program Coordinator, and an affiliated scholar at Rutgers-Camden’s Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE). She received her B.A. from Binghamton University of the State University of New York and her M.A. and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Mazelis teaches Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Theory, Social Stratification, and Urban Sociology. She was in the inaugural cohort of Civic Engagement Faculty Fellows and received a Chancellor’s Award for Academic Civic Engagement in 2012.
Dr. Mazelis specializes in the study of urban poverty and social ties, using qualitative interview methods to explore the meaning and understanding people have of their own situations. Her new book with NYU Press, Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties Among the Poor, is based on her research in Philadelphia. You can listen to her talk about her book in an interview with the New Books Network.
She has published on the views of welfare-reliant women (with coauthors Ellen K. Scott, Kathryn Edin, and Andrew S. London), in the volume For Better and For Worse (Russell Sage, 2001). She also co-wrote with the Census Bureau’s Laryssa Mykyta an article that appeared in Journal of Marriage and Family on the role of marital and relationship status in financial support from kin to new parents. The Routledge Handbook of Poverty in the United States (2015), includes three contributions by Mazelis: one on social ties among the poor; one, coauthored with President of Campus Compact Andrew Seligsohn, on the consequences of deindustrialization and neoliberalism in Camden, New Jersey, the poorest city in America; and one, coauthored with Rutgers alumnus Brendan Gaughan, on poverty stigma and Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. She authored an article on reciprocity among the poor (Journal of Poverty), and her work with Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Rutgers-Camden, is published in Urban Studies (and profiled in The Atlantic’s CityLab) and in Social Indicators Research.
Dr. Mazelis is currently engaged in two new research projects. One, “The Cost of a College Degree: How Students Pay for College, the Unequal Transition to Adulthood, and the Transmission of Inequality,” with collaborator Arielle Kuperberg, Associate Professor at University of North Carolina-Greensboro, is a mixed methods research project exploring the role of student loan debt in the college experience and future aspirations and expectations of graduating seniors, with a longitudinal component examining their transition out of college. The other, “Urban Gardens, Social Ties, and Community: Loud Successes, Quiet Failures,” with collaborator Bridget Costello, Associate Professor at King’s College, is a comparative study exploring the role of urban gardens in community cohesion and social capital in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Dr. Mazelis wrote for The Hill about how the stigmatization of poor people leads to punitive and wasteful policies
- Dr. Mazelis wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer about proposed 2019 budget cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Dr. Mazelis wrote about her research for Families As They Really Are, a project of the Council on Contemporary Families
- Dr. Mazelis was interviewed about her book for The Society Pages by the Council on Contemporary Families
- Dr. Mazelis was interviewed on This is the Zero Hour With RJ Eskow
- Dr. Mazelis was a guest on The 1A on National Public Radio
- Dr. Mazelis wrote for The Washington Post to counter the idea that poor people can escape poverty with the right mindset
- Dr. Mazelis wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer about the use of public space and neighborhood safety
- Dr. Mazelis was interviewed about her book for the New Books Network
- Dr. Mazelis wrote for Newsworks on proposed 2018 budget cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Dr. Mazelis was quoted in:
- Her research was profiled in Al Día
- Her research with Dr. Okulicz-Kozaryn was profiled here, here, and here
- Her book was discussed by the Center for Urban Research and Education