David Cook-Martin, associate professor of sociology

Tuesday, May. 8, 2012 9:37 am

David Cook-Martín (2007). Associate Professor of Sociology. B.A., Wheaton College; M.A., University of Houston; Ph.D., University of California–Los Angeles.

David Cook-Martín joined Grinnell’s Department of Sociology in 2007 after two years as an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Irvine, and he rapidly distinguished himself as a teacher-scholar of high caliber. He teaches the full range of courses in his department, and is in high demand by Sociology majors as a faculty adviser. In the latter role he is noted for his meticulous attention to the full range of his students’ needs. He uses multiple pedagogical approaches in a single class session, with a focus on developing students’ quantitative literacy and their skill in building evidence-based arguments. He inspires students to pursue ambitious empirical research projects, and prepares them for success by teaching the mechanics of research alongside his attention to the content of their projects. Through this process he turns their attention to the importance of asking the right questions, as well as finding the correct tools for answering them. In teaching he is guided by the basic aphorisms “less is more” and “evidence matters.” His reputation among students is demonstrated by the fact that his courses are routinely oversubscribed.

Professor Cook- Martín’s colleagues remark on his rise as a leading scholar in international migration, the sociology of Latin America, and political sociology. His output since coming to Grinnell has been extraordinary: four articles, two book chapters, three book reviews, and a book forthcoming from Stanford University Press, The Scramble for Citizens and the Making of Dual Nationality. A second, dual-authored book, based on his NSF-funded collaboration, is also scheduled for publication. It examines interactions between classical political liberalism, repressive regimes, and the unexpectedly greater openness of the latter to immigration. His work, with its rigorously empirical study of dual nationality, changes our understanding of citizenship and of the competitive dynamics between nation-states. He was awarded a Harris Faculty Fellowship to pursue this research.

He has combined this remarkable scholarly productivity with exemplary service to the College and his profession, demonstrating a strong commitment to the future of Grinnell. Among other areas, he has served on the Curriculum Committee and has been a mentor and active promoter of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, along with other efforts to increase student diversity and achievement. Finally, he serves as a reviewer for eight top sociology journals, and is becoming recognized as a public sociologist through his editorials and invitations to speak as an expert commentator for Bloomberg and National Public Radio.