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Ruby Mendenhall

Profile picture for Ruby Mendenhall

Contact Information

3073 Lincoln Hall
702 S Wright Street
Urbana IL 61801
M/C 454

Kathryn Lee Baynes Dallenbach Professorship in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Research Interests

Ruby Mendenhall is a Professor in Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She is also an affiliate of the Institute for Genomic Biology and the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.  In 2004, Mendenhall received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy program from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.  For her dissertation, Black Women in Gautreaux’s Housing Desegregation Program: The Role of Neighborhoods and Networks in Economic Independence, she used administrative welfare and employment data, census information, and in-depth interviews to examine the long-run effects of placement neighborhood conditions/resources on economic independence. 

Research Description

Mendenhall research focuseson issues of social inequality over the life course and the role of publicpolicy and individuals’ agency in facilitating social and economicmobility.  She uses quantitative andqualitative methods to analyze administrative welfare and employment data,census data, in-depth interviews, and focus group data.  Her multi-site research study, Investing in Enduring Resources using theEarned Income Tax Credit, examines how low- to moderate-income families usetheir EITC for social and economic mobility in Champaign and Boston.  She also does research on the GautreauxAssisted Housing Program in Chicago, which is one of the nation’s largestdesegregation programs.

Additional Campus Affiliations

Kathryn Lee Baynes Dallenbach Professor, Sociology
Professor, Sociology
Professor, African American Studies
Professor, Biomedical and Translational Sciences
Professor, Urban and Regional Planning
Professor, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Professor, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Recent Publications

Brown, N. M., & Mendenhall, R. (2023). Communal Conversations: Black Women World-Making Through Mentorship. Qualitative Inquiry, 29(6), 698-704.

Mendenhall, R., Lee, M. J., Cole, S. W., Morrow, R., Rodriguez-Zas, S. L., Henderson, L., Turi, K. N., & Greenlee, A. (2023). Black Mothers in Racially Segregated Neighborhoods Embodying Structural Violence: PTSD and Depressive Symptoms on the South Side of Chicago. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 10(5), 2513-2527.

Mendenhall, R., Shin, J. C., Adibu, F., Yago, M. M., Vandewalle, R., Greenlee, A., & Grigsby-Toussaint, D. S. (2023). Lessons (Not) Learned: Chicago Death Inequities during the 1918 Influenza and COVID-19 Pandemics. International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(7), Article 5248.

Bosch, N., Chan, A. S., Davis, J. L., Gutiérrez, R., He, J. R., Karahalios, K., Loui, M. C., Mendenhall, R., Sanfilippo, M. R., Tong, H., Varshney, L. R., & Wang, Y. (2022). Artificial Intelligence and Social Responsibility: The Roles of the University. Computing Research Association.

Bu, Q., & Mendenhall, R. (2022). Educating Latinx and African American Students in Charter Schools: A Comparative Study from Chicago. Education and Urban Society, 54(7), 771-796.

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