Tressie McMillan Cottom

Tressie McMillan Cottom reclines on one elbow and smiles at the camera.

Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom is an award-winning author, professor, and sociologist, whose work has earned national and international recognition for the urgency and depth of its incisive critical analysis of technology, higher education, class, race, and gender. Her most recent accolades include being named the 2023 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize by Brandeis University for her “critical perspective and analysis of some of the greatest social challenges we face today.” She is a principal investigator with CITAP, a New York Times columnist, and 2020 MacArthur Fellow. In 2023, McMillan Cottom ranked in the top 200 education scholars in the nation on Education Week's "2023 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings," an annual list published by American Enterprise Institute director of education policy studies and Education Week blogger Frederick M. Hess.

McMillan Cottom earned her doctorate from Emory University’s Laney Graduate School in sociology in 2015. Her dissertation research formed the foundation for her first book Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy.

McMillan Cottom’s most recent book, THICK: And Other Essays, is a critically acclaimed Amazon best-seller that situates Black women’s intellectual tradition at its center. THICK won the Brooklyn Public Library’s 2019 Literary Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 National Book Award in nonfiction.

research keywords: technology, race, class & gender | higher education | hustle economy