PAA’s Annual Meeting Featured Groundbreaking Population Research on Census 2020, Immigration, Migration and More

The Population Association of America (PAA), a leading non-profit scientific association dedicated to the study of human population change, recently held its annual meeting where over 2,400 scientists and renowned demographers unveiled new research exploring the most pressing societal issues of the day. Additionally, select leaders were honored with awards to recognize trailblazing work and leadership in the scientific community.

Theres no doubt in my mind that these awardees are the vanguards of their field, Casterline said. The recipients of these awards represent some of the best minds in demography and leaders in population science community, and they are doing work that is vitally important to the future of our society.

The following individuals were honored with awards by PAA during its Annual Meeting:

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii received the Excellence in Public Service Award which honors federal, state and local policymakers who have supported population research and the federal agencies that fund it. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Schatz has been a strong leader in support of funding agencies central to population sciences, including NIH, NCHS and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Margot Moinester, a Ph.D. student in sociology and a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, was presented the Dorothy S. Thomas Award for the best graduate student paper on the interrelationships among social, economic and demographic variables. The Award has been established by the Population Association of America (PAA) in honor of Dorothy S. Thomas, who was an American sociologist and economist and first female president of the American Sociological Association.

Kathleen Mullan Harris, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina “ Chapel Hill, received the Irene B. Taeuber Award, named after the first woman to be elected both the president and vice president of PAA. The award is presented biennially at the Annual Meeting in recognition of extraordinarily original and important contributions to the scientific study of population or for an accumulated record of exceptionally sound and innovative research. In her acceptance speech, Dr. Harris cited PAA as her intellectual community, noting how meaningful her peers and leaders are to her.

Sara McLanahan, a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University won the Robert J. Lapham Award, which biennially recognizes members of PAA who contributed to the population profession through the application of demographic knowledge to policy issues. The award honors the memory of Lapham, whose original research and his direction of the Demographic and Health Surveys Project advanced our knowledge of population processes.

Jennifer Glass, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin was given the Harriet B. Presser Award, which honors a record of sustained research contributions to the study of gender and demography. Harriet B. Presser was a sociologist, demographer and a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland, College Park department of sociology. She founded the first population center in the world, named The University of Maryland Center on Population, Gender and Social Inequality, and directed it from 1987 to 2002.

To learn more about PAA or the 2019 Annual Meeting, please visit


The Population Association of America (PAA) is a nonprofit, scientific, professional organization established in 1930 to support the scientific study of the human population. PAA members include demographers, sociologists, economists, public health professionals and other individuals interested in research and education in the population field. PAA membership has grown to 3,700 reflecting professional interest in the population field.

Lauren Horn
Sage Communications (For PAA)
[email protected]