Dr. David May, Professor of Sociology, was the recipient of the 2020 Ralphe E. Powe Research Excellence Award, which is the University’s highest research honor. Dr. May has published nearly 100 articles, seven books, numerous book chapters, and presented over 100 papers at conferences, often with students. He has greatly contributed to published knowledge in the discipline of criminology in the region, the nation, and even around the world. Dr. May has also had much success in funded research as the PI or Co-PI on many federal and state funded awards. Finally, he has been elected to key leadership roles in academic societies, serving as the President of the Southern Criminal Justice Association in 2012-2013, and serving as an Executive Board member for three years prior for this group. Additionally, he consistently works both as a chair and member on graduate student thesis/dissertation committees and works with undergraduate and graduate students in the department on research projects.
Beyond making a difference to the academic discipline, the Powe Award is given to someone who goes above and beyond to make a difference in the community and through leadership. His work on school safety and community corrections has helped the communities of Mississippi and the nation. Dr. May assists the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District with ways to make things better for school-aged youth. He has presented his research and practical knowledge to community leaders on ways to help the school to prison pipeline less “leaky” and less direct. This includes a recent trip to Washington DC where he presented some of his ideas about ways to think about the school to prison pipeline and school safety issues more generally. His mentoring program with youth attending the local school district and his work with the Noxubee County transition center have made a significant difference.
The Department of Sociology congratulates Dr. May on this award and we thank him for being a wonderful researcher, faculty member, and community citizen.
Dr. Nicole Rader
Head and Professor of Sociology