Political science expert emphasizes importance of social sciences in addressing pressing issues such as public health and climate change
Magda Hinojosa, professor and director of the School of Politics and Global Studies, has been appointed dean of social sciences for The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.
“There was a robust national search for this important deanship, and Professor Hinojosa stood out because of her vision for the social sciences,” said Ayanna Thompson, co-chair of the social sciences search, Regents Professor of English, and director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. “She will lead with clarity and compassion.”
In her new role, Hinojosa will oversee nine transdisciplinary schools, five centers and many degree programs, which serve thousands of students studying everything from interpersonal communication, political science and urban planning to transborder studies, economics and human evolution.
“The knowledge that is created in the disciplines of social sciences is vital to our understanding of the world, our role in it and how we can solve its most pressing challenges,” said Nancy Gonzales, executive vice president and university provost. “Given her deep experience as a leader and educator at ASU and the global scope of her research, I am confident that as dean, Magda will continue to advance a robust and diverse academic community that is a model for social sciences education and scholarship in higher education.”
In 2007, Hinojosa joined ASU as a faculty member in the School of Politics and Global Studies. Since then, she has held many roles and administrative appointments, including interim director, associate director of undergraduate studies and director of graduate studies in the school, and served as a dean’s fellow in The College.
“Director and Professor Magda Hinojosa is an outstanding selection to advance the social sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said Patrick Kenney, dean of The College. “She has the experience and leadership working with the chairs and directors of the many and complex units in the social sciences. I am confident that as dean, she will help drive transformative and interdisciplinary research, teaching and service in our college.”
Hinojosa received her master’s and doctorate degrees in political science from Harvard University and her bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin.
“The social sciences are positioned to address some of the most pressing issues facing not just the country, but the globe — from disparities in public health outcomes to ongoing crises caused by climate change,” said Hinojosa. “We are already doing amazing work within the division. I am excited to communicate our contributions, to increase our visibility and to make clear the role of the social sciences to the most important issues in the world today.”
Her research focuses on women’s political representation in Latin America, with her most recent book (co-authored with ASU Professor Miki Caul Kittilson), “Seeing Women, Strengthening Democracy: How Women in Politics Foster Connected Citizens,” detailing how having women in political office affects citizens' political engagement. Hinojosa is also the author of “Selecting Women, Electing Women: Political Representation and Candidate Selection in Latin America” and numerous journal articles and popular press pieces.
“My vision for the social sciences is centered on impact. We can augment our division’s impact by making a more significant commitment to interdisciplinary work, not only within the division but outside of it, by collaborating with engineers and artists and chemists,” she said. “This interdisciplinarity won’t just accelerate ASU’s position on the cutting edge of important research, but it also places the social sciences at the nexus of results-oriented, use-inspired research.”
Top photo: Magda Hinojosa has been appointed dean of social sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. Photo by Meghan Finnerty/ASU