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Marjorie S. Zatz's Biography

Vice Provost and Graduate Dean Marjorie S. Zatz is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Merced. Before moving to UC Merced in 2014, she was professor of justice studies at Arizona State University for 32 years. She held several administrative positions at ASU and served as program director for the Law and Social Sciences Program at the National Science Foundation while on leave from ASU from 2012-2014.

Zatz has published seven books and more than 50 articles and chapters on immigration policy; race, gender and juvenile and criminal court processing; Chicano gangs; and the Cuban and Nicaraguan legal systems. Her books include “Dreams and Nightmares: Immigration Policy, Youth and Families (University of California Press, 2015);” “Punishing Immigrants: Policy, Politics and Injustice (New York University Press, 2012);” “Images of Crime, Images of Color (3rd edition 2006, Oxford University Press);” “Producing Legality: Law and Socialism in Cuba (Routledge, 1994);” and “Making Law: The State, The Law and Structural Contradictions (Indiana University Press, 1993).”

Zatz is the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Hearst Foundations and the Council of Graduate Schools, among others. She was named one of the Top 35 Women in Higher Education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in 2019 and was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology the same year.

In addition, her research contributions have been recognized by numerous other awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on People of Color and Crime; the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime’s Scholar Award; the Western Society of Criminology’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Criminology; and the American Society of Criminology’s Herbert Block Award for service to the profession.

Zatz earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in Latin American studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a Master of Arts in sociology from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Ph.D. in sociology with a minor in Latin American studies from Indiana University.