Skip to main content

Welcome, the Hub connects all projects

NSF News

Cora Marrett to Become Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources at NSF


New AD has expertise in sociology and broadening participation of under-represented groups

Cora B. Marrett, the University of Wisconsin's senior vice president for academic affairs, has been appointed assistant director for the Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation (NSF). She assumes the post Feb.1. 2007.

Marrett, who was assistant director for NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) in the 1990s, will lead the NSF's mission to achieve excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels and in both formal and informal settings.

EHR's mission is to support the development of a diverse and well-prepared workforce of scientists, technicians, engineers, mathematicians and educators and a well-informed citizenry that has access to the ideas and tools of science and engineering. The purpose of these activities is to enhance the quality of life of all citizens and the health, prosperity, welfare and security of the nation.

"We're thrilled to have Dr. Marrett join us at NSF again at this critical time in our agency's mission," said NSF Director Arden Bement. "Leadership in STEM education at NSF is immensely important, and the agency is fortunate to have a professional such as Dr. Marrett leading EHR."

Marrett served as UW's senior vice president for academic affairs for six years. Her NSF position in Arlington, Va., will be in conjunction with the UW-Madison Department of Sociology, where she will remain a tenured faculty member.

In 2005, she received the Erich Bloch Distinguished Service Award from the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network, given annually to an individual who has made singular contributions to the advancement of science and to the participation of groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Prior to her appointment at the UW System, Marrett served as senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst for four years. She was a member of the UW-Madison faculty from 1974 to 1997, with appointments in sociology and Afro-American studies. Marrett advanced from associate professor to full professor and was associate chairperson of the Department of Sociology (1988-1991). She was affiliated with the Energy Analysis and Policy Program and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

From 1992-1996, she served at NSF as the first SBE assistant director. She received the NSF's Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in developing new research programs and articulating the scientific projects of the directorate.

From 1990-1992, she held a half-time appointment while serving as director of two programs for the United Negro College Fund under a $2.4 million grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. In 1976-1977, Marrett was on leave as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in California.

Prior to joining the faculty at UW-Madison in 1974, Marrett was an assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina (1968-1969) and an assistant and associate professor of sociology at Western Michigan University (1969-1974). From 1973 to 1974, she was a senior policy fellow at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Marrett holds a B.A. degree from Virginia Union University (1963), and M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. (1968) degrees from UW-Madison, all in sociology. She received an honorary doctorate from Wake Forest University in 1996, and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998 and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1996. She is widely published in the field of sociology, and has held a number of public and professional service positions.