Dr. Ananya Roy, Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning, has been appointed the inaugural chairholder of the Blum Center Distinguished Chair in Global Poverty and Practice.
This distinguished chair, endowed by a $1.5 million anonymous gift and matched by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, was created to recognize and support the work of a faculty member making a major and sustained contribution to the educational programs at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, especially the center's undergraduate minor degree program in global poverty and practice. As the Blum Center's education director, Professor Roy leads a faculty committee that envisioned and steers this innovative and inspirational minor in global poverty and practice. Launched in 2007, it is now the largest minor on campus, with nearly 400 students currently enrolled and 230 alumni. The minor explores the ethics of global citizenship and the role that UC Berkeley undergraduates play in understanding and addressing some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. Students from a wide variety of disciplines undertake the minor to complement majors ranging from economics to engineering to public health, and to participate directly in poverty alleviation efforts in over 50 countries.
Beyond her teaching, Professor Roy is an engaged scholar confronting the very issues she discusses in the classroom. Her publications include Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (2010) and Calcutta Requiem: Gender and the Politics of Poverty (2003), which was named one of the best books of 2003 by The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and Humanities.
Professor Roy's contributions to UC Berkeley are widely acknowledged. This year, she was recognized by the California Alumni Association for her achievement as a university teacher and scholar in the decade since she completed her doctorate. Prior awards include the student-initiated Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching, the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Distinguished Faculty Mentorship Award from the Graduate Assembly, and the Prytanaen Faculty Award from the oldest women's honor society in the United States.