Dr. Ernest Gonzales Named James Weldon Johnson Professor
NYU Silver Associate Professor, Director of the MSW Program, and Director of the Center for Health and Aging Innovation Ernest Gonzales has been appointed by NYU Interim Provost Gigi Dopico and Vice Provost Charlton McIlwain as a James Weldon Johnson Professor. A noted scholar in the areas of productive aging, health equity, discrimination, and social policy, Dr. Gonzales’ research advances understanding of the relationships between healthy aging, social determinants of health, productive activities, and intergenerational contexts.
NYU’s James Weldon Johnson Professorship was established in 2020 in honor of the University’s first Black professor, whose accomplishments include being a civil rights activist, writer, composer, politician, educator, lawyer, and one of the leading figures in the development of the Harlem Renaissance. Recipients are selected by a distinguished faculty panel across the university and are chosen for the positive impact of their work on society. The Professorship offers $25,000 per year for three years in research support while the named title continues for the duration of the faculty member’s career at NYU.
“This Professorship is a tremendous honor because it resonates with my professional and personal values of equity,” said Dr. Gonzales. “Professor Johnson’s work and legacy is inspiring and I am incredibly humbled to carry a professorship in his name.”
In addition to his roles at NYU Silver, Dr. Gonzales is the Co-Lead of the Grand Challenges for Social Work’s Advance Long and Productive Lives initiative and is a Senior Fellow of the NYU Aging Incubator, a university-wide initiative bringing together faculty and students from across NYU from all disciplines who are involved in the study of aging and its impact on society. He also served on the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering (NASEM), Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE), Committee on Understanding the Aging Workforce and Employment at Older Ages.
A first-gen, gay, Latinx gerontologist, Dr. Gonzales’ research has been supported by public and private funders, including the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institute on Aging, U.S. Social Security Administration, AARP Foundation, and Fan Fox and Samuels Foundation. He has been published in leading scientific journals and has been invited to review grants for the National Institute on Aging, as well as other international federal agencies. He is a member of the Sloan Research Network on Aging & Work, Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), the Association for Latina/o Social Work Educators, and Gerontological Society of America.