STEM Shoutout: Dr. Lisa Broidy

UNM sociologist promoted to rank of distinguished professor


The UNM College of Arts and Sciences recently promoted five UNM faculty to the rank of distinguished professor. Among them is Dr. Lisa Broidy, a professor of Sociology who is one of two women in STEM chosen for this distinction.


According to the College of Arts and Sciences, “Distinguished professor is UNM’s highest faculty title, awarded for contributions to the world through outstanding scholarship, through shaping the ideas of human discourse, and through service to their profession, the human community, and our university.”


“It is very humbling to be promoted to distinguished professor,” Broidy said. “I was hesitant to submit my materials, but am honored that my colleagues at UNM and the external reviewers who reviewed my materials supported my promotion.”


Broidy arrived at UNM in 1999 and has since spent seven years as director of both the UNM Institute for Social Research and the New Mexico Statistical Analysis Center. She also served as the graduate director for Sociology and is currently serving as department chair. 


Broidy said her research focuses on ways gender frames the structural, individual, and situational processes associated with violence and antisocial behavior. 


“My work contributes to the growing theoretical and empirical literatures that account for gender differences in criminal involvement while also recognizing the significant heterogeneity that characterizes women’s pathways into and out of crime,” Broidy said. “Specifically, I examine the relationship between gender and crime in both contemporary and historical contexts in the U.S. and cross-nationally.”


In investigating why women offend at much lower rates than men, Broidy said her work suggests that the structural and social contexts women navigate limit their opportunities and motivations for serious offending. 


“My work also examines the implications of these gendered processes for criminal justice policy and practice, particularly around female incarceration and domestic violence,” she said.


Currently, Broidy is working on multiple projects with colleagues locally, nationally, and internationally. These include projects looking at the impact of incarceration on mothers and their children, a project examining how adolescent females make decisions in response to teen pregnancy, and a project working with the New Mexico First Judicial District to develop a prosecution-led diversion program for youth and young adults that is sensitive to systemic inequalities. 


With colleagues in Australia, Broidy is using linked administrative data from multiple justice, health, and social service agencies to examine the overlap and timing of mental health service and criminal justice system contacts and how these vary by gender and ethnicity.


With regards to the future, Broidy said “I plan to do my best to continue engaging in the kind of scholarship and service that are worthy of this title.”