National philanthropy expert Patricia Snell Herzog has been selected as the first person to hold the Melvin Simon Chair in Philanthropy at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

This semester she will teach and conduct cutting-edge research at the school to educate future philanthropy and nonprofit leaders and to increase the understanding and impact of philanthropy. An associate professor of philanthropic studies, Herzog currently teaches an undergraduate course on philanthropy and the social sciences, which introduces students to the approaches that disciplines such as sociology and data science bring to the study of philanthropy and its role in promoting social justice and civil society, including intersections with important social issues, such as race, class, gender, youth and religion.

Her interests include charitable giving, youth and emerging adults, and religiosity. Her research focuses on how people are shaped by and shape their organizational contexts, with particular emphasis on understanding voluntary participation in religious and charitable organizations, as well as generational changes in organizational values. With the rise in availability of, and organizational attention to, so-called big data, Herzog is also interested in the social impact of data analytics, including philanthropy analytics and ethical decision-making in data-informed practices.

The endowed chair she holds was created by a gift to the school from philanthropist, community leader and Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Board of Visitors member Cynthia Simon Skjodt in honor of her father. Melvin Simon, co-founder and co-chairman of Simon Property Group, was an acclaimed philanthropy leader in Indiana and around the nation.

Herzog previously served as an associate professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for Social Research at the University of Arkansas. She earned her doctoral degree in sociology at the University of Notre Dame, while also serving as the assistant director for its Center for the Study of Religion and Society. She subsequently was a postdoctoral fellow with Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University.

Herzog’s scholarship has won multiple awards and grants, including the Distinguished Article award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Lilly Fellows Book Award for Souls in Transition: The Religious Lives of Emerging Adults in America (Smith and Snell 2009, Oxford University Press), and grant awards totaling more than $10 million from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, Lilly Endowment Inc. and the John Templeton Foundation.

With a commitment to outreach, Herzog has delivered numerous research-related talks to a variety of organizational audiences, and her research has received media attention from The New York Times, CNBC, ABC News, Seattle Times, The Atlantic, The Foundation Review, Philanthropy News Digest, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Nonprofit Times, and NPR.

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