Following the publication of their book, Gentrification Down The Shore, Guttman Urban Studies faculty Dr. Molly Vollman Makris and Dr. Mary Gatta released op-eds in The Progressive and ArcaMax, Politics section, on February 12, 2021. Based on research the co-authors conducted on Asbury Park, New Jersey, both articles respond to the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan for economic recovery during the ongoing pandemic. In “Rescue Our Cities and Towns” and “Commentary: Rescue our cities and towns,” the co-authors emphasize “long-term progressive planning… that means a continued focus on economic security for working families, fully funded public education, universal health care, and environmental and racial justice measures.” By calling for an “equitable and just” policy direction, Drs. Makris and Gatta assert that cities and towns throughout the United States “will need sustained support from the federal government to survive and thrive in a COVID-19 world.”
Dr. Makris, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Urban Studies, holds a Ph.D. in Urban Systems, with concentrations in Urban Educational Policy and the Urban Environment. Dr. Makris began her career as a social studies teacher in a public high school in New York City, later working for a nonprofit youth development organization. Her current areas of research are urban education reform charter schools, school segregation, privatization of public space, and gentrification. Dr. Makris won the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) Critics’ Choice Book Award and the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Book Award in 2016 for her first book, Public Housing and School Choice in a Gentrified City: Youth Experiences of Uneven Opportunity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Her newest book, Gentrification Down the Shore (Rutgers University Press), co-authored with fellow Guttman faculty Dr. Mary Gatta, was released in 2020. Her articles have appeared in the Peabody Journal of Education, Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of Cultural Geography, and Journal of Education Policy. Dr. Makris’ research and teaching have been featured in The Takeaway, The 74 Million, The Progressive, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Daily News, and Chalkbeat, to name a few.
Dr. Gatta joined Guttman’s faculty in August 2015 as Associate Professor of Sociology. Previously, she was a Senior Scholar at Wider Opportunities for Women in Washington DC; Director of Gender and Workforce Policy at the Center for Women and Work; and Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at Rutgers University. Dr. Gatta has served on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Labor and Workforce Development Transition Team and headed a series of evaluation of workforce and education programs for agencies including the US Department of Labor. Her latest book, Gentrification Down the Shore, written with fellow Guttman faculty Dr. Molly Vollman Makris, explores the connection between jobs, racial inequality, seasonal gentrification and the experiences of long-time residents in Asbury Park, NJ. In addition, Dr. Gatta is a leader in research related to job quality, such as workplace flexibility for low-wage workers, workforce development programs, and nontraditional job training for women. She is the author of several books, including Waiting on Retirement: Aging and Economic Insecurity in Low Wage Work; All I Want Is a Job! Unemployed Women Navigating the Public Workforce System; Not Just Getting By: The New Era of Flexible Workforce Development; and Juggling Food and Feelings: Emotional Balance in the Workplace. Dr. Gatta was also the editor of A US Skills System for the 21st Century: Innovations in Workforce Education and Development and has published numerous academic articles, policy papers, and op-eds.