Dr. LaShawnDa Pittman is an Assistant Professor in the American Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Washington (UW).  She received her Ph.D. in Sociology at Northwestern University.  Before coming to the UW, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Poverty Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University.  In 2011, she completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Research and Training Program on Poverty and Public Policy at the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

Dr. Pittman is currently focused on three distinct, but interrelated aspects of grandparent caregiving. She was recently awarded a Simpson Center Society of Scholars Fellowship, Royalty Research Fund, and a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for junior faculty to complete her book manuscript, "Black Grandmothers from Slavery to the Present." Her scholarship has been published in The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, Social Science and Medicine, and Women, Gender, and Families of Color.  Dr. Pittman’s research on grandparent caregiving and African American families has also been featured in the following edited volumes: Relational Poverty Politics!, Health Care for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Across the Lifespan, and The African American Experience: Psychoanalytic Perspectives. Several institutions have funded Dr. Pittman’s work, including the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Northwestern University, Hiram College, and the University of Washington.She is also working on a project that examines and intervenes on the health disparities experienced by grandparent caregivers and uses social and biomedical science approaches. 

Dr. Pittman received her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Connecticut.  She earned a B.S. in Urban Government Administration from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.  Her other research interests include social stratification and inequality; urban poverty; race and ethnicity; gender and families; research methods; public policy; and health disparities.