John Wallace Named Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Development

June 26, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, we have been conducting an internal search to identify two individuals to serve as vice provosts after Laurie Kirsch steps down as Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Development, and Diversity, a role in which she has excelled since 2013, at the end of June.

Today, I am delighted to announce that John Wallace, David E. Epperson Endowed Chair in the School of Social Work, has been named Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Development, effective July 1, 2020. In addition to this role, he will continue his research as an endowed professor in the School of Social Work, with secondary appointments in the Katz Graduate School of Business, and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Department of Sociology.

John brings extensive and exceptional service as professor, researcher, nonprofit leader, and social entrepreneur to his new position, and this outstanding breadth of experience provides a unique footing from which to pursue the responsibilities of Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Development.

John has publicly stated his passion for the three E’s—education, employment, and entrepreneurship—and focuses his work on ESTEAM (entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math) education for young people, youth unemployment and economic development in low-income African American communities, and the creation of social enterprises to address food access and insecurity.

In addition to research on adolescent problem behaviors, comprehensive community initiatives, social entrepreneurship, and the role of faith-based organizations in community revitalization, John has actively honed his expertise in the areas of community organizing, community-based participatory research, health and health disparities, race and diversity, and urban neighborhoods.

John has put his knowledge and skills to work through funded projects such as The Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh program which included projects such as Pitt-Assisted Communities and Schools (PACS); Healthy Living, Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives; and Homewood Children’s Village, among many others.

As a result of his vast body of work, Research on Social Work Practice ranked John at #5 for scholarly productivity among African American faculty at the top 25 Schools of Social Work. His research has been published in numerous professional journals, books and monographs.

Additionally, John’s fellow scholars, researchers, and practitioners at the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare recognized his excellent and important work in advancing social good by electing him as a fellow of the academy.

John has received the BMe Leadership Award from African American Male Social Entrepreneurship, the Martin Luther King Distinguished Individual Leadership Award from CORO Pittsburgh, the Racial Justice Award from the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, and the Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award from the Urban Affairs Association and Sage Publications, among many other honors and achievements.

On top of his academic work, John serves as senior fellow for research and community engagement for the Center on Race and Social Problems, as well as on the Plan for Pitt Strategic Planning Committee, the Pittsburgh Task Force on Public Algorithms, the Pitt Homewood CEC Community Advisory Committee, and both the Community Organization and Social Administration Committee and the Tenure and Promotion Committee in the School of Social Work. He is also the senior pastor of Bible Center Church, located in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood.

John holds professional memberships in the Black Administrators, Researchers and Scholars and the Society for Social Work Research, is a participating member of the Allegheny County COVID-19 Equity Advisory Committee and the Homewood-Brushton Business Association, and sits on the boards of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, Homewood Children’ Village and Operation Better Block.

Previously, John has served as scientific advisor for the Center for Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence at the Search Institute, as non-resident fellow in the Center for Religious Inquiry across the Disciplines at Baylor University and in the Center for Research on Religion in Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania, and in various faculty and research roles at the University of Michigan.

John received both his doctorate and his master’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan and his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. He has also completed the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, the Lean Launch Pad Entrepreneurship Educators Program, and the NIH Summer Institute on Community Based Participatory Research Targeting the Medically Underserved.

I sincerely thank the search committee for its diligent work—chaired by Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Joseph McCarthy—and I look forward very much to welcoming John to the Office of the Provost.



Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh