Leslie E. Martin, Associate Professor of Sociology, received a Ph.D. (2003) in sociology from Emory University, an M.A. (1994) in urban studies from Temple University, and a B.A. (1989) in history from The College of William and Mary.
Dr. Martin’s areas of specialization include urban sociology, race/ethnic relations, welfare and poverty, and sociology of education. Her research focuses on issues of neighborhood, community change and attitudes about housing, including public debate and media coverage of affordable housing in growing urban areas. She teaches courses in social problems, urban sociology, sociology of education, social welfare, and a seminar on housing and society. Dr. Martin was awarded a 2011-2012 Mary Washington Faculty Development Grant for the project “Making Sense of Need: Organization Constructions of Homelessness and Solutions.”
Dr. Martin also has a research focus on homelessness. She has done research on homeless service organization, how homeless people perceive safety and access to public space, and is currently doing program evaluation of a permanent supportive housing program working with chronically homeless people. She has been awarded a Faculty Development Grant this summer for that program evaluation, an evaluation of the “Frequent Users Systems Engagement (FUSE)” program here in Fredericksburg. Also, with Eric Bonds (in sociology as well), Dr. Martin completed a research project on homeless peoples’ access to public space, which resulted in a co-authored article in Environmental Justice, and a presentation at the Urban Affairs Association.
In an interview on the “With Good Reason” public radio program, Dr. Martin discussed her research into government’s bias in favor of home ownership. In light of the home foreclosure crisis driving many Americans out of their homes, she suggested it may be time to rethink government efforts to promote homeownership. In addition, she recently published the article “Good Deals for Homebuyers, Not for the Poor: Erasing Poverty from Affordable Housing Discourse” in the Journal of Poverty (2011).
Dr. Martin is a member of the American Sociological Association and the Urban Affairs Association. Before she joined the UMW faculty in 2007, she was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boise State University. In addition to her research and academic work, Dr. Martin has served as a housing counselor for a fair housing organization and for an AIDS service organization prior to completion of her Ph.D. She also consulted on housing issues with city leadership in Boise, Idaho.
Her community activity includes service as a member of the grants committee and communications committee for the Fredericksburg Continuum of Care, a regional coalition of homeless service organizations. She has also served on George Washington Regional Commission’s Affordable Housing Task Force.