College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Faculty > Faculty News & Announcements > cortelyou-lowery-2020-award-lecture

The 2020 Cortelyou-Lowery Award Recipient Announced and Award Lecture Presented

​​​​Dr. Fernando De Maio, Professor in the Department of Sociology, is announced the 2020 recipient of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ Cortelyou-Lowery Award. On the recommendation of the College Awards Committee, this award is given annually to an outstanding faculty colleague who has demonstrated sustained excellence in the College and University. In his 16 years as a tenure-line faculty member, the last nine of those at DePaul, Professor De Maio has demonstrated extraordinary commitment as a scholar, teacher and administrator.

Recognizing his achievements, the Cortelyou-Lowery Award was presented to Professor De Maio at the Autumn Quarter College-Wide Meeting on Friday, October 9, 2020, where Dr. De Maio also gave the annual Cortelyou-Lowery Award address.

The 38th Annual Cortelyou-Lowery Award lecture by Dr. Fernando De Maio


Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fernando earned his doctorate in the UK, at the University of Essex, in 2005. After teaching for several years in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology and the Latin American Studies Program at Simon Fraser University, he joined DePaul’s Sociology department in 2011 and was quickly tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2013. Fernando has taught a range of courses in his area of specialization, medical sociology, which includes the structural and social determinants of health, and the health effects of income inequality, immigration, and racism. He has also made significant contributions to instruction in the Master of Public Health program, particularly in the development of the new social epidemiology concentration. He joined the ranks of DePaul’s full professors in 2019.

During his time at DePaul, Fernando has contributed significantly at all levels of service, directing both the undergraduate and graduate programs in Sociology for full terms, and serving by dean’s appointment on the College Research Committee and by election to the College Committee on Curriculum and Programs.

A proponent of radical statistics, the notion that “statistical analysis can be used to not just describe the world, but to change it,” Fernando has amassed an impressive record of academic accomplishments with transformative value to Chicago communities. Winner of the Dr. Steve Whitman Research Award from the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group in 2019, Fernando has given more than sixty talks at the intersection of social justice and health equity—particularly in urban contexts—at local, national, and international conferences. He has been the principal or co-investigator on eighteen grants centered on local and global issues of health inequalities. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology, and since 2015 he has been Associate Editor of Health Sociology Review. His work has involved collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Argentina, the Pan American Health Organization, and locally, the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Sinai Urban Health Institute, where he was a visiting faculty fellow in 2019.

Fernando’s impact on research in the areas to which he contributes has been profound. He is the author or co-editor of five books, including Unequal Cities, forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press in 2021. The author or co-author of more than forty peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, Fernando has published in the most influential venues addressing social epidemiology, community health, and health equity, including Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, International Journal of Health Services, American Journal of Public Health, and International Journal of Epidemiology. In 2019, Fernando’s work appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, and earlier this year he became the first DePaul scholar to publish in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

That work, a call “to reimagine and redesign the health care delivery and education systems through a lens of health equity and racial justice,” represents the arc of his work to date and forecasts the promise of his continuing influence on the future of public health. Fernando continues in his role as Co-Director of the DePaul-Rush Center for Community Health Equity, which he co-founded in 2014, working closely with fellow co-directors, Dr. Raj Shah and Prof. Maria Ferrera. Most recently he was appointed Director of Research and Data Use at the Center for Health Equity of the American Medical Association.

Through teaching, research, and service across nearly 20 years in higher education, Fernando De Maio has exemplified a spirit of excellence through the intellectual rigor of his extensive scholarship; dedicated teaching; service to his department, our college, and the university; and his ongoing commitment to public health and social justice in Chicago and beyond. We are proud to honor him with the 2020 Cortelyou-Lowery Award.