Dr. Pawan Dhingra (Ph.D. sociology) is Associate Provost and Associate Dean of the Faculty, Professor of American Studies, and former Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Amherst College. He also is Former Curator and Senior Advisor to the Smithsonian Institution’s Beyond Bollywood project. He is President of the Association for Asian American Studies. His areas of expertise include immigration, education, parenting, entrepreneurship, race and inequality, identity, and Asian America.
A multiple award-winning author, Dr. Dhingra’s most recent book is Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough (New York University Press, May 2020), which has been reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Library Journal, Choice; author Min Jin Lee; actor Maulik Pancholy; and many others. The book’s subject matter and Dr. Dhingra are featured in the Netflix documentary, Spelling the Dream, as well as in The New York Times, Time Magazine and elsewhere on extracurricular academics, childhood, parenting, schools, anxiety, academic competitions, Kumon, and the like. He recently appeared on Fox News and CNBC’s “Race and Opportunity in America to discuss race-conscious admissions in higher education.
Dr. Dhingra has been recognized in numerous academic and media outlets, including The New York Times, National Public Radio (All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Truth Be Told, regional stations), The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, PRI The World, Voice of America, Colorlines, Times of India, and many more. His public lectures include being a keynote speaker at the White House forum on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage, the Embassy of India in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian Institution, and more.
Before Amherst College, Dr. Dhingra was department chair and held tenured positions at Tufts University and Oberlin College, and was an Assistant Professor at Bucknell University. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University and a B.A. with Distinction and honors from Carleton College. Dr. Dhingra lives in Amherst, MA, with his wife and two sons. In his free time, he enjoys coaching soccer, cooking (especially breakfast foods, Tex-Mex, or something pseudo-healthy), trying an exercise fad, or telling his kids to turn off the television. He also enjoys teaching and the vigorous back-and-forth of classroom discussion.
Articles, Publications, and Appearances
- The Scripps Spelling Bee Is Broken. Please Don’t Fix It (New York Times, July 1, 2019)
Summer Tutoring Is Not the Solution to a Lost Year of Schooling (Time Magazine, July 28, 2021)
The most effective way to fight back against anti-Asian hate (CNN, March 21, 2021)
Racism is behind anti-Asian American violence, even when it’s not a hate crime (The Conversation, March 19, 2021; selected by The New York Times, Salon, and elsewhere)
- How the story of Kamala Harris upends the Asian American ‘model minority’ stereotype (CNN, August 19, 2020)
The difficult choice about hiring a tutor for your children (CNN, September 22, 2020)
Tutoring kids who don’t need it is a booming business in affluent areas where parents want to stack the deck (The Conversation, March 2, 2020)