Anthony (Tony) Jack is a PhD. Candidate in Sociology and an Associate Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at Harvard University. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, he made the trek north and entered Amherst College as a first-generation college student in 2003. After four incredible years, Tony graduated from Amherst with a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and Religion cum laude in 2007. On the day of graduation, the New York Times published a front-page article and biographical essay chronicling his experiences before and at Amherst. In the subsequent year, he served as the Amherst College Alumni Fellow and began consulting with colleges, high schools, and enrichment programs that help academically talented, lower-income youth gain access to selective colleges and universities. He continues this work today.
At Harvard, Tony is interested in culture, race, education, inequality, and qualitative methods. More specifically, Tony researches the present-day experiences of lower-income undergraduates at elite colleges and universities in the context of more expansive race- and class-based affirmative action measures. His dissertation examines the experiences of lower-income undergraduates who enter college after graduating from boarding, day, and preparatory schools, those who he calls the Privileged Poor, and compares their experiences to their lower-income peers who travel the traditional path from local high schools to college, those who he calls the Doubly Disadvantaged. Although they share similar origins with respect to family and neighborhoods, Tony documents how they live ever-more divergent lives before entering college which, then, influences their transition and integration into college. In outlining this overlooked diversity, Tony sheds new light on how class and culture matter in college. Tony's research also examines how African Americans respond to racism and discrimination in their daily lives. His work appears in the Du Bois Review and Sociological Forum.
Tony holds fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and is a graduate student affiliate at the Center for American Political Studies. In addition to his academic work, Tony serves as a Resident Tutor in Mather House.
Outside of work, Tony enjoys rediscovering amazing shows via Netflix, walking along the Charles River, exploring cities through their culinary gems, escaping the real world through works of fiction from James Baldwin to J.K. Rowling, and documenting new adventures to places near and far through photography.