Kristy Maher

Kristy Maher

Professor, Sociology

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Kristy Maher, Ph.D. is a Professor of Sociology. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University. Once graduating from Yale, she knew she wanted a career at a small liberal arts college like her undergraduate experience and came to Furman in 1993. Her main areas of interest include medical sociology, social determinants of health, and health disparities. She served as the Chair of the Sociology Department for six years and has directed study away programs for over a decade taking students to Southern Africa and Cuba to explore global health inequalities and most recently to Denmark to study happiness. Her most recent research is a qualitative evaluation of the impact of the Medical Legal Partnership on the lives of caregivers of pediatric patients. Dr. Maher currently serves as Prisma’s Health Science Center Director for Furman. In this capacity, she helps foster collaborative research between Furman faculty/staff and Prisma Health partners. In her spare time, she enjoys travel (on her last sabbatical she took a 150-day RV trip across the country) and when not in Greenville, she lives on an ostrich farm in Botswana with her husband.


  • 2006-07: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Career Advanced Planning Grant to fund full-year sabbatical leave
  • 2006: Freeman Foundation Award to study Traditional Chinese Medicine in Kunming, China
  • 2004: HRSA Grant to evaluate “Healthy Connections” Program
  • 2003: Fellowship at Dartmouth University on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project
  • 2002: Greenville’s Best and Brightest Under 35, Greenville Magazine
  • 2002: Lilly Foundation, “Theology and Vocation”, June 2001-June 2002, Furman University
  • 2001: Fullerton Foundation, “Genetics and Justice”, June 26-27, 2001, Davidson College
  • 2001: Interdisciplinary Fellow, Medical University of South Carolina, Institute of Human Values in Health Care
  • 2000: March of Dimes Grant to evaluate their “Babies and You” program
  • 1999: Furman Advantage Faculty Summer Stipend
  • 1998: Mellon Foundation Advanced Web Authoring Workshop
  • 1998: Connections: Women Leaders of the Upstate, participant
  • 1997: Mellon Foundation Introductory Workshop
  • 1997: Senior Order, Honorary Faculty Member
  • 1995: Pew Foundation Grant to integrate gender issue into Principles of Sociology course
  • 1993: Southern Connecticut State University, Sociology and Anthropology Department Outstanding Teaching Award
  • 1992: Yale University Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
  • 1988: Sociology Department Award, Rosabeth Kanter Fund
  • 1988: Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Catholic Honor Society
  • 1988: Valedictory Honors, St. Michael's College. Summa Cum Laude


  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • M.Phil., Yale University
  • M.A., Yale University
  • B.A., St. Michael's College


  • “Social Science and Humanities: Bridging Social Science and Humanities through Medicine” by Kristy Maher and Carmela Epright, in Sean O’Rourke and Margaret Oakes (editors), Engaging the Humanities, Sense Publishers of Rotterdam (under contract)
  • “Women as Patients” by Kristy Maher, in Laurel Peterson and Lisa Dresdner (editors), (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009
  • “Prescription Drugs, Medicare Part D” By Kristy Maher, in Howard B. Radest (editor), Biomedical Ethics: Humanist Perspectives, Volume 17 of Humanism Today, Prometheus Books, 2006, pp.229-233
  • “Physician Socialization and the Loss of Idealism” By Kristy Maher, The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, Volume 102, Number 3, April 2006, p.67-70
  • “Practicing Sociology as a Vocation” By Kristy Maher. In Explorations in Theology and Vocation. Edited by William E. Rogers. Center for Theological Explorations of Vocation. 2005
  • "The Status of Physicians in the 20th Century.” By Kristy Maher McNamara, The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, Volume 97, Number 12, December 2001, p. 522-525
  • “An Assessment of Extramural Activities that Encourage Support for the Liberal Arts.” By Kristy Maher McNamara and J. Daniel Cover, College Student Journal, Volume 33, Number 4, December 1999, p. 594-607
  • “Racial Issues in HealthCare”, a special issue of The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, Guest Editor, Kristy Maher McNamara, Volume 95, Number 3, March 1999, p. 85-126
  • “Racial Disparities in Health: A Sociological Analysis.” By Kristy Maher McNamara, in The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, Volume 95, Number 3, March 1999, p. 95-98
  • “Race, Class and Health.” By Kristy Maher McNamara. In Perspectives: Social Problems, edited by Robert P. McNamara. New York: Coursewise Publishing, 1999
  • “Elderly Women: Do They Suffer a Double Burden?” By Kristy Maher McNamara pp. 143-154 in Social Gerontology. Edited by David E. Redburn and Robert P. McNamara. Westport, CT: Auburn House,1998
  • “Women, Health and Medicine: A Sociological Perspective” by Kristy Maher McNamara, The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association, March 1998, 94(3):106-112
  • “The Viola Street Community: A Study in Change” by Robert P. McNamara, Kristy Maher McNamara and Maria Tempenis. Monograph submitted to the Greenville Urban League, June 1996.
  • The Urban Landscape: Selected Readings. 1995. Edited by Kristy Maher McNamara and Robert P. McNamara, New York: University Press of America
  • “Urbanism as a Way of Whose Life? The Role of Women in Urban Community Studies” by Kristy Maher McNamara in The Urban Landscape: Selected Readings. 1995. Edited by Kristy Maher McNamara and Robert P. McNamara, New York: University Press of America
  • “Sleeping in the Playtime of Others: The Effects of Shift Rotation Among Police Officers.” by Robert P. McNamara, Kristy Maher McNamara, and Wendy Riley. in Nicky Ali Jackson (ed.) Criminal Justice: Current Trends and Issues. 1995. New York: McGraw-Hill.