Dr. Sophia Krzys Acord joined the College of the Arts as Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Initiatives in July of 2021. She is responsible for overseeing research support, facilities, accreditation and reporting, and strategic planning for the college, and invites collaborative initiatives from across campus, regionally, and internationally.
Prior to 2021, Acord served as the first associate director of the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. At the center, she managed internal funding programs, annual speaker series, humanities fellowship- and grant-seeking support, and the Mellon Intersections project. During her time at UF, Acord co-founded the UF Digital Humanities Working Group, Imagining America Working Group, Impact of Materials on Society course project, and Humanities and the Sunshine State Summer Programs for high school students and educators. As a lecturer in the UF Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law, Acord taught courses on visual research methods, arts and social change, science and technology studies, and social theory.
A cultural sociologist by training, Acord’s research examines the production of knowledge in the arts and humanities through an “arts in action” approach that examines the social dimensions of artistic engagement among individuals and communities. Her work is published in peer reviewed and public-facing outlets in the fields of museum studies, sociology of the arts, higher education, mobile technologies, and qualitative research methods. Acord's work and collaborative partnerships has been funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Florida Humanities Council, and Southeastern Consortium.
Prior to UF, Acord was a specialist researcher at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education, where she managed The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded Future of Scholarly Communication Project that established best practices for implementing digital technologies in academic publication, collaboration, and public engagement. She has also held research fellowships at the Yale University Center for Cultural Sociology and the École des Mines Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation and was a founding editor of the peer-reviewed open-access journal Music and Arts in Action. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Master of Research Methodology from the University of Exeter and a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College.