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Joseph A. Soares

Joseph A. Soares is a professor of sociology at Wake Forest University. His book, The Power of Privilege (Stanford University Press 2007) was instrumental to Wake Forest’s decision to go test-optional in admissions. He organized a national conference on “rethinking admissions” at Wake Forest in April 2009, involving admissions deans and researchers from many universities, including Berkeley, Duke, Georgia, Harvard, Howard, Texas, Virginia, and Yale. Soares has presented his critical findings on standardized tests and college admissions at regional and national conferences of the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools, the College Board, the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, and to the National Association for College Admission Counseling. An earlier book on universities in the UK, The Decline of Privilege (Stanford University Press 1999) won a national award from the American Sociological Association. In graduate school at Harvard University, Soares was a Krupp Fellow of the Center for European Studies; a US Congress Jacob Javits Fellow; and a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford University. Before moving to Wake Forest, Soares taught as a Lecturer at Harvard and was an assistant and associate professor of Sociology at Yale. For most of 2008, he was a member of the national education policy group for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. His most recent book is an edited collection, SAT WARS: The Case for Test-Optional Admissions, Teachers College Press, 2012. In 2012 and 2013, the New York Times recommended SAT WARS as one of its top ten books for summer reading on college issues.