Linda Burton was announced Friday as the new dean of the Social Sciences Division for Trinity College.

The James. B. Duke professor of Sociology, Burton has been at Duke since 2006 and currently serves as the director of the undergraduate honors program for the sociology department. She replaces outgoing dean Angela O'Rand, who has been in the position for five years. She begins her new position on July 1st.

In a Duke News press release, Dean of Arts and Sciences Laurie Patton praised Burton for her commitment to interdisciplinary studies and service to society through her work on the poorest families living in the U.S.

Items on Burton's agenda include the creation of more research opportunities for faculty, improvement of mentoring for graduate students, encouragement of diversity in the social sciences division and promotion of leadership training.

Burton has a variety of experiences in the academic world. She currently serves on the editorial boards of three publications—American Sociological Review, the Journal of Marriage and Family and Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. She also has led two National Institute of Mental Health consortiums, which aimed to encourage interdisciplinary research among scholars nationwide.

Lee Baker, dean of academic affairs for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, said that he had high hopes for Burton in her new position.

Burton said in the Duke Today release that she will continue conducting research during her time as dean, and hopes that in her role as a scholar she will enable the recruitment of high quality faculty and be able to enhance their research projects.