Dr. Kyler J. Sherman-Wilkins


Sociology and Anthropology

Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
Sociology and Anthropology
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897


Dr. Kyler James Sherman-Wilkins (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Affiliate in the Gerontology program at Missouri State University. A social demographer and life course sociologist by training, Dr. Sherman-Wilkins’ research centers around the social and structural determinants of health and health inequities, particularly as it pertains to cognitive health, across the life course. His work has appeared in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Geriatrics, and, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

He is a dedicated and award-winning teacher and adviser who focuses on empowering students to address challenges in their communities through activism and policy. He directs the Health Equity Research Collective (HERC), which is committed to training the next generation of health equity researchers, and also frequently contributes to advisor training through the Academic Advising and Transfer Center’s Advisor forums.

In addition to teaching and research Dr. Sherman-Wilkins is engaged in professional and community service and sits on the Board of Trustees for PRB, a population research organization in Washington D.C., the Board of Directors for PROMO, Missouri’s Statewide LGBTQ+ Advocacy organization, and most recently, the Board of Directors for the Missouri Foundation for Health.



  • PhD, Sociology and Demography, 2017, The Pennsylvania State University
  • MA, Sociology and Demography, 2015, The Pennsylvania State University
  • BS, Human Development and Family Studies, 2011, Cornell University


  • SOC 150 Introduction to Society
  • SOC 301 Research Methodology
  • SOC 302 Statistics for Social Research
  • GER 375/SOC 375 Social Forces and Aging
  • SOC 397 Social Inequalities in Health and Aging
  • SOC 450 Population, Society, and Public Policy
  • SOC 480 Health Inequities Across the Life Course

Professional experience

Selected publications

  • Thierry, Amy D., Kyler J. Sherman-Wilkins, Marina Armendariz, Allison Sullivan, and Heather R. Farmer. 2021. “Perceived Neighborhood Characteristics and Cognitive Functioning among Diverse Older Adults: An Intersectional Approach.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18:1-14.
  • Sherman-Wilkins, Kyler J., and Amy D. Thierry. 2019. “Education as the Great Equalizer? Racial and Ethnic Differences in Returns of Education on Cognitive Functioning in Late Life.” Geriatrics 4(51):1-13.
  • Alwin, Duane F., Jason R. Thomas, and Kyler J. Sherman-Wilkins. 2018. “Race, Social Relations and the Life Course.” in Social Networks and the Life Course, edited by D. Alwin, D. Felmlee, and D. Kreager. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Pudrvoska, Tetyana, Eric Reither, *Ellis Logan, and *Kyler J. Sherman-Wilkins. 2014. “Gender and Reinforcing Association between Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Body Mass over the Life Course.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 55(3):283-301.

Research and professional interests

  • Life course sociology and aging
  • Disparities in health and aging
  • Cognitive health and Alzheimer’s dementia
  • College student success and health
  • Social integration and health
  • Survey methodology

Awards and honors

  • Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award, 2021
  • Missouri State University Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2021
  • Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising, Missouri State University, 2021
  • Division of Student Affairs’ Bridge Builder Award, Missouri State University, 2019
  • National Institute on Aging’s Butler-Williams Scholar, National Institutes of Health, 2019
  • Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center Research Scholar, Rush University Hospital, 2019
  • Science-Industry Research Collaborations Trainee, Stanford University, 2018
  • International Travel Award, Missouri State University, 2017
  • Diversity Scholar Award, Missouri State University, 2017

Additional resources