Graduate Program Alumni

Our department seeks to support and build upon the richness and diversity of the region in which we are embedded. Check out our alumni of color spotlight, and check below for a diverse selection of sociology alumni with interests that span across a broad spectrum of specialty areas.

A–F

Ryan C. Alaniz (PhD 2012) is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at California Polytechnic State University. He completed his dissertation research, titled "From Tragedy to Opportunity: Long-term Development in Post-Disaster Intentional Communities in Honduras," in 2012. He is currently an assistant professor in sociology at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo and collaborates with various academic institutions including: United Nations University-Institute for Human and Environment Security, International Social Science Council, and the Fulbright program. Dr. Alaniz also volunteers with Engineers Without Borders, The Futbol Project, and Restorative Partners.

Joan Aldous (PhD 1963) was appointed the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame in 1976 becoming the University's first female holder of an endowed professorship. She retired in December, 2012 and died on October 29, 2014. She was one of the nation's leading scholars in the sociology of family, specifically dealing with the relationship between fathers and their children, gender, and intergenerational exchange relationships. Dr. Aldous received several honors for her work, including the Ernest W. Burgess Award for her theories and contributions in family sociology, and Notre Dame's Graduate School Award for Teaching and Scholarship.

Joyce M. Bell (PhD 2007) is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at University of Pittsburgh. Joyce Bell is a historical sociologist whose primary work examines the impact of the Black Power movement on the professions in the United States. Her first book, The Black Power Movement and American Social Work (2014, Columbia University Press) details the impact of the Black Power Movement on the profession of social work. She is currently doing research for her second book: Black Power Lawyers: Unique and Unorthodox Methods . Dr. Bell also does research on the role of diversity discourse in institutions, higher education policy, and in the law.

Edward Brent, Jr. (PhD 1976) is professor and associate chair of sociology, and adjunct professor of computer science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is founder and president of Idea Works, Inc. and has published several programs using intelligent computational strategies to conduct research and teaching in sociology, including Qualrus™ (a qualitative analysis program), Methodologist's Toolchest™, and Connections: Interactive Sociology™. His specialty interests are in methodology, statistics, and computing. Dr. Brent co-authored computer applications in the social sciences with Ron Anderson (Temple University Press, 1990).

Kathleen Theide Call (PhD 1994) is professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. She notes that her training in sociology has been indispensable to her work in health services, a field that draws on sociology, economics and political science, among others. Professor Call created a survey of health insurance coverage for use by states, the Coordinated State Coverage Survey (CSCS), and has developed a stream of research concerning the complexities of measuring and estimating rates of insurance coverage, including the discrepancy between survey and administrative data counts of insurance coverage, commonly referred to as the “Medicaid undercount.”  Dr. Call had conducted several studies exploring barrier to preventive care among Medicaid enrollees. Dr. Call’s research interests include disparities in access to health care and health insurance as well as developing community-based participatory research projects focusing on barriers to health care.

Theodore Caplow (PhD in sociology and economics 1946; professor at University of Minnesota 1954-60) is currently the commonwealth professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. He has made several notable contributions to sociology in abstract social geometry, armed conflict in the world, social change and kin networks. He has authored or co-authored more than 22 books and 200 research papers. Dr. Caplow was chair of Virginia's Department of Sociology from 1970-1978, and from 1985 to 1987; director of the Center for Program Effectiveness Studies and later of the University's Medical Mediation Service. He has served as president of the Tocqueville Society, president of the Mendota Research Group and secretary of the American Sociological Association.

Steve Carlton-Ford (PhD 1986) is professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati. He is interested in the relationship between social contexts and both psychological change and healthy development. This general interest has been realized in three primary areas: international differences in children’s health and the impact of armed conflict and inequality on children’s life chances, adaptation to childhood and adolescent chronic illness, and adolescents' self-image.

Sara Dorow (PhD 2002) is associate professor of sociology and founder of the Community Service-Learning Program at the University of Alberta, Canada. She teaches in the areas of globalization, race and culture, and family, and continues to build a research program on transnational, transracial adoptive kinship. She is currently writing an ethnography of Fort McMurray “urban service area” to the oil/tar sands, and is heading a team of researchers examining employment-related mobility in Alberta.

Robert R. Friedmann (PhD 1978) is founding director of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) and the International Law Enforcement Exchange (ILEE) as well as professor emeritus of criminal justice at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.​ He was the distinguished chair of Public Safety Partnerships (2007-2010) and served as chair (1989-2002) of the Criminal Justice Department at Georgia State University. His interest and published work focus on community policing, terrorism, and crime analysis. Dr. Friedmann works closely with a number of police departments, in the US and internationally, on community policing and homeland security. The distinguished chair of Public Safety Partnerships is committed to promote efforts towards a better understanding of crime and international terror threats and the challenges they pose. In addition, the chair will work to increase international cooperation in the area of homeland security and promote shared experiences of best practices.

G–L

Mark A. Hager (PhD 1999) is associate professor of philanthropic studies in the Arizona State University (ASU) School of Community Resources & Development. Dr. Hager is past director in the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation, and still blogs there. His research interests include the scope and dimensions of the nonprofit sector, the financial operations of and reporting by nonprofit organizations, and volunteerism and volunteer management. He is past research director at Americans for the Arts (Washington, DC), past senior research associate at the Urban Institute (Washington, DC), and past director of the Center for Community Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Peter Mandel Hall (PhD 1963) is currently affiliate professor of sociology at Colorado State University, and professor emeritus of sociology and education at the University of Missouri. He has recently co-edited with Tom R. Burns (Uppsala) the first book on meta-power to be published (The Meta-Power Paradigm, Peter Lang, 2013). The focus of his work has been power, politics, policy, social organization, inequality, and educational restructuring. His current work applies the sociology of space and time to environmental issues. He is a past president of the Midwest Sociological Society which currently hosts an annual lecture in his name at their meetings. He has also served as president of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction and has received the George Herbert Mead award for career contributions from the Society. He still teaches but also bikes and hikes in Colorado’s Front Range.

Jasmine Harris-LaMothe (PhD 2013) is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology & Sociology at Ursinus College. She holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree in Public Communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s studies from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She joined the Ursinus College anthropology and sociology department in 2014. Dr. Harris-LaMothe’s research interests include race, class, and gender, and the intersectionality of those identities, particularly as they pertain to minority experiences. She is currently working on a weekly podcast to address current events around these topics with quirky twist.

Elaine Hernandez (PhD 2011) is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington. She received her degrees in public health (MPH) and sociology (PhD) from the University of Minnesota. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Population Research Center, funded by an individual grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health. Her research addresses the structural forces that contribute to the formation and reproduction of social inequalities in health. In her new line of research, she is interested in the intergenerational transmission of health inequalities related to obesity. She teaches courses related to the sociology of health and illness, including a course that will help prepare premedical students for the revised medical college admission test.

Margaret A Holmes (PhD 2005) is senior research analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO does research for Congress, as part of the Legislative Branch, and employs around 3,000 people. The work covers all the federal agencies, and 80-90% of its reports stem from congressional requests. Dr. Holmes has worked on projects concerning federal programs having to do with worker development (welfare, job training, job assistance) and worker protection (workplace safety and health laws, worker protection, etc.).

Minzee Kim (PhD 2012) is an assistant professor of sociology at Ewha University in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Kim studies the interplay between globalization and law and their implications on human rights. Particularly, she is interested in women’s and children’s rights. She has published on cross-national variations and outcomes of state policies for various women’s and children’s issues such as children’s survival and development rights, education funding, and women’s employment. Her current research includes an examination of abortion laws and laws relevant to women’s employment. She also conducts research on mental health of the youth during the transition to adulthood.

Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson (PhD 1999) is a professor at Washington State University Pullman Department of Sociology. Her research interests are in the areas of work, family, and education across the life course, with particular focus on social psychological processes in adolescence and the transition to adulthood. Her work has been published in Social Forces, Social Psychology Quarterly, and Sociology of Education.

Ryan King (PhD 2005) is an associate professor of sociology at The Ohio State University. His interests are in criminology, law and society, criminal punishment, and intergroup conflict, with secondary lines of work focusing on the life course and anti-Semitism. He has written on the topics of hate crime law and behavior; incivility; criminal deportation; punitive attitudes; crime and violence against minority groups; and the relationship between crime, punishment, and various facets of family life (e.g., marriage, divorce, and parent-child relations). His current research projects investigate the causes of hate crime, the effects of parental incarceration on child well-being, the criminal sentencing and deportation of non-citizens, the relationship between hate crime and terrorism, and the association between skin hue and criminal sentencing.

Sherryl Kleinman (PhD 1980) is a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Kleinman regularly teaches undergraduate courses cross-listed in Women's Studies, including sex and gender in society, race, class, gender, and social problems. She co-authored the book Emotions and Fieldwork (Sage, 1993) with Martha Copp. Her book, Opposing Ambitions: Gender and Identity in an Alternative Organization (University of Chicago Press, 1996) analyzes how "progressives" managed to reproduce gender inequality without noticing it and while retaining a view of themselves as virtuous. Dr. Kleinman wrote, Feminist Fieldwork Analysis (Sage, 2007) in 2007.

Erik Larson (PhD 2004) is an associate professor of sociology at Macalester college in St. Paul, Minnesota. His recently published work includes articles in law and society review and political power and social theory. His research interests are in political sociology, economic sociology, and sociology of law, which he is pursuing through a comparison of the development and operation of new stock exchanges in Fiji, Ghana, and Iceland, a collaborative project on the politics of indigenization in Fiji and Tanzania, and a collaborative project on school testing.

Jennifer C. Lee (PhD 2007) is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington. She received her PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2007. She is currently an assistant professor in sociology and is affiliated with Asian American studies. Her research and teaching interests include sociology of education, work and labor market stratification, and Asian American communities. Jennifer has recently published research on high school employment and drop-out, and her current research investigates Asian employment in ethnic economies in the United States. In other research, she examines high school employment patterns and educational attainments of children of immigrants.

M–S

Eric Markusen (PhD, 1986) was a prolific scholar of international renown, whose activism and research on genocide reached far beyond the academic realm. He was a professor of sociology and social work at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) and the research director of the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Copenhagen, Denmark. Markusen’s data has been used in post-genocide trials as evidence. As a part of a team chosen by the Coalition for International Justice, he participated in interviewing 1,000 refugees from Darfur. The findings were incorporated into the US State Department's "Atrocities Documentation Project," after which, a determination was made that genocide was taking place in Sudan. He organized international conferences on genocide and published numerous books and scholarly articles on the subject. Dr. Markusen passed away in January, 2007.

Carol Mathews (Pogue) (PhD 2001) is full-time faculty for Century College teaching online sociology classes. Regular course load includes criminal justice, criminology, and family. Current certifications include CFLE (Certified Family Life Educator) with the National Council on Family Relations and Private Investigator. Dr. Mathews is the past director for Century’s law enforcement, criminal justice, and investigative sciences programs, past section chair for the Section on Security and Crime Prevention of the American Criminal Justice Sciences, former principal investigator for the "Investigative Sciences for Law Enforcement Technology Project," and former Researcher for NSF’s GeoTech Center, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Elam Nunnally (PhD 1971) is a professor emeritus at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Elam was one of the co-founders of Solution Focused Therapy, which originated in Milwaukee in the 1980's. He taught graduate seminars in solution-focused practice, and conducted workshops in solution-focused therapy in Finland and for the University of Helsinki, continuing education department. He had a part-time practice in marital therapy and volunteered in a community mental health clinic. He served as a professor and mentor to several generations of social workers in both the US and Finland. He died peacefully on February 10, 2010 at the age of 85.

Sandi Pierce (PhD 2001) is the director of Othayonih Research, an independent consulting firm specializing in applied social science research and program evaluation services for government, tribal, and nonprofit clients. They focus primarily on projects that support wellness and healing in American Indian, Alaska Native, and First Nations communities. She has been working collaboratively with American Indian tribes and urban Indian nonprofit organizations since 1998. Currently, Othayonih Research is partnered with Dr. Lauren Martin of the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center on research titled "Mapping the Market for Sex with Trafficked Minor Girls in Minneapolis." Based on analysis of Minneapolis Police Department case files, Hennepin County District Court records, and in-depth interviews with 89 key stakeholders working directly with or on behalf of sex trafficked minors, "Mapping the Market" investigated how the overall market for juvenile sex trafficking functions in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

William H. Sewell (PhD 1939) became a celebrated professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was elected the 62nd president of the American Sociological Association and was the second chancellor of UW-Madison. Sewell's career as a pioneer of empirical social science spanned more than six decades. He died on June 24, 2001.

Michael Shanahan (PhD 1991) is a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford), an assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State University, and a visiting professor in Developmental Psychology at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany. His research interests include life course theory and methods, genetics and the life course (with an emphasis on status, stress, social capital, and health), and the transition to adult. His current work focuses on gene-environment processes associated with education and health, especially as these processes implicate social capital.

Deborah Shatin (PhD 1980) is a principal health research specialist for Shatin Associates LLC. She is known for her contributions to medical therapy safety and health research over more than 25 years. Her work has ranged from studying medical device and pharmaceutical therapies to assessing managed care protocols for the commercial payer market. Dr. Shatin has designed and conducted prospective medical device clinical trials and retrospective post market drug and biologic safety surveillance studies using managed care claims data. She has served as industry representative to an FDA device review panel, a member of the CMS Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee (now MEDCAC), and a consultant to the FDA Drug, Safety, and Risk Management committee.

Xiaoling Shu (PhD 1997) is a professor of sociology at the University of California Davis. Her research focuses on the impacts of two of the most profound events of our time—market transition and globalization—and also focusing on gender inequalities (both in the labor market and within the family), subjective sense of well-being, and gender, family, marriage and sexual attitudes. Dr. Shu's analysis is both country-specific (China) and cross-national.

Sheldon Stryker (PhD 1955), is a distinguished professor emeritus, former department chair, and director of the Institute for Social Research at Indiana University-Bloomington. His work and research focus has been in social psychology, especially in the development of Identity theory. In his groundbreaking book, Self, Identity, and Social Movements (2000), co-edited with Timothy J. Owens and Robert W. White. He demonstrates this theory by highlighting the importance of one’s identity and self-esteem, providing a picture of how self and identity influences social movement recruitment, activism, and maintenance. Dr. Stryker has received the Cooley-Mead Award for lifetime contributions to social psychology from the Section on Social Psychology of the ASA, and the George Herbert Mead Award for lifetime scholarship from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. Most recently, his theoretical and research writings have centered on extending Identity theory, on applying that theory to social movement phenomena, and on advancing the project of meeting the responsibility of a sociological social psychology to examine social psychological processes in their social structural contexts.

T–Z

Sylvia Tamale (PhD 1997) is a professor of law at Makerere University where she served as the first female dean of law from 2004-2008. She founded and serves as coordinator of the Gender, Law & Sexuality Research Project at the School of Law. She also serves on several international boards and has been a visiting professor in several academic institutions globally. Her latest publication is African Sexualities: A Reader (Pambazuka Press, 2011). Dr. Tamale has won several awards for defending the human rights of marginalized groups such as women, sex workers, homosexuals, and refugees. She is a public intellectual who routinely appears on radio and television and in the newspapers as an articulate spokesperson for Ugandan women and as a prominent human rights advocate. She played the leading role in efforts to establish a sexual harassment policy at Makerere University and has been in the forefront of legislative efforts to establish women's rights in the areas of land ownership and family relations.

Melissa Thompson (PhD 2003) is an associate professor at in the Department of Sociology Portland State University. Her research interests are in the areas of crime, mental illness, and gender, with particular focus on the social control of mental illness and how race and gender affect labeling and treatment. Her most resent work is a study of the gendered relationship between mental illness, substance use, and crime, an examination of the effect of gender on illegal substance use and illegal earnings based on embeddedness in conventional and criminal activities and networks, and a project examining the effect of childhood ADHD symptoms and labeling on adult outcomes—including educational attainment, employment, income, and crime, and the effects of prison and post-prison treatment for mental illness and drug abuse on rates of recidivism.

Darren L. Wheelock (PhD 2006) is an associate professor of criminology at Marquette University. He grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and received his doctorate in sociology from the University of Minnesota. His research examines the ways criminal punishment deepens inequality and also investigates the connection between public attitudes toward criminal punishment and views towards racial minorities. His interests include really good beer, sports (especially basketball), fantasy sports nerdiness, traveling, his job, K-dramas, and spending as much time with his family as he can.

Hui Wilcox (PhD 2004) is a professor of sociology, women's studies and critical studies of race and ethnicity at St. Catherine's University, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She teaches both sociology and critical studies of race and ethnicity. Her research focuses on race and ethnicity, class and gender, migration studies, performance and social change, sociology of culture, Asian and Asian American studies, and social change in China. Dr. Wilcox is also the founding member and dancer in the Ananya Dance Theatre, a professional, contemporary Indian dance company comprised of women artists of color.

Marcia Williams (PhD 2008) is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Studies at Marquette University. She received her doctorate in sociology from the University of Minnesota in 2008, with specializations in race, culture, and education. Her work challenges cultural deficit explanations of the racial gap in academic achievement—which posit that under achievement among blacks stems from an oppositional identity that encourages poor performance in school. Dr. Williams’ dissertation, entitled, “Race, Identity and Education: An Ethnographic Study of Critical Student Agency In A Midwestern Elementary School” explores the culture of an elementary/middle school in which there was no racial gap in academic achievement.