Spring 2022

Sociology logo
Pete Taylor

From the Chair

This has been an impressive year of innovation and accomplishment by Sociology’s faculty, students and staff. It’s also been one in which we’ve worked to strengthen our Department’s “collective effervescence,” sorely missed over much of the last two years. According to classical sociologist Émile Durkheim, collective effervescence is that “source of energy and harmony people feel when they come together in a group around a shared purpose” (cited in Grant 2021).

As you’ll see below, we drew on hybrid meeting technology to hold several combined in-person/online Sociology Community Gatherings to celebrate and share faculty and grad student expertise. The annual Spring Graduate Student Research Symposium and AKD and PBK events brought us together to honor some of our most accomplished graduate and undergraduate students. Visiting sociologist Sadeka Halim gave a well-received talk on gender inequality in Bangladesh. Of special note were the hybrid “Wondering what to do with a Sociology degree?” panel of accomplished alumni and the Center for Environmental Justice’s launch event for Stephanie Malin’s new co-authored Rutgers University Press book.

It’s been a year of satisfying milestones, including multiple completed MA and PhD projects and senior honors theses as well as graduate and undergraduate student scholarships and awards. And importantly, our faculty and graduate students engaged in cutting edge and exciting research and publication recognized by their national and international peers. Examples include an NSF-funded sustainability network planning grant co-led by IRISS Director Jeni Cross and CSU’s new interdisciplinary Food Systems Institute co-directed by Michael Carolan. Prabha Unnithan received the ACJS’s prestigious Gerhard O.W. Mueller Award for distinguished career contributions to international criminal justice. Tara Opsal received a Career Impact Award from the CSU Career Center, and Pat Mahoney was selected by MS World Odyssey students to deliver the Semester at Sea convocation speech.

I thank all of you who make our remarkably accomplished and resilient Department what it is, and I wish you a great summer!

Pete's signature

Pete Taylor
Professor and Chair

Department Happenings


James Hale, Research Scientist ('17, Ph.D.)


Dr. Xiaopeng Pang is returning to China in July. She has been a Visiting Scholar from Renmin University in Beijing China for the academic year 2021–22. Our faculty, students and staff have benefitted greatly from her being part of our Department community this year.

Sociology's "Collective Effervescence" Continues

Nefratiri Weeks, Graduate Teaching Instructor, led a discussion around “Conversational Classrooms” on February 21 at the LSC and on Zoom.

Michael Carolan wears many hats at CSU and facilitated a discussion "The Research Enterprise at CSU: Resources and Opportunities for Social Scientists Today and in the Years Ahead" on March 21 at the LSC and on Zoom.

Josh Sbicca shared his sabbatical research during his talk "Seeing the Disciplinary Matrix of Prison Agriculture" held April 18 at the LSC and on Zoom (pictured).

Many thanks to these three speakers who kindly agreed to share their expertise!

Sadeka Halim gave a talk titled "All Women are not Equal: A Bangladesh Perspective" at the LSC and on Zoom (pictured). Azmal Hossan completed his M.A. thesis under her supervision at University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she is a professor of Sociology as well as the first female Dean, College of Social Sciences. Dr. Halim is also a prominent human rights activist in South Asia.

Thanks to all Department members for participating in these events and elevating Sociology’s "collective effervescence" this semester! 

Sbicca Community Gathering
Dr. Halim and Department members

Undergraduate Happenings

Sylvie presenting

Sociology students develop sexual assault prevention recommendations

When spring 2020 internships became limited as the pandemic set in, students interning for Fort Collins Police Services pivoted to an extensive, ongoing research project that is providing unique recommendations for preventing sexual assault on campus and in the community.

Sylvie Gizzi (pictured) presented the group's findings this semester, along with Shinice Lawrence. "I think the really interesting thing about the internship is that these are all recommendations coming from our peers, which I think is very valuable," Sylvie explained to her capstone class. "The administration can do a lot more, but if they're not going to include us in the conversation, they are missing a substantial part of what's happening."

Kevin Cronin and Nefratiri Weeks have made this internship experience possible for approximately twenty students.

Please stay tuned for an in-depth article on the group's findings and ways your students can become involved. 

CSU Sociology has become the county's largest non-corporate donor to the Food Bank

This spring CSU SOC 100 and SOC 220 students donated just over 5,000 pounds of food. Valued at approximately $5,300, their contributions provide about 10,600 meals (based on the National Grocer Index).

SOC 100 General Sociology and SOC 220 Global Environmental Issues courses discuss privilege poverty and related issues. Students can write a paper for extra credit, or they can help organize Jason Downing's annual food drive benefiting the Food Bank of Larimer County.

SOC Majors serve as CLA Ambassadors

These student leaders are hired by the Dean's office to support liberal arts recruitment efforts by providing personalized attention and meaningful experiences for prospective students and families. Interested? Learn more here.

Anahi Ruiz

Bemnet Tefera

Jala Ward

AKD Induction Ceremony

Prabha speaking
congratulatory cake
initiates being inducted

 The 2022 Induction Ceremony for our chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta Sociological Honor Society (AKD) was held in LSC's Grey Rock Room on April 23. AKD Advisor Tony Roberts hosted the event. Jeff Nowacki, AKD member and Honors student Kris Richter, and Chair Pete Taylor offered words of wisdom to initiates and their families.

Prabha Unnithan kindly agreed to be the Keynote Speaker and let us formally recognize him as the 2022 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) G.O.W. Mueller Award Recipient. His talk was titled "Black Lives Matter and Police Reform: Global Echoes of an American Social Movement.” 

2021-2022 INITIATES
Cliona Johnson  •  Samantha McCann  •  Ali Owens  •  Fatima Prieto  •  Becky Schamp  •  Madelaine Weekley

Many thanks to all Department members, students & families who attended!

Johnson bio & photo
Owens bio & photo
McCann bio & photo
Schamp bio & photo
Prieto bio & photo
Weekley bio & photo

Alexandria Bish and Jordan Mahaffey inducted into liberal arts honor society Phi Beta Kappa

Two of Sociology’s graduating seniors, Alexandria Bish and Jordan Mahaffey, were inducted into the liberal arts honor society Phi Beta Kappa on April 29 at the LSC. PBK is the oldest and most prestigious of the academic honor societies in the United States.

Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, PBK limits its chapters to American colleges and universities with well-developed liberal arts programs. CSU’s PBK chapter was established in 1973. Membership is by invitation only and is extended to juniors and seniors who meet specific criteria including enrollment in an appropriate liberal arts and sciences major, math and foreign language course requirements, and a minimum GPA.

Pictured left to right: Katie Badwey, senior, Zoology; Izzy Brunson, junior, Psychology; Diana Del Valle, senior, Anthropology; Nika Lynn, senior, Biological Science; Jordan Mahaffey, senior, Sociology.

Not pictured: Alex Bish, senior, Sociology; Kysh Lindell, senior, English; Hank Peters, senior, Biological Science.

PBK initiates

Congratulations & Best Wishes

Honors Theses:
Sophia M. Corioso • “Tensions in Globalized Biodiversity Conservation Efforts: Two Case Studies” • Soph is a double major in Sociology and Ecosystem Sciences and Sustainability. Committee: Pete Taylor and Jill Baron (USGS Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory)

Audrey Mayer • "Veteran and Active-Duty Suicide Awareness: Shaping Suicide Prevention Curriculum for the Military’s Next Generation of Leaders" • Committee: Shawna Bendeck and Loran Stallones (Psychology)

Andrea Santiago • "Right to Life: The Social and Ethnical Ramifications of Capital Punishment" • Committee: Jeff Nowacki and Pat Hastings

CSU's 2022 Multicultural Undergraduate Research Art and Leadership Symposium (MURALS) Social Justice Award in the Service Learning and Leadership category:
Bemnet Tefera • “First-Gen Post-Grad Mentorship”

Criminology Study Abroad in Prague Department of Sociology Scholarship Recipients:
Kaelin Jakel   •   Kendra McCone   •  Estefany Miranda-Miramontes   •   Sophie Russell   •  Mireya Nystrom

Sociology Alumni Scholarship Recipients:
Angelita Chavez Cazarez   •   Alexandra (Ali) Owens

Dr. Ronny E. Turner Memorial Scholarship Recipients:
Aluvia De La Rocha Dominguez   •   Fatima Prieto

Harvesting Opportunity and Potential in Education (HOPE) Scholarship Recipient:
Anahi Ruiz



Aluvia De La Rocha Dominguez

"My name is Aluvia De La Rocha Dominguez. I am a second-year student at Colorado State University with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. I intend to concentrate in clinical and counseling psychology, and in criminology and criminal justice sociology. As of now, my future career goals are to work with incarcerated individuals regarding their mental health. One of my major hobbies is listening to and watching true crime stories and psychological examinations on shows and movies I find interesting. In my free time, I also enjoy listening to podcasts about psychology and sociology to expand my knowledge in my fields."

Ali headshot

Ali Owens

"Ali Owens (they/them/theirs) is an undergraduate student double-majoring in Sociology and Women’s & Gender Studies, with a minor in Creative Writing. With a passion for decolonization, dismantling oppressive systems, and abolitionist praxis, they plan to dedicate their life and work to liberatory movements and advocacy for marginalized populations. At CSU, they act as co-facilitator of the Pride Leadership Council, where they engage others at the Pride Resource Center in advocacy work to address issues of marginalization for the University’s queer and trans community. Their superpowers are empathy, intersectional analysis, and using creative expression as fuel for powerful social change."


Fatima Prieto

"I am a 3rd-year Sociology major with a double minor in Political Science and Ethnic Studies, and I will be graduating in Spring 2023. I feel passionate about social issues like interpersonal violence, environmental criminology, and climate change. I aspire to work with communities that have been impacted by these issues after I graduate, specifically at the local level."

Anahi headshot

Anahi Ruiz

"I am currently a Junior majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Legal Studies. I am passionate about Sociology because it allows me to better understand social forces that shape individuals' lives and how to critically think. I became more involved in the College of Liberal Arts by joining the CLA Ambassadors and the Pre-Law Club to expand my thinking and interests. My goal after college is to attend law school and continue to apply the skills I learned in my undergrad." 

Collegian ad listing graduates

The College of Liberal Arts Spring 2022 Commencement was held Friday, May 13, at 7pm at Moby Arena.

Graduate School Commencement was held Friday, May 13, at 11:30am at Moby Arena.

Graduate Student Happenings

Graduate Teaching Instructors diversify Sociology’s classrooms while upholding CSU’s teaching mission

Nefratiri Weeks, Austin Luzbetak, Kellie Alexander, and India Luxton kindly agreed to be featured in Sociology’s GTI article for a SOURCE package the College of Liberal Arts put together to show the variety of outstanding work being done by CLA’s graduate students. It was included in a recent campus-wide SOURCE email.

Elijah's title slide
Yue's title slide
Laurence's title slide

Graduate Student Symposium

Laurence Pedroni organized this year's event held April 29 at the LSC and on Zoom.

Elijah Thunell: Conservatives and Progressives Define Environmental Problems

Yue Xu: Rural Community Transformation with the Rise of Seafood Processing in Zhoushan Islands of China

Laurence Pedroni: Queering Green Criminology: The Impacts of zoonotic diseases on the LGBTQ Community (co-author Benja Kromash)

Many thanks to our presenters and the many Department members who attended and provided feedback!

Elijah presenting

Virtual Visit for Prospective Graduate Students

Many thanks to all who helped host Virtual Visit Day for Prospective Graduate Students March 4 on Zoom – Jeff Nowacki, Director of Graduate Studies; Faculty Panel members Pat Hastings, Mike Hogan, Jessie Luna, and Tony Roberts; Grad Student Panel members Verena Knerich, Benja Kromash, Emilia Ravetta, and Shelby Sims; Pete Taylor who offered a welcome from the Chair and an overview of Sociology’s research, outreach and engagement; and Julie Pinkston who discussed logistics.


I am pleased to announce that Yan Shan successfully defended her Sociology doctoral dissertation, entitled “How Universities Participate in Agricultural Extension: a Comparative Study of Two Chinese Agricultural Universities.” Yan’s research on the development of a new model of collaborative university-based extension in China that draws on the U.S. extension experience in ways unique to the Chinese context promises to make significant  contributions to the literature on government and university provided extension in China and elsewhere, including lessons relevant to the U.S. experience. The study also provides important insights into social change processes in Chinese agricultural universities and their local government partners, as well as in the communities they serve. As Chair of Yan’s committee, I want to extend my profound thanks to Yan’s dissertation committee members which included Michael Carolan, Tara Opsal, Lou Swanson and CSU Extension’s Perry Cabot. Please join me in congratulating Yan on this major achievement and milestone! – Pete Taylor, January 24

I am pleased to announce that Derek Smallwood successfully defended his culminating project, “The Effect of National Culture on Prosocial Behavior: A Cross-National Study of Mobility Patterns during the COVID-19 Pandemic”. Derek’s research examines how dimensions of individualism-collectivism in national cultures explain cross-national differences in personal mobility during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. I would like to especially thank Derek’s committee (Dr. Lynn Hempel and Dr. Karla Gingerich) for helping with his project! Please join me in congratulating Derek! – Tony Roberts, March 28

I am pleased to announce that Shelby Sims successfully defended their thesis project, “Multicultural Education & Perceptions of Racial Inequity among White Americans: A Cohort Analysis”. Shelby’s research investigated perceptions of racial inequality among white multicultural education cohorts in the United States using the General Social Survey. I would like to especially thank Shelby’s committee (Dr. Pat Hastings, Dr. Josh Sbicca, and Dr. Jenne Schmidt) for all their work and help with Shelby's thesis! Please join me in congratulating Shelby! – Tony Roberts, April 1

Join me in congratulating Benja Kromash on successfully defending his Master’s Thesis this afternoon! Benja undertook a “Plan B” thesis. He spent a year working with the non-profit Growing Gardens in Boulder to evaluate the organization’s progress in implementing their “JEDI” (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion) initiatives. He spent a summer working in their youth programming, interviewed current staff members, attended meetings, conducted a content analysis of their social media and website materials, and then interviewed employees at other Boulder non-profits to understand how other organizations are making progress on JEDI initiatives. His resulting thesis, “Growing Gardens JEDI Initiatives: Feedback and Directions on Enacting Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” is a document intended to help the organization identify substantive areas for change as they seek to carry out their JEDI goals. It is academically informed while being applied and practical. Also thanks to committee members Tara Opsal and historian Mike Childers for their guidance along the way. Congratulations, Benja, on this important contribution to the Front Range community!! – Jessie Luna, April 4 (Benja & committee pictured below)

Benja and committee
Elijah and committee

Please join me in congratulating Elijah Thunell on the successful defense of his Master’s Thesis. Elijah’s important work explores conservative environmentalism in the US using a mixed methods approach. Quantitatively, Elijah observed substantial dispersion among conservatives in their views on environmental spending since 1980 but increasing convergence among liberals.  These quantitative results were complemented by qualitative research that identified points of convergence and divergence among conservatives, and between conservative and progressive environmentalists. Elijah benefited greatly from the thoughtful guidance and support of his other committee members:  Pat Hastings, Jessie Luna, and Robert Duffy. – Lynn Hempel, April 4 (Elijah & committee pictured above)

I am pleased to announce Thai Binh Tran successfully defended their thesis project, “Determinants of Deforestation in Vietnam, 2008-2015”. Binh’s research investigated the effects of land-use change from agricultural expansion and timber extraction, resource trade, and community poverty on province-level forest coverage in Vietnam from 2008 to 2015 using panel and spatial autoregressive modeling. I would like to especially thank Binh’s committee (Dr. Anita Alves Pena and Dr. KuoRay Mao) for all their work and help! Please join me in congratulating Binh! – Tony Roberts, May 5

Please join me in congratulating Micaela Truslove! On Friday, she successfully defended her thesis, entitled "Resilience for All/Resiliencia Para Todos: Achieving Justice for Latinx Communities Following the 2013 Colorado Floods". Micaela's work examined the Boulder County program named in her thesis title, looking at its environmental justice implications, its strengths and weaknesses in realizing equitable resilience, and the important but often under-valued roles of culture brokers. A special thank you to Micaela's committee members, Jessie Luna and Kate Browne. Both have offered stellar support and invaluable insights during the research process and the defense. Thank you to those of you who were able to attend on Friday! We had a bigger crowd than I expected. Congratulations one more time, Micaela! – Stephanie Malin, May 6

Research & Teaching Awards

Graduate Student Research Excellence Award: India Luxton

India's research experience and many accomplishments over the last five years span across topical areas and are united by her broad research interest of social change. Most recently India has began working as a graduate coordinator and mentor for CSU's Multicultural Leadership Research Arts Symposium (MURALS). She works closely with the Assistant Vice President of Inclusive Excellence to help undergraduate racially minoritized scholars advance their research skills and community engagement projects. At this spring's MURALS Symposium, 8 of the 15 prizes were won by students India had mentored. "Seeing the students’ research abilities and confidence grow throughout the year was an invaluable experience and one that reminded me of the beauty of being a mentor," says India.

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor: Kellie Alexander 

From Kellie's SOC 210 and SOC 358 students:

"Instructor Alexander had a long-lasting impact on me, not only in terms of my ability to analyze quantitative sociology, but also because she gave me the confidence to ask the questions I need in order to learn the things I am capable of learning...without exaggeration, she is the first math teacher I had who didn't make me feel stupid and she performed above and beyond in every way a professor could." 

"She creates an environment where I do more than just learn, I can grow. A space where I feel empowered to think critically and ask questions I'd normally just keep to myself. It's an energy I don't think I've experienced from any other professor." 

"Kellie Alexander holds herself to high expectations, and this trait is visible through her interactions and exchanges with students. Kellie maintains a level of professionalism and respect for not only herself, but her students as well. When a student asks a question, no matter the subject, Kellie addresses the student with a tone of respect and expresses the importance of the question that was asked during the entire exchange of information."


It is with great pleasure that I share results from the Theory and Methods Comprehensive Exams for this semester. First, join me in congratulating Bria Willert for passing the Comprehensive Exam in Theory. Additionally, I want to congratulate Yue Xu for passing the Comprehensive Exam in Methods. Yue earned a high pass.Outstanding work to both of you!! – Jeff Nowacki, April 20

Azmal presenting


Azmal Hossan competed in the Student Showcase during CSU Hydrology Days. His talk was titled "Systems Level Thinking Approach to the Study of Water Dispute in South Asia." (pictured above)

Azmal Hossan co-hosted an Agents of Change podcast titled "Unconventional Pathways to Science," which was a conversation with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy and distinguished professor at Texas Tech University.

Elijah Thurnell presented "Serene Tea: Understanding Contemporary Conservative Environmentalism in the United States Using a Mixed Methods Approach" during CSU's Science in Action CSU Speaks event held May 7. Researchers from CSU share their work with the community during 10-minute, jargon-free presentations at New Belgium Brewery.

CSU Speaks
Science in Action logo


Shawna Bendeck published "'Because COVID Ruined Everything’: The Impact of Learning Modalities and Accommodations on Students with Disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic" in Sociation.

Azmal Hossan's storytelling piece titled "A Tale of Water Conservation Efforts of a CSU Agriculture Experiment Station" has been published in Colorado Water, a publication of Colorado Water Center. Azmal highlights his practical field experiences as a CSU Summer Extension Intern last year as he discusses the importance of community engagement to conserve water in the face of climate change and water conflict between municipalities and agricultural communities in the Western Slope of Colorado.

India Luxton's research article "High Impact Learning in a Short-Term Study Abroad Program" was published by Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. Co-authors are Dr. Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez and Dr. Mehmet Egemen Ozbek (both Construction Management, CSU) and Laura Thornes (Education Abroad, CSU). This research is the outcome of a grant India received in 2018 to conduct in-depth interviews, ethnographic observations, and social network analysis in order to assess student outcomes of participating in a study abroad program located in Costa Rica.

Azmal Hossan published "CO2: Friend or Foe to Food? How Rising Carbon Dioxide Uproots Bangladesh’s Food Systems" in Anthroposphere: The Oxford Climate Review.

Shawna Bendeck and co-published Life after Foster Care: The Importance of Human and Social Capital for Post-Emancipation Outcomes” in Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.


Research Institutes & Teams

NSF funds Jeni Cross and transdisciplinary sustainability collaborators 

“For a long time, the National Science Foundation has funded sustainability networks,” said project leader Jeni Cross, who is a professor in CSU’s Department of Sociology and director of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences. “Many of those in the past have really been focused on the technological solutions – on engineering or on computer science. This one is really exciting because it’s focused on regional science and how we can think about sustainability from a regional perspective.” – Stacy Nick, CSU Source, March 21

Michael Carolan co-director of CSU's new interdisciplinary Food Systems Institute (FSI)

"The FSI serves as the administrative home for Gov. Jared Polis’ 22-member Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council, charged with advancing recommendations to strengthen the economic, environmental, cultural and social foundations of the state’s local and regional food systems. By linking council activities with CSU research initiatives, student efforts and engagement activities, this partnership embodies the institute’s vision of multi-stakeholder collaboration, Carolan said." – Stacy Nick, CSU SOURCE, April 3


Faculty Happenings


Unnithan receiving award
ACJS plaque

The Academy of Criminal Justice Science (ACJS) honored Prabha Unnithan with the prestigious Gerhard O.W. Mueller Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Criminal Justice. He was presented with the award at the International Section’s Annual Awards Luncheon held during the 2022 ACJS Annual Meeting in Las Vegas in late March. This annual award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of comparative/international criminal justice spanning the areas of scholarship, leadership, and service.

President Joyce McConnell wrote Jeff Nowacki on May 6 that she has accepted the Provost’s recommendation that he be promoted to Associate Professor of Sociology with tenure. Congratulations, Jeff!

Tara Opsal was named a Career Impact Award winner by the CSU Career Center and recognized as a champion for student career development, equity and inclusion, and student success.

Career Award logo
Tara with award


Pat Hastings received a Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science Research Grant from the Social Science Research Council for his research "What’s a Parent to do? Measuring Parenting Approaches in the US with Topic Modeling for Short Texts" with co-author Luca Maria Pesando (McGill University).

Tony Roberts received an Ann Gill Faculty Development Award for his project “Economic Inequality in the Post-COVID Era: The Impact of Covid-19 on Contemporary & Future Income Inequality in the United States,” which aims to use supervised machine learning to create an explanatory and predictive model of income inequality to understand how employment loss, working hour reductions, and wage changes have created economic inequality.

Josh Sbicca and Carrie Chennault (Anthropology & Geography) received an Ann Gill Faculty Development Collaborative Award for their project, “Mapping Prison Agriculture in the United States,” which aims to map the nationwide trends in present day prison agriculture through a historical, political, and geographic lens to understand how prisons’ disciplinary conditions contribute to racial capitalism.

Tony accepting award
CLA ceremony logo
Josh and Carrie accepting award

Newly Released

Stephanie Malin and co-author Meghan Kallman published Building Something Better: Environmental Crises and the Promise of Community Change through Rutgers University Press. In April, CSU's Center for Environmental Justice hosted a launch event with special guests Tatewin Means and Cody Two Bears to preview a couple of the case studies presented in the book and share how their communities are building better systems. 

Malin book launch flyer

Book Chapters

Jeni Cross and co-authors Becca Jablonski (Agricultural and Resource Economics) and Meagan Schipanski (Soil and Crop Sciences) published "Inquiry within, between, and beyond disciplines" in Food Systems Modelling.

Jeni Cross and co-authors published "Teams, Networks, and Networks of Networks Advancing Our Understanding and Conservation of Inland Waters" in Encyclopedia of Inland Waters, Second Edition.


Chris Moloney (Ph.D. '21) published his dissertation research in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (LEB). His article "Assessing Law Enforcement’s Cybercrime Capacity and Capability" is co-authored by Prabha Unnithan and Weiqi Zhang (Suffolk University in Boston). An extension of the work of the FBI Training Division, LEB is read by midlevel to executive managers in agencies of various sizes worldwide and is a prestigious outlet that reaches the broader police practitioner community.

Joshua Sbicca co-edited a special issue in Food and Foodways called Food and Carcerality: From Confinement to Abolition. The introductory essay can be read here.

Keith Smith (Ph.D. '20) and Lynn Hempel published "Alignment of values and political orientations amplifies climate change attitudes and behaviors" in Climatic Change.


In the News

Jeni Cross was interviewed by CityChangers for the blog post "Community Sociologist Jeni Cross: Building Better Retrofitting Behaviours."

Joshua Sbicca was interviewed by Amir Sayadabdi of the New Books Network about Food Justice Now!.

CLA's e-magazine for CSU alumni and supporters published in January with the theme “Navigating Borders.” Lou Swanson kindly allowed Sociology’s article, "Planting a Vision," to feature his and the Department’s work in China and The Yellow Mountain Foreign Advisor Award. Many thanks also to Bridget Julian and KuoRay Mao for contributing to our article. (pictured below)

Lou, Bridget and KuoRay with group in China

Scholarly Sailing

Pat Mahoney was selected to sail with Semester at Sea as a Loren W. Crabtree Global Teaching Scholar. He taught undergraduate courses, served as a mentor and advisor, and led field experiences.

As this spring's "Mediterranean Exploration" concluded, students selected Pat as the convocation speaker for the voyage graduation ceremony held aboard the MS World Odyssey. "This was a very proud moment and one that reflects well on the Sociology department at Colorado State," said Pat.

Mahoney with Semester at Sea students
Semester at Sea ship
Pat speaking

Contributing Near & Far

Joshua Sbicca was part of a roundtable dialogue published in Civil Eats titled, "Incarceration, Abolition, and Liberating the Food System" in January.

Jeni Cross was a panelist for "Behavioral Science: From Design to Measurement" held during the Neuroleadership Institute Summit in February.

Jessie Luna was an invited speaker at an event held by the African Institute for Economic and Social Development in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, in March on the topic of pesticides, food, and agriculture. She gave a talk titled “Le défi des pesticides en Afrique de l’Ouest.”

Pat Hastings gave a talk "Explaining Investments in Children in Cohabiting Families: Social Parents, Relationship Duration, and Economic Resources" and presented a poster "What’s a Parent to Do? Measuring Parenting Styles in the United States With Topic Modeling for Short Texts" at the Population Association of American annual conference held in Atlanta in April. (pictured with his co-author from McGill University)

Joshua Sbicca gave a keynote at the Rural Studies Student Conference titled, “Unchaining Food Justice: Racial Capitalism, Prison Agriculture, and the Hope of Abolition.”

Jessie Luna moderated (and helped organize) a teaching workshop held in April for the Environmental Sociology section of the ASA, titled “Teaching in a Time of Radical Flux.”

Jeni Cross was a panelist for "Incorporating Teaming Concepts and Team Science Competencies for Clinical Translational Science Teams Across the Life Span" held during the Association for Clinical and Translational Science's Translational Science 2022 conference in April.

KuoRay Mao gave a talk about ecological values and compensation in China for National Taiwan University's Department of Sociology in late April. (pictured)

Joshua Sbicca has a video spotlight in the new NoCo Food Justice Toolkit put out by the Center for Environmental Justice called “Food Labor Justice.”

Pat Hastings
Translational Science logo
flyer for Mao's talk

Alumni Updates

Building Connections for Student Success

Tara Opsal hosted a very successful Sociology Alumni Panel “Wondering what to do with a Sociology degree?” March 23 on Zoom. ASC Jessie Stewart says students have been telling her how valuable it was to hear from the panelists! Feel free to share the recording with your students.

Please continue to pass along alumni names and contact information to Tara, Carmen or Sara so we may continue to build Sociology's collection of alumni who are interested in sharing their experiences with students – like these amazing graduates who kindly agreed to be panelists!


Alisha Zellner '09
Corporal, CSU Police Department
B.S. in Psychology & Sociology, M.S. in Justice Policy from UTSA


Teagan Kavanagh '15 Digital Forensic Examiner, Defense Forensic/Ace Computers
B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Political Science


Immanuel Mitchell '13
Regional Territory Manager (West & Southeast), Pfister
 B.A. in Sociology


Edna Munoz '13
Human Trafficking Investigator, Boulder County District Attorney’s Office
B.A. in Sociology with minors in Ethnic Studies and Latin American & Caribbean Studies


Hannah Golditch '17
Mental Health Advocate, LifeStance Health
B.A. in Sociology

Sociology Fun Facts

ACJS sponsor list including CSU Sociology

CSU SOC is an ACJS sponsor

Early in the Spring 2020 semester, ACJS printed conference bags showcasing CSU SOC's logo. This spring the bags were filled with professional swag and finally handed out to in-person attendees!

Helaine and snow

Hello from Helain

Helain Steele is fondly remembered for playing a critical role in our Department as Program Assistant. She kindly sent a hello our way this spring. "I have been pondering that I retired from CSU 20 years ago this year and wondering how everyone is doing," she wrote to Pete Taylor. 

Helain and Kevin are still keeping up two homes and enjoying the snow on the mountain. As leader of the Crystal Lakes hiking group for 17 years now, she is looking forward to this summer. Kevin has been a bus driver for Poudre School District for four years and wishes he had done it sooner. This year he was one of several finalists nominated for Employee of the Year.

Helain has stayed in touch with Pat Atchison, Barbara Santopolo and Joella Turner. Helain also kindly sent an update on Hong Liu, a former graduate student who became an attorney, now heads Chinese Operations for Corning and has two grown children.

Stevens playing

CSU basketball point guard Isaiah Stevens is a SOC minor

“The biggest thing for me was to get my degree,” said Stevens in this SOURCE article. “My parents are big on that, and so, not only do I want to get it for myself, but just it’s almost like a tribute to them that all the sacrifices they made for me to get to this point weren’t in vain or anything like that.” 

PBK key

Pop quiz!

What do Isaac Asimov, Francis Ford Coppola, Sonia Sotomayor, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Booker T. Washington, Glenn Close, Peyton Manning, CSU’s former President Charles A. Lory, Dean Withers, Mike Hogan, Bridget Julian, and Pete Taylor all have in common?

Famous recent members of the liberal arts honor society Phi Beta Kappa! All campus members are listed here.

Love of learning is the guide of life. – PBK's motto

Elijah headshot

Incoming ASCSU VP Elijah Sandoval is a SOC double major

"Sandoval is double-majoring in social work and sociology with a concentration in criminal justice. She is a senator for the First Generation Student Collective Board within ASCSU and is also a first-generation student, transfer and adult learner." – Collegian article


Tara accepting running award

Tara Opsal rocked the Quad Rock

Tara Opsal ran a 50K mountain race a few weeks ago and the Quad Rock 50 on May 7. She was the 7th female overall and 2nd in the Masters Women age category. The 50-mile race was held on the trails and hills west of Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park. Way to go, Tara!

Tara running

Anxiety Art title screen

SOC minor Evan Bode wins film award

"The Through the Student Lens Film Festival—the first and only film festival created for CSU students and alumni—got its start just as the pandemic forced festivals and events all over the world to go virtual." – SOURCE article

Supported by the ACT Human Rights Film Festival, the student festival held its first in-person premiere and awards ceremony this April. Evan Bode (’20, Communication Studies B.A. with minors in Sociology, English, and Film Studies) won the Audience Choice “Before” Award for his film Anxiety Art. It is 90 seconds long and begins at 2:54 in the film collage linked to in the article.

Rendering of the proposed new Clark Building

Clark B revitalization is moving forward

"On April 25, CSU and the College of Liberal Arts received news that the state legislature and governor approved $38 million to be spent on an expansion and transformation of the Clark Building, where 99% of students will take at least one class during their academic career, regardless of their major." – SOURCE article

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Thank You For All You Do!

Please continue to send news, ideas, and comments to Carmen Ruyle Hardy, Sociology Communications Coordinator.