Spring 2023

Sociology logo
Pete Taylor

From the Chair

As I write this, I’m gazing out my window at a bright blue morning sky and 4.5 inches of water in the gauge from the last several days’ rains. I think there really are 11 Seasons of Colorado and hope that Actual Spring will now soon follow Mud Season. I’m also thinking of how attached I’ve become to the cycle of the academic year, with the excitement of Fall Promise and the satisfaction of Spring Reward.

Read below all the amazing things our faculty, grad and undergrad students and staff have accomplished this academic year! They are the people who make possible the remarkable ongoing success of Sociology’s missions of teaching, research and outreach/engagement. Those missions build a stronger, better future for our young people and our society. I have been truly privileged to serve as this department’s Chair for the last seven years. I look forward to many more seasons of being part of this amazing group of people. Thank you all for your support of our vibrant, evolving academic community. Go Rams!

Pete's signature

Pete Taylor
Professor and Chair

Department Happenings


Shawn Bingham, CSU’s new University Honors Program Director, has his tenure home with us as Associate Professor of Sociology. His scholarship includes numerous recent books and articles focusing on the Sociology of Culture, Humor as Social Agency, Disability, and the Small Housing Movement. Interim Provost Janice Nerger sent this announcement welcoming Dr. Bingham to CSU.


Prabha Unnithan is retiring after 35 years at CSU. Although he and his many interesting plaques and gavel are departing from Clark's B-wing, Dr. Unnithan's academic involvement will continue at a level that allows for plenty of time to visit his lucky grandchildren.

Prabha was recently interviewed by CSU's SOURCE for this article that was distributed campus-wide May 15 (Prabha's official retirement date): "Case closed: CSU criminologist retires after 35 years investigating society’s dark side." He kindly allowed the Department of Sociology to honor him during a gathering this spring. Please find details here. Many thanks to all who attended and wished Prabha well!

Thank you, Dr. Unnithan, for everything you’ve done to make our department what it is today!

Prabha with books and plaques
photo by Stacy Nick
Ian speaking
Pete Taylor and Bridget Julian

In Appreciation

Pete Taylor has served as Sociology’s Chair since 2016. As he'll transition back to Professor of Sociology on July 1, Executive Committee members KuoRay Mao, Pat Mahoney, Tony Roberts, and Joshua Sbicca hosted a Chair Appreciation gathering May 3 at Morgan Library. Laura Raynolds presented Pete with a speaking trumpet commemorating his strong leadership during the pandemic (and his former volunteer service leading his local community’s fire crew) and a peace lily recognizing his dedication to the department's growth throughout his tenure. Bridget Julian was applauded for standing in solidarity with Pete over the years. Please find details here. Thank you to our many Department members and CLA guests who attended!

Thank you, Dr. Taylor, for your outstanding service as Chair from 2016–2023!

Thank You

Pat Mahoney, KuoRay Mao, Julie Pinkston, Laura Raynolds, Tony Roberts, Adam Snitker, and Dr. Eleanor Moseman (Art & Art History) served on the Chair search committee. Michael Carolan will serve as Sociology’s Interim Chair starting July 1, and Tara Opsal will transition to Chair beginning the following July. She held a "Day of Dialogue" on March 28.

Julie Pinkston was nominated for the CLA State Classified Award for the truly exceptional role she plays in Sociology. “She has helped knit together and strengthen a large, highly complex and internally diverse academic unit. She has done much to help Sociology weather much changes and position itself for a rapidly evolving future,” wrote Julie’s nominators.

Sociology's "Collective Effervescence" Continues


This spring’s gatherings featured graduate students and their research and processes.

February: Nefratiri Weeks presented “Writing the NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant for my Research titled: ‘Moon Mining: Imperialism’s Next Frontier or Democratic Participation?’”

March: Cassandra Olivarez presented "Legitimate Violence in Corrections: A literature review and exploratory examination into corrections officers and use of violence"

April: India Luxton presented “Navigating the Dissertation Journey” and shared her research “COVID-19 and the Slaughterhouse: Assessing the Harms Rooted in Political Economy.”

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

Sociology supported the ACT Human Rights Film Festival again this year and was the official sponsor of the director’s visit during the in-person screening of “The Art of Un-War” in April as well as the film’s virtual screening later on.

Our Year-end & Graduation Celebration was held May 5 in Clark A. Congratulations, everyone! 

Luxton IMG_9788
Cassandra Olivarez presenting
Tony, Jeremy, Juliet, Pat H

Undergraduate Happenings

CSU Sociology students help raise awareness of new location of Rams Against Hunger pantry

This spring Jason Downing's SOC 100 and SOC 220 students paraded across campus with items to help fill the shelves of the Rams Against Hunger pantry in its new location in the CSU General Services Building at 1251 Mason Street. GTAs Alex Hagan, Milagro Núñez-Solis, and Laney Van helped lead the charge.

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 an annual food drive.

Seven SOC students serve as CLA Ambassadors

Many thanks to Grace Dotson, Lauren Hennessey, Andrea Pennington, Maliyah Pham, Anahi Ruiz, Bemnet Tefera, and Jala Ward for helping spread the word about Sociology!

CLA Ambassadors are student leaders hired by the Dean's office to support liberal arts recruitment efforts by providing personalized attention to prospective students and families. Seven of this year's 19 ambassadors are SOC students! Here are a few reasons they chose to study Sociology at CSU:

“Maliyah originally started out as a biochem major, but realized sociology was her calling. The AUCC course that influenced this major choice was SOC 100, as well as outside influences such as her interest in criminology/forensics. Maliyah loves how she can do anything with this degree.”

“Anahi studies sociology because she enjoys learning about societies' behaviors… these classes have molded her and changed the views she previously had…”

“So many societal and cultural ideals have been transferred across different generations, and figuring out where they originated or why certain things are held so sacred to populations is so interesting to her [Lauren]."

If you know a student who might be interested in being an Ambassador, please direct them to the Dean's office to inquire about open application timeframes.

AKD Induction Ceremony

Elena recognizing faculty members
Pete speaking

The 2023 Induction Ceremony for our chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta Sociological Honor Society (AKD) was held in Warner's Horsetooth Rock Conference Room on April 15. AKD Advisor Elena Windsong hosted the event. AKD Treasurer Cliona Johnson gave an overview of the organization, and Director of Undergraduate Studies Tara Opsal introduced the speaker.

Sociology Chair and current president of CSU's Delta chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) National Academic Honor Society of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Pete Taylor kindly accepted AKD's invitation to be the Keynote Speaker. His talk was titled “Sociology in an Era of Environmental Limits and Emerging Social Possibilities.”

2022 – 2023 INITIATES
Emma Fabert  •  Mary Juarez  •  Breeanna Lamutt  •  Miranda Needham  •  Cassandra Olivarez
Maliyah Pham  •  Rykr Ramirez  •  Jessica Roig  •  Sophie Russell  •  Tyra Springer  •  Andera Wren

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


Alexa Fishman and Konner Porche inducted into liberal arts honor society Phi Beta Kappa

Alexa Fishman and Konner Joseph Porche, both Sociology juniors, were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa on April 27. Interim Provost Janice Nerger and local PBK president Pete Taylor participated in the Induction, and this year's ceremony celebrated the 50th year of CSU’s Delta of Colorado PBK chapter.

PBK is the oldest and most prestigious of the academic honor societies in the United States. Details on the CSU chapter's evolution are in this recent SOURCE article.

PBK key

Congratulations & Best Wishes

 Sociology Alumni Scholarship Recipient:
Madison White

Dr. Ronny E. Turner Memorial Scholarship Recipients:
please check back soon

Harvesting Opportunity and Potential in Education (HOPE) Scholarship Recipient:
Stephanie Farmer


Madison headshot

Madison White

"I am a General Sociology major going into my final semester here at CSU. I hope to be able to use the connections and resources here at CSU to further my education of our world. I am super excited and grateful for this scholarship award. This scholarship allows me to continue to focus on my classes and get the most out of my education here at CSU."
Collegian ad congratulating grads
Martha carrying banner

Sociology’s Banner Carrier for Commencement:
Martha McCaddin • Undergraduate Representative for Sociology’s Department Council

CLA Outstanding Grad Nominees:
Bemnet Tefera was nominated by Anne Uhlman

Lauren Hennessey was nominated by ASC Stephanie Nielsen

Honors Theses:
Cleo Anderson • “Domestic Violence and Housing Instability Among Women in Community Corrections” • Cleo will be working at Crossroads Safehouse in Fort Collins as a victim advocate with aspirations of law school down the road. • Committee: Tara Opsal and Toni Zimmerman (Human Development & Family Studies)

Emily Brandenburg • “The Lived Experience of Collegiate Cheerleading at Colorado State University” • Emily is excited to move to Kansas City upon graduation this May. • Committee: Tara Opsal and Elena Windsong

Harrison Cory • “Recent Police Reforms and Their Efficacy: An Evidence-Based Literature Review” • Harrison is taking a gap year before he applies to law schools this fall. • Committee: Jeffrey Nowacki and Gina Robinson, J.D. (Political Science)

Grace Dotson • “Injustices in the Justice System: Unequal Access to Law in the United States” • Grace graduates this summer after completing the criminology and criminal justice program in Prague. • Committee: Mike Hogan and Cindy Murillo (Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts)

Claire Kraus • “Infiltrating the ‘Boys Club’: Identifying the Structural Barriers that Impact Female Representation in Policing” • Claire is a SOC minor graduating this semester with a degree in Psychology and searching for jobs in hopes of moving to the East Coast. • Committee: Jeffrey Nowacki, Tony Roberts and Michael Hogan

Jordan Mahaffey • “Analysis of Human Trafficking” • After graduating from CSU this fall, she plans to go to law school. Committee: Jeffrey Nowacki and Elena Windsong

“Congrats, indeed! And, thanks to all who support the undergraduate thesis process.” – Dr. Shawn Bingham, Director of University Honors Program and Associate Professor of Sociology

The College of Liberal Arts Spring 2023 Commencement was held Saturday, May 13, at 5:30pm at Moby Arena.

Graduate School Commencement was held Friday, May 12, at 11:30am at Moby Arena.

Graduate Student Happenings

prospective grad students mingling

Prospective Graduate Student Visits

Jeff Nowacki held Visit Day via Zoom on February 24 and in-person on March 3.

Many thanks to all who participated!

2020's Visit Day was the final in-person gathering the Department held before the longer-than-expected shift to remote operations, so bagels & coffee were in order for this year's most recent in-person Visit Day!

Food Systems Institute Student Symposium

CSU’s new Food Systems Institute held its inaugural student symposium April 26 at the LSC. Students heard from a faculty panel including co-director Michael Carolan, then presented their own research. Three SOC Ph.D. students participated in the 3-minute round. (photos by Alex DeJoy)

Azmal Hossan: “In Search of Justice in the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in the Great Bengal Delta”

Amber Obermaier: “Present Limitations and Future Projections: Food Insecurity, Housing Insecurity and Optimism Among College Students”

Adam Snitker: “Evaluating the social dimensions of the STAR program: The role of community capitals in understanding agricultural transitions”

Amber presenting
grad student presenters and Anne

Sociology Graduate Student Symposium

Anne Uhlman organized this year's event held April 28 at the LSC and on Zoom.

Parker Arnold: “The Iowa Social Network Analysis Project”

Yue Xu: Collective Discussion: “Think Outside the Box of ‘Equality vs. Equity’: Applying Social Suffering Theory in Sociology with Two Cases”

km barnhart: “Androcentrism or Class?: Family and gender construction in Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Karl Marx”

Ang Li: “Rethinking Economic Globalization and Informal Economy in Latin America’”

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


“Join me on congratulating Juliet Seibel in passing the defense of her thesis project, ‘Transforming Conservation: An Analysis of Conservation Collaboratives’ Structure and Ability to Create Change.’ Her final product will be a report for Environmental Defense Fund and one of their teams that focuses on working with local watershed collaboratives.” – Jeni Cross

“I want to alert you to our newest inductee into the Successfully Defended Dissertation Club – Erich Stroheim. I am so very proud of Erich. For those who know him, it will come as no surprise when I say it was a long journey. But he did it. HE DID IT! Well done, Erich.” – Michael Caroloan, on behalf of Erich’s committee: Mike Lacy (co-advisor), Mike Hogan, and Dana Hoag (Agricultural and Resource Economics)

Research & Teaching Awards

Nefratiri Weeks — Graduate Student Research Excellence

km barnhardt — Outstanding Graduate Student Paper
“Androcentrism or Class?: Family gender construction in Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Karl Marx"

Emilia Ravetta — Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Assistant
“Miss Ravetta is the best TA I’ve had in any of my courses at Colorado State. She is always present for lectures and ready to assist whenever we need clarification. In both courses, she would float around to all our small groups to provide individualized help on course materials or questions we had. In addition, Miss Ravetta is great at providing one-on-one support for students in her courses.” – junior SOC major

Shawna Bendeck — Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor
“This class really improved my knowledge of social problems and how our society continues to perpetuate them. I find myself using knowledge from class in conversations with friends, family, and others. Shawna kept class engaging and gave notes in a very organized way, which I appreciated. Thank you!” – SOC student

“Each award comes with a $200 prize for travel/professional development. We had excellent nominations and faculty recommendations. Thank you also to the many faculty who submitted recommendations for those applying for the GTA award." – Committee: Pat Hastings, Laura Raynolds and Jessie Luna


India Luxton volunteered as a Graduate Coordinator for CSU’s Multicultural Undergraduate Research Art and Leadership Symposium (MURALS), an undergraduate research and artistry symposium that provides a platform for undergraduate students with marginalized identities to showcase their scholarly work. “I am really excited to work with the First Year Scholars this year and to see their research skills grow,” India wrote in her MURALS bio.

Azmal and co-panelists
Photo by John Eisele


Azmal Hossan was an invited panelist for CSU’s Women in Science (WiSCI) Network event held March 8 at the Stadium in partnership with CSU’s Office of Inclusive Excellence. (pictured above) During the International Women's Day 2023 event, Azmal discussed how climate change affects ONE Health, and he and his colleagues were featured in this SOURCE article.

Austin Luzbetak and Becca Clark-Hargreaves presented “Prison Letter Writing as Research Method: Political and Methodological Barriers and Possibilities” at the  Midwest Sociological Society (MSS) Annual Meeting held March 23-26 in Minneapolis.

Nefratiri Weeks was selected to present her dissertation research on “Moon Mining: Imperialism’s Next Frontier or Democratic Cooperation?” at the Graduate Workshop in Environmental Politics and Governance that held in May at the Center for Environmental Politics, University of Washington, Seattle. (Fun fact: Nefratiri’s sister is also pursuing her Ph.D. and has also been invited to present!)

Azmal Hossan was invited to the National Collaborative for Research on Food, Energy, and Water Education’s (NC-FEW) flagship event “Advancing FEW-Nexus-Based Education” held May 11-12 in Arlington, Virginia. NC-FEW is a hub of innovation for design-based research on FEW-Nexus educational programming that includes funding by NSF, USDA NIFA, and more. Azmal presented a poster on Groundwater Injustice in Bangladesh.


Emily Haberlack’s thesis project “Settler-Colonialism and the Role of Military Government Relationships in Environmental Crises: Extended Case Study of Peterson Air Force Base PFAS Water Contamination” has been accepted for funding by the Colorado Water Center. Emily will begin data collection as she studies how a local community’s relationship with the military may shape their perspectives and subjectivities on military-induced environmental and public health crises.

Sneha Kadyan received the Best Paper award for her presentation on “Ensuring Workplace Standards in Cotton Garment Manufacturing Factories through Voluntary Certifications” at the Winter Business School Conference on Sustainability in Gurgaon, India.

Austin Luzbetak received the American Sociological Association’s Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award to attend the annual ASA conference and pre-conference.

Milagro Nunez-Solis – Sociology Alumni Scholarship Recipient

Cassandra Olivarez – Inducted into Alpha Kappa Delta Sociological Honor Society (AKD)

Cassandra Olivarez has accepted Prabha Unnithan's invitation to become journal manager of the Justice Evaluation Journal as it is moved to our Department and the new editorial team takes over in January.

Emilia Ravetta has been accepted into the competitive SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellows program that accepts 20 advanced PhD students and postdoc scholars each year from across campus. Seeking to understand the developing strategies and local environmental conditions in Latin America, Emilia's research focuses on the power relationships of groups involved in mining conflicts and decisions about mining at a local level: international mining companies, local States, and social movements, based on different understandings of environmental harm and crime.


Laurence Pedroni passed the Theory Exam.

Emilia Ravetta and Azmal Hossan passed the Methods Exam, and Lauren Fosbenner earned a High Pass.

Becca Chalit Hernandez received a High Pass on the Social Change Exam.


Shawna Bendeck and Dr. Pat Hastings published “Linking Individual and Collective Social Capital: Operationalization, Association, and Sociodemographic Heterogeneity” in Sociological Spectrum in February.

Emilia Ravetta published a book review titled "Review of Working Across Lines: Resisting Extreme Energy Extraction” in the Journal of Social Encounters in March.

Urban Climate has published Azmal Hossan and his NSF-funded SESYNC Graduate Pursuit cohort’s first manuscript, “Typologies of multiple vulnerabilities and climate gentrification across the East Coast of the United States.”

One of Azmal Hossan’s collaborative projects just got accepted for publication in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The article, "A Mixed Methods Approach to the Development of a Disaster Food Security Framework," is the first outcome of the Developing a Disaster Food Security Scale project that Azmal has been working on over the last two years as a Scientific Advisor. The project is supported by the USDA ERS-funded "25 Years of Food Security Measurement in the United States" program jointly managed by Tufts University and the University of Missouri.

This Summer

Milagro Núñez-Solis has been accepted to CSU Extension’s Summer Internship Program. She will work in Mesa County with a Western Slope Extension Specialist on the project “Documenting the experiences of migrant farm workers in the Western Colorado fruit growing industry.” Upon completion of the 10-week paid internship, Milagro will present a poster at the Extension Forum held on campus each fall.

Azmal Hossan has been accepted for a summer internship with Great Plains Tribal Water Alliance to help its Tribal Climate Resilience Program. He will support the connection of climate change resources, tools, and information for tribal resource managers and partners to support resiliency-building efforts across the North Central region (MT, WY, CO, ND, SD, NE, KS).

Emilia Ravetta has received a diversity scholarship to participate in the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods offered by University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

Azmal Hossan has been accepted to the Geneva Water Hub’s Summer School in Water Governance: Frameworks and Negotiations, and his registration fee is covered through a competitive scholarship he received from The UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics.

Research Centers & Teams

Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ)

To kick off Earth Month, CEJ and the Student Sustainability Center co-hosted an interactive workshop on climate grief and active hope. The event moved from mindfulness activities and cultivating individual coping mechanisms, to collective action and perspectives, to using the Climate Venn Diagram to identify folks' climate action based on where their skills, joys, and social needs intersect. (photo by CEJ)

Stephanie Malin co-facilitated the event and is now co-developing an undergraduate course to meet the high level of student interest in eco-grief.

Additionally, Stephanie was recently interviewed for CSU's podcast, The Audit for "From environmental disasters to eco-grief — CSU’s Center for Environmental Justice aims to find sustainable ground."

Prison Agriculture Lab

In January the Prison Agriculture Lab released a storymap, Growing Chains: Prison Agriculture and Racial Capitalism in the United States, to complement its satellite image gallery, and teaching modules. In February, co-founders Joshua Sbicca and Carrie Chennault (Geography) were interviewed for CSU's podcast, The Audit: CSU’s Prison Agriculture Lab researches the roots, impact of the prison agriculture industry. Since then, Josh has been invited to do several talks and media interviews (please see the Faculty section below), and the Prison Agriculture Lab is featured in Sociology's article "Revealing What's Been Hidden" for this spring's "pereception"-themed CLA e-magazine.

CSU's Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) hosted a Java & Justice event in April as part of CSU's Earth Day festivities and invited Josh and Carrie to present the Lab's “abolitionist methodologies” and discuss the process of dismantling systems of oppression and building more livable and just worlds. (photo by CEJ)

Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources (STAR)

As part of both the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities effort and its Conservation Innovation Grant program, James Hale and Michael Carolan received over $700,000 from the Colorado Department of Agriculture to research the social dimensions of a soil health program called STAR (Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources) over the next four years. Ph.D. student Adam Snitker plays a key role in this project that examines factors that support and/or inhibit agricultural transitions. Specifically, drawing on the community capitals framework, the research team will use a mixed-methods case study approach to understand how the STAR program may or may not mobilize resources needed to transition farm and ranch operations. A central goal of this project is to inform policy in a way that considers the sociological aspects of so-called individual decision-making in hopes of supporting more sustainable and just agricultural transitions.

Faculty Happenings


Pat Hastings has been granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology.

Tony Roberts has been granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology.

Elena Windsong has been promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology.

Jessie Luna received CLA's Excellence in Teaching Award, Tenure-Track. As a student wrote in Jessie’s nomination, “The compassion she leads with is something I have not seen in many instructors. It is hard to explain the impact, other than to say that Dr. Luna makes me feel like a human being who matters — an experience I don’t often have in other classes, especially as a member of a deeply marginalized group of people. I have been irrevocably changed as a result of my education with Dr. Luna, and I will continue to seek her out as a professor for as long as I am able.”

Stephanie Malin received the CLA's Outstanding Engaged Scholarship Award. As Stephanie's nominator commented, “Dr. Malin’s work on extractive industries and their environmental justice, health, and economic effects in marginalized communities makes important contributions to engaged scholarship.” Her research has had a significant impact on communities affected by activities such as uranium mining and oil and gas development. Her hard work and dedication to engaged scholarship makes her this year’s award recipient.”

Jessie and Stephanie were recognized at the College of Liberal Arts’ All-College Meeting & Awards Ceremony held April 25 in the LSC Theatre. Read more here.

Stephanie Malin accepts award from Dean Withers
Jessie Luna photo on CLA screen

"What a delight to see the more than 100 books on our display table – books that you all wrote and published since 2020” – CLA All-College Awards ceremony

Pat Hastings was selected as a two-year Visiting Scholar at the Penn State University Population Research Institute.

Pat Mahoney was approved as an affiliate faculty member in the Colorado School of Public Health.

Lieutenant Staci Shaffer (B.A. '94) was honored as Larimer County Community Corrections' 44th Judge Conrad L. Ball Award recipient. Staci has been with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office for over 25 years and was recognized for "her accomplishments in improving criminal justice and for her innovation, collaboration, and use of data in decision-making."

Tweet announcing Pat Hastings' fellowship


Steven Dandaneau published “A Phenomenological Theory of Change in U.S. Higher Education: The Case of the Boyer 2030 Commission Report” in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning in April. The report Steve references is "The Equity/Excellence Imperative: A 2030 Blueprint for Undergraduate Education at U.S. Research Universities" that he and colleagues released last fall. Read more in this SOURCE article.

Ph.D. student Shawna Bendeck and Pat Hastings published “Linking Individual and Collective Social Capital: Operationalization, Association, and Sociodemographic Heterogeneity” in Sociological Spectrum in February.

In the News

CSU’s latest edition of RESEARCH magazine is themed “Resilience!” and includes two articles that mention sociology: Michael Carolan’s What’s on the Menu? Safe, Secure Food: CSU experts strive for solutions to many challenges to feeding so many people” and Dean Withers’Defending Democracy Under Duress: CSU actively strengthens the building blocks underlying American democracy.”

Stephanie Malin was featured in The Rocky Mountain Collegian’s article “CSU professor works for environmental justice.”

Joshua Sbicca was featured in The Rocky Mountain Collegian’s article “Our food system tells us why groceries are so expensive.”

Joshua Sbicca was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle for its piece “I’m a restaurant critic. Am I fueling gentrification in the Bay Area?

Following The Audit podcast and CSU's press release, Joshua Sbicca was interviewed by Westword for CSU's Prison Agriculture Lab Works to Change the Perception of Penal Labor,” by Sentient Media for “Factory Farms Are Sourcing Their Cheap Labor From Prisons,” by the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee's C21 (Center for 21st Century) for 6.5 Minutes with...Josh Sbicca, and by Edge Effects for “Mapping the Unfree Labor of Prison Agriculture: A Conversation with Carrie Chennault and Josh Sbicca.

Prabha Unnithan was interviewed for “The science of homelessnesssection of The Colorado Sun’s extensive piece, “Denverites worried crime would accompany safe outdoor spaces. Data shows the opposite happened.


Contributing Near & Far

Jessie Luna presented a talk at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Conference in Denver in March titled “Strategic ignorance: Dilemmas of knowing, unknowing, and blame in the West African pesticide landscape.

Joshua Sbicca also attended the AAG Conference and presented a paper: “Carceral Agrarian Dreams and the Rise of the Plantation Prison.” Additionally, he was on a plenary panel, Abolition Ecologies in Action: A conversation on political-ecological praxis, at the Dimensions of Political Ecology and Cultural and Political Ecology (CAPE) Specialty Group Political Ecology Pre-Conference.

Joshua Sbicca ran a workshop: “Building Abolitionist Food System Futures Together” for the California Food and Farming Network Community of Practice for Organizational Transformation in March.

Joshua Sbicca and Stephanie Malin co-facilitated separate CEJ events mentioned earlier in this newsletter. (Josh pictured here, photo by CEJ)

Pat Mahoney will present a conference paper titled "When They Came for Me: Artificial Intelligence and Worker Displacement" at the Sixteenth Global Studies Conference in Oxford, England July 19-21. The theme of this year’s conference is “Agency in an Era of Displacement and Social Change.”

Prabha Unnithan is Interim Treasurer of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) and attended the Executive Board meeting at the Annual Conference held in late March in National Harbor, MD. (pictured)

Prabha Unnithan is the incoming Editor of the Justice Evaluation Journal that "aims to assess the efficacy and efficiency of crime reduction and prevention programs and policies instituted and funded primarily by local and national agencies." His three-year editorial term begins with Volume 7 (calendar year 2024). M.A. student Cassandra Olivarez has accepted Prabha's invitation to be the journal manager, and they are working on the logistics of moving the journal to our Department and appointing a new team of associate editors.

AAG logo
Josh talking with students
California network logo
Global conference logo
Prabha at ACJS
Justice Evaluation Journal cover

Alumni Updates

alumni and faculty
mingling after panel

Building Connections for Student Success

Tara Opsal hosted another very successful Sociology Alumni Panel “Wondering what to do with a Sociology degree?” held April 9 at the LSC + Zoom. Four recent SOC grads discussed the work they do and their pathways to their current careers. Students asked many intriguing questions and alumni, Tara, Mike Hogan, and Nefratiri Weeks offered valuable ideas, perspective, and advice.

Feel free to share the recording with your students.

Suriya headshot

Suriya Vijayasarathy '17
Mental Health Promotion Specialist, Adams County Health Department

B.A. in SOC, minors in Business Admin. & Chemistry, MPP from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Savanna headshot

Savanna Bunnell '17
Correctional Case Specialist, Larimer County Community Corrections

B.A. in SOC, minor in Legal Studies 

Leah headshot

Leah Eyob '18
Consultant, Deloitte Innovation Solutions

B.A. in SOC, minor in Int'l Studies, M.A. in Global Dev. Policy from Boston U

Brooke headshot

Brooke Hennessey '21
CivicSpark Fellow, AmeriCorps Program, City of Fort Collins Sustainability Services

B.A. in SOC, minor in Business Administration

Becca Eman and Jesse Fagan recently Zoomed into Stephanie Malin's SOC 315: Applications of Qualitative Research course. "They spoke about their undergrad and grad experiences, how they parlayed them into very different careers, and how to think about career competencies," says Stephanie. "There was also a lively Q&A. It was wonderful - and thank you for all your help arranging that."

Please continue to pass along alumni names and contact information to Tara, Carmen or Sara so we may expand Sociology's collection of alumni who are interested in sharing their experiences with students – and let us know who we can connect you with as guest speakers. Thank you!

Alumni Updates

Adam Mayer (Ph.D., ’17) and Keith Smith (Ph.D. ‘20) published “Multidimensional partisanship shapes climate policy support and behaviours” in Nature Climate Change. Adam is a post-doctoral research associate at the Center for Global Change at Earth Observations at MSU. Keith is a Senior Researcher in the International Political Economy/International Environmental Politics group at the Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS) at ETH Zürich.

Five of Prabha’s former graduate students joined the Department in celebrating his retirement.

Jeramy Arney (B.A. '93, M.A. '00), Professor of Political Science Public Administration at University of Wisconsin/La Crosse. (pictured bottom left)

Carla Barela-Bloom (B.A. '99, M.A. '05), CSU Academic Success Coordinator for Exploratory Studies. (pictured bottom center)

Catherine Beighey (M.A. '98), Professor of Sociology at Aims Community College

Eric Dowdy (Ph.D. '17), IT and Data/Systems Manager for the Fort Collins-Loveland Water District and Slammin Famine. (pictured bottom right)

RJ Tuttle (B.A. '15, M.A. '19), FCPS Officer, 2023 Officer of the Year – As we were tracking down RJ to invite him, we discovered he was recently named 2023 Officer of the Year by Fort Collins Police Services! (pictured right)

RJ Tuttle tweet announcing award
Prabha and Jeremy
Carla speaking
Mike, Eric, Prabha

On a Lighter Note

Twins stretch James & Lauren's  sociological imaginations

Research Scientist James Hale (Ph.D. ’17) and partner Lauren Alessi (M.A. ’14) had twins last September. “Their names are Robin and Sydney and they’re ready to get out explore more of the world now that it is getting warmer!” says James. “Though they are twins, their individual personalities have already begun shining through which is an endless source of conversation for two sociologically-minded parents.”

Azmal class photos
Momos food truck

Alum Sulav Magar opens family-inspired Momos food truck

“Dumplings are like a staple for Nepal,” Sulav Magar (B.A., ’16) told the The Collegian. “It’s kind of like pizza and burgers here. Fort Collins is such a booming town, and I just feel like I’d like to bring more ethnic food into the town.” Sulav launched his new food truck Momos in January. Have you ever tried momos? Now's your chance!

Tara at race finish line
Tara, Mike and 2 students

Prague travellers reunite

Tara Opsal, Sophie Russell, Breeanna Lamutt, and Mike Hogan reunited at the AKD Induction Ceremony.

Pat H at race finish line

Pat and Tara  continue to Rock & Run

This spring, Pat Hastings ran the Quad Rock 50 that began at Lory State Park, and Tara Opsal ran the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run in Buena Vista. High fives to you both – and to your fan club that requested a race update here!

New hires look forward to joining our Ramily

Erin O'Callaghan and Janelle Viera each received their note card and welcome gift and asked Julie Pinkston to share their gratitude with the Department.

“I just received my ‘Welcome to CSU’ package and I am over the moon! Thank you so much for organizing it and a thank you to the department. I really cannot wait to move out there and become part of the great crew!” 🙂 – Erin

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for my welcome package! I received it this weekend. It especially means a lot that various faculty and students signed my card welcoming me to CSU. (I happen to love cards and have kept a collection going since the '90s. 🙂) I am very excited to begin working alongside such thoughtful and inviting colleagues this Fall.” – Janelle


Yue Xu, Milagro Núñez-Solis, Cassandra Olivarez, Amber Obermaier, Laney Van, Alex Hagan, and Raymond Appiah, Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) for Jason Downing, joined him at his farm for a meal and hang time. Many thanks to Julie Downing for capturing the moment(s)! Rock on, Ravensdale!

Jason Downing and TAs celebrating end of semester
SOC sticker

Thank You For All You Do!

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