Spring 2021

Sociology logo
Pete Taylor

From the Chair

It’s spring again in Colorado, with warm sunny days that make me want to be out on a lake somewhere with a paddleboard, followed by 3 feet of heavy wet snow the next day, followed by warm sun, followed by REPEAT again and again.

This last semester went by with blinding speed maybe because so much happened. Check out below Sociology’s Spring 2021 newsletter with all the impressive activities and accomplishments of our dedicated faculty and amazing students. Highlights (to name only a few of many names) include an award for Pat Mahoney’s article; path-breaking faculty and grad student research publications in high profile journals; Annabel Ipsen’s winning of highly competitive Ann Gill Faculty Development and Vice President Office for Research awards; a second public Call for Racial Justice led by Jessie Luna, Lynn Hempel and KuoRay Mao; a successful Graduate Student Research Symposium organized by India Luxton; many successful defenses of MA theses and undergraduate honors theses, PhD dissertation proposals and Comprehensive Exams; a highly innovative mentoring module developed by Tara Opsal and colleagues providing new career support especially to first generation and minoritized students; CSU Service-Learning Awards for Jason Downing and his SOC 100 and 220 students; and much more.

In the midst of everything this last year, the sustained growth and development of our Sociology Department underscores the critical contributions our members are making to the University, our community and the world.

Many thanks to all who have supported us in our efforts this year. Go Sociologists!

Pete's signature

Pete Taylor
Professor and Chair

Department Happenings


Ken Berry is entering a new stage of his long and productive career. Beginning May 15, Emeritus Professor Berry will pursue opportunities beyond CSU.

His next statistics book will be released July 28, and he and co-author Dr. Janis Johnston ('06) are writing a chapter in another former Ph.D. student's upcoming criminology book. He and Janis have an additional criminology and permutations project in the works, and he recently fielded a call from Cambridge Press.

From Pete Taylor on Ken's retirement:
Dr. Berry has been an important part of CSU Sociology for decades and has helped make us the strong and resilient Department we are. For example, he originally wrote the Department Code that we continue to revise and update. He has served on nearly every Sociology faculty committee.

Ken is a world-renowned expert on statistics, especially related to small sample analysis. He “speaks” six programming languages and has published a truly amazing amount. He continues to go strong, for example, taking on new green criminology collaborative projects with colleagues, including a former CSU Sociology faculty member and two former Sociology PhD students.

Ken has been one of Sociology’s most popular and beloved instructors over many, many years despite students’ common anxiety about statistics. He jumped right in with everyone else last spring to move his statistics courses online and then to hybrid modality this fall and spring.

Virtual high fives and handshakes, Dr. Berry

If Dr. Berry might allow us to capture some of his many stories from over 50 years of service at CSU, what questions do you have for him? Please share those with Carmen, as well as your own stories of working with Dr. Berry over the years. The photo in the header of this newsletter is a sneak peek at one of his many stories...

Dr. Berry's book next to Rainbow tshirt

Pop quiz: Using the first two axioms of probablility, what is the chance that Dr. Berry moves his office to the Rainbow? For years his books have been on display as reading material for guests to enjoy while dining. 

four of Dr. Berry's stats books on shelf at Rainbow

Thank You

Pete Taylor has agreed to continue as Chair for a second five year term. From Dean Withers' announcement: "It was clear from the reappointment process that [Pete] enjoys overwhelming support within the department...He is a strong advocate for Sociology, not just with his voice but through hard work as well…”

Laura Raynolds has served as Director of Graduate Studies for two years.

Jeff Nowacki will take over as Director of Graduate Studies this fall.

Elena Windsong created and distributed this Teaching Tips google doc at the beginning of the semester for all to use.

Julie Pinkston and Sara Gill supported the Department's transition from the S: drive to Sharepoint this spring.

Helping Inspire Confidence in the Liberal Arts

CLA launched their “Together, we” digital campaign this spring to share existing and new stories in the college that show our values and expertise in a new format that is accessible to students, faculty, and staff. Through short, bite-sized storytelling, CLA is releasing content that is easy to absorb whether on social media or as you’re walking the halls of Clark.

Together we EXPLORE: February focused on curiosity. Together, we investigate wicked problems, discover new opportunities and perspectives, and understand the context of the world around us.

Together, we PERSIST: March focused on embodying flexibility and determination. Together, we adapt to changing circumstances, persevere through new and existing challenges, and imagine ways to better our community.

Together, we CONNECT: April focused on community engagement. Together, we advocate for people and causes, engage the community with new ideas and programs, and lead others into a direction that is more equitable and just.

Together, we CELEBRATE EARTH DAY: This special edition focused on environmental sustainability. Together, we solve wicked problems like climate change and food insecurity, learn about the Earth with a liberal arts lens, connect to the natural environment, and protect the Earth through conservation of our history and resources.

These and more will be made into posters for our hallway. Please send Carmen your own photos and "micro-stories."

Jessie Luna Investigate spotlight
Together, we Engage
Food drive spotlight
Together, we Advocate
Malin Advocate spotlight
Josh Sbicca Solve spotlight
Jeni Cross Discover spotlight
Together, we Learn
CEJ Learn spotlight

Leaders in Social Justice & Equity

Social Justice & Equity Working Group releases AAPI statement

In June of 2020, CSU Sociology faculty wrote and disseminated a Call for Racial Justice. Jessie Luna proposed this statement as well as the formation of our Social Justice & Equity (SJE) Working Group. Lynn Hempel and KuoRay Mao joined Jessie in launching this open, participatory group to serve as a platform for promoting reflexivity and dialogue within our department in order to implement change in our community.

This May, SJE reaffirmed our commitment to racial justice with a statement of support for Asians, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The Department committed to raising awareness of valuable contributions by our AAPI colleagues near and far. 

"Thank you, Jessie, for sharing this with us and for the work you and your colleagues in Sociology are doing." – Dean Withers, April 28

Dr. Unnithan spotlight
Robyn Magalit Rodriguez spotlight

Jeni Cross's new presentations on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion

Jeni Cross is well known for her work around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. She recently developed presentations for  a large international association of ecologists and for leadership fellows programs.

She was the invited keynote speaker for the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) 2020 All-Hands Meeting held virtually in October. Her talk was "Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: Making it a value, A Priority, and A Habit."

Jeni was invited to give her new workshop "Science of Team Science: Creating an Inclusive, Just, and Equitable Team Culture" twice this spring. In May, it was hosted by the Growing Research Opportunities Academy at Ohio State University. In March, CSU's School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) offered it for their Sustainability Leadership Fellows.

She has been invited to offer the workshop as a Grand Rounds Presention this summer at the University of Cincinnati's Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training.


Pat Mahoney appointed to CLA's new equity group

Pat Mahoney has been appointed to the steering committee of the newly formed College of Liberal Arts Equity Group. The group's formal name is in the works.

Pat is well known for his various leadership endeavors on campus, and he continues to stay abreast of best practices. This fall he virtually attended Chronicle of Higher Education's “Leadership Outlook: The Academic Workforce” and American Sociological Society's (ASA) "Strategies for Online Teaching & Learning.”

notes from students

Elena Windsong & SOC 334 students carefully consider allies

Elena Windsong encourages her SOC 334 Sociology of Intersectionality students to think critically about the term "ally" and then respond to the prompt, "Direct actions I can take as an ally." As the Department continues to find ways to support students in building connections and addressing challenging issues, students' insights and Elena's guidance are invaluable.

notes from students
notes from students

Sociology again co-sponsors ACT Human Rights Film Festival

Founded and organized by CSU's Department of Communication Studies, the 6th annual ACT Film Festival was held virtually this year. Sociology once again provided support as a co-sponsor.

This year's festival presented 21 films from 14 countries and 8 filmmaker Q&As over 10 days of culture, conversation, and social justice. Each feature film included a guide on how viewers can support human rights.

Sociology sponsored the film The Rebellion of Memory about social movements and activism in Ecuador.

Undergraduate Happenings

Tara Opsal creates new intro course module focusing on transferable skills and careers

Tara Opsal launched the first module in a new series designed to help mentor students as they are introduced to Sociology. The modules are part of the Department's effort to help retain first generation and students of color. Tara applied for and received funding from the CLA Dean's Office and the Provost's Office.

SOC 100 and 105 instructors began showing the module this spring. The final three modules are in the works and will be delivered in specific upper-division required courses through a lesson plan for instructors to follow.

Many thanks to faculty and alumni who agreed to be filmed for the series. Jeni Cross, Pat Hastings, and Jessie Luna discussed transferable skills they offer in their courses. Danté Bills ('12), Teagan Kavanagh ('15), Immanuel Mitchell ('13), and Monica Paez ('15) volunteered advice for students, stories around their identities, and how their training in Sociology has impacted their career paths.

Carmen Ruyle Hardy assisted with the project, Student Media's Student Video Productions filmed and edited, and several additional alumni contributed stories and photos via email.

"Wonderful job, Tara. This is phenomenal!" – Roze Hentschell, CLA Associate Dean

Jason Downing and SOC students win Celebrate! Colorado State Service-Learning Awards

For over 15 years, Jason Downing has inspired his students to positively impact their community. This year, Celebrate! Colorado State took notice and honored Jason, Sociology students and the Food Bank of Larimer County. Look for the award that will soon hang in our hallway.

Exceptional Achievement in Service-Learning Instructional Innovation Award: Jason Landis Downing

Exceptional Achievement in Service-Learning Student Award: Department of Sociology Students

Exceptional Achievement in Service-Learning Community Partner Award: Food Bank for Larimer County

Details on the past few semesters' food drives are here.


Induction Ceremony slide

Department resumes annual tradition of AKD Induction Ceremony

The 2019-2021 Induction Ceremony for our chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta Sociological Honor Society (AKD) was held virtually on April 23. Jessie Luna hosted the event and honored KuoRay Mao for his years of dedication as CSU Sociology's AKD advisor. Chelsey Potter, AKD President and Ph.D. student, and Pete Taylor, Chair, offered words of wisdom to the students and families who joined in the celebration via Zoom. Many thanks to all Department members who attended!

The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Melissa Rorie, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at UNLV and her talk was titled "Don’t get mad, get wise: A criminological journey from helplessness to optimism." 

"I think it was very special and will be memorable for all involved because it was different, not inspite of not being how we’ve done it in the past. The event really showed how we can gather meaningfully even in such strange times. I also expect that there were family and friends present who might well not have been able to attend an in-person event." – Pete Taylor

Marcus Griess
Nicolette HansonMyranda Houghton Jacob JordanIlleana SabbaghKatelyn SchillerSophia SheppJulia Kovacs (M.A. student)Chelsey Potter (Ph.D. student)

Summer CushmanMarie CusickJulia GarciaAdriana GraybealAlejandro LeonJessica MawyerDerek NeadDylan ScottBenjamin StarrAmy Sumerfield

Jeffrey AraujoDavid BorenMaria CaiolaAdriana EspinozaPerla Hurtado FloresElla JamesonKristina RichterChristian StenbergKelsee Ward

Marie Cusick slide
Ella Jameson slide
Adriana Espinoza slide
Chelsey Potter slide
Sophia Shepp slide
Perla Hurtado Flores slide
Dylan Scott slide


Many thanks to all Department members who reached out to individual admitted students who were in the process of deciding if CSU is a good fit for them this fall. Your efforts made a difference! 123 students have signed on for Fall 2021, which is a 7.9% increase from last year and in line with our 2018 number.

Tara Opsal, Pete Taylor, Matt VanderMeulen and Carmen Ruyle Hardy participated in Sociology's first-ever Open House for admitted students and their families. Admissions and CLA Recruitment hosted the virtual event on March 11. Current SOC majors Cleo Anderson, Zoe Mack, and Alan Munoz Valenciano and SOC minor & CLA Ambassador Moraima Castaneda provided wonderful insight and helpful tips to admitted students considering our program for Fall 2021.

Natalia Instagram screenshot

Congratulations & Best Wishes

Honors Theses:
Mary O’Hara • "Policing Pandemic: Law Enforcement Officers’ Experiences of the Covid-19 Pandemic" • Mary has accepted a position in the Estes Park Community Service Office. Committee: Lynn Hempel and Jeff Nowacki
Allie Brieske • "The Lack of Diversity in Healthcare: A Focus on How Medical School Admissions Processes Address Racial Diversity" • Allie is a biological sciences major with a minor in sociology, and she plans to attend physician assistant school. Committee: Pat Mahoney and Lilly Dethier (Health Professions)
Desi Westrom • "Racial Disparity in Police Use of Lethal Force – Theoretical Explanations and Policy Implications" • Desi has accepted a special education teacher position in Denver. Committee: Jeff Nowacki and Elena Windsong

Sociology Alumni Scholarship Recipients:
Melia Blair • Sophomore • Environmental Sociology concentration • Global Environmental Sustainability Interdisciplinary minor
Ruben Jimenez • Sophomore • Criminology & Criminal Justice concentration

Dr. Ronny E. Turner Memorial Scholarship Recipients:
Aida Afeworki • Freshman • Criminology & Criminal Justice concentration
Krysna Quinonez • Junior • Criminology & Criminal Justice concentration • Human Development & Family Studies double major • Prevention & Intervention Science concentration

Harvesting Opportunity and Potential in Education (HOPE) Scholarship Recipients:
Meumang Ling • Junior • General Sociology concentration • Political Science double major • Global Politics & Policy concentration
Jala Ward • Freshman • Criminology & Criminal Justice concentration

Collegian ad listing grads

Chair Pete Taylor congratulated Sociology graduates during CLA's Spring Commencement held virtually on May 14. (SOC is at 1:33:10 in the video.) Pete also represented our department at CSU's Ceremonial Walk Across the Oval held the week before Spring Break in lieu of an in-person ceremony in May.

Many thanks to each of you who wrote cards to graduating seniors!
This new tradition began last spring, and faculty members have since received very positive feedback.

Graduate Student Happenings

Visit Day

Our 2nd annual Prospective Graduate Student Visit Day was held virtually March 5. It was all hands on deck as we welcomed 21 students from China, Costa Rica, and across the United States. Thank you to the many, many Department members who organized, presented, conversed on Discord, and braved evening socials as Gathertown avatars.

Congratulations to Severin Mangold and Micaela Truslove who are advancing to our Ph.D. program!

"I thought it went really well, and it made me really excited about potentially attending CSU!" – prospective grad student

Check out the virtual tour collage of  current grad students' favorite spots around town.

Graduate Student Symposium

Our annual Graduate Student Symposium was held virtually April 30. Many thanks to the presenters and all Department members who attended and provided feedback to the presenters.

India introducing symposium speakers

India LuxtonGraduate Student President and Symposium Organizer

Taylor presenting

Taylor EllisCommunity Corrections Case Managers Experiences with Transgender Clients

Laurence presenting

Laurence PedroniTotal Liberation: A Comparison between Radical Environmental Movements and Indigenous Environmental Movements

Severin presenting

Severin Mangold Tiny House Communities: Facilitators of Pro-Environmental Behaviors

Bailey presenting

Bailey MellottUnderstanding First Generation, Latino/a Student Networks: A Critical Exploration of Student Support at a Modern Land-Grant University

Nefratiri presenting

Nefratiri Weeks Environmental Authoritarianism and Primitive Accumulation: Criminal Selectivity in State-Led Environmental Conservation in China (First author, Dr. KuoRay Mao)

"I thought the Graduate Student Symposium went great! All five presentations were well done and did a terrific job of showing the exciting range of significant research Sociology's graduate students are involved in. Many thanks to you India for all your organizational work and to all five presenters Laurence, Bailey, Taylor, Severin and Nefratiri for preparing and presenting on their research." – Pete Taylor

No. 84 CSU Sociology

U.S. News & World Report's 2021 graduate program rankings list our Ph.D. program in the nation's Top 100 "Best Sociology Programs."

U.S. News rankings logo

Dissertation Proposal Defenses

Shawna Bendeck • "Educational Experiences and Outcomes for Students, Families and Educators during COVID-19" • Committee: Jeni Cross, Stephanie Malin, Pat Hastings, Heidi Hausermann (Anthropology)

India Luxton • "COVID-19 and the Slaughterhouse: A Critical Analysis of Power, Environmental Injustice, and Green Crime" • Committee: Stephanie Malin, Tara Opsal, Jeni Cross, Josh Sbicca, Madeline Gottlieb (Poli Sci)

M.A. Defenses

Emma Casey • "Victimhood and Actorhood: Constructions of agency in anti-trafficking advocacy" • Committee: Lynn Hempel, Tara Opsal, Tony Roberts, Sammy Zahran (Economics) • Emma will continue her intellectual pursuits as a PhD student in sociology at Stanford University.

Katie Linenger • “A Women’s Support Group: Addressing Gaps in Community Services” • Committee: Jeni Cross, Tara Opsal, Katie Gerst (Human Development and Family Studies)

Julia Kovacs • "Green Crime, Space, and Place: An Examination of the Role of Environmental Victims in the Treadmill of Crime" • Committee: KuoRay Mao, Tara Opsal, Elizabeth Tulanowski (Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability)

Chelsey Potter • "One Country, Two Perspectives: Social Control Through News Media Framing During the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong" • Committee: KuoRay Mao, Jeffrey Nowacki, Ziyu Long (Communication Studies)

Severin Mangold • "Tiny House Communities: A Model for Sustainability” • Committee: Tony Roberts, Pat Mahoney, Phil Cafaro (Philosophy)

Drew Yarnell • "Risk Society and the Fight for Kratom" • Committee: Pat Mahoney, Pete Taylor, Meara Faw (Speech Communication)

Yue Xu • "The Rise of Social Network Based Seafood Industrial Cluster and Rural Community Transformation in Zhoushan Islands of China" • Committee: Laura Raynolds, KuoRay Mao, Lynn Kwiatkoski (Anthropology)  


Parker Arnold (Ph.D. student and 2nd author), Jeni Cross (3rd author) and co-authors published "Does Conservation Ethic Include Intergenerational Bequest? A Random Utility Model Analysis of Conservation Easements and Agricultural Landowners" in Rural Sociology in February. Read

Meara Faw (Communication Studies), India Luxton, Jeni Cross (faculty and 4th author), and Deana Davalos (Psychology) published “Surviving and Thriving: Qualitative Results from a Multi-Year, Multidimensional Intervention to Promote Well-being among Caregivers of Adults with Dementia” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in April. Read


Shawna Bendeck presented "Changes to Family Life During COVID-19 School Closures: Research in Progress" during the Mid-South Sociological Association Annual Conference held virtually in October.

Shawna Bendeck, along with Dr. Snodgrass, Katya Zhao, and Seth Sagstetter from Anthropology, presented "Mediating Individual Experience through Digital Social Connections: An Exploration of Health Resilience and Disparities during COVID-19" during the Society for Psychological Anthropology Biennial Conference held virtually in April.

Becca Chalit-Hernandez and Austin Luzbetak presented "Critical Food and Environmental Justice: Lessons from Critical Fat Studies" at the Western Social Science Association this spring.

Austin & Becca title slide

In the Field

Taylor Ellis has accepted data analyst position at the Boulder County District Attorney's office. Her primary responsibilities include data cleaning, analysis, and evaluation across agencies with the goal of providing specific policy and practice changes to the local justice system.


Parker Arnold passed the Theory Comprehensive Exam

Shawna Bendeck passed the Social Change Comprehensive Exam

Becca Clark-Hargreaves passed the Theory Comprehensive Exam

India Luxton passed the Social Change Comprehensive Exam

Adrienne Miller earned a High Pass on the Methods Comprehensive Exam


Becca Chalit Hernandez • Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society Graduate Student Research Paper Award for her paper, “Hunger Strikes and Differential Consciousness: Impure Contestation, Hunger, and the Building of Symbolic Futures.” Becca will present this paper at this year’s AFHVS/ASFS/CAFS/SAFN virtual Just Food Conference.

India Luxton • Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center’s Student Leaders in Public Health stipend for her policy analyses and fieldwork on meatpacking plants, COVID-19 risks, and worker health from environmental justice and health perspectives

Shawna Bendeck • Graduate Scholarship in Social Change

Azmal Hossan • Graduate Student Research Excellence Award for his research on human dimensions of climate change, food-energy-water nexus, and environmental justice

Austin Luzbetak • Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award

Bria Willert • Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Award

Shawna Bendeck • Graduate Student Dissertation Award in honor of Kai Erikson from the Natural Hazard Center, CU Boulder

Benja Kromash • Pullium Scholarship that provides students opportunities to learn and apply leadership skills in the field of environmental education

"Bria is one of the few Teaching Assistants in my academic career that has gone above and beyond to help students understand course material and be successful in the course". – student

"My education is better for having taken this class with her, and I feel that I am a better citizen of the world thanks to her. She challenged us without pushing us and she taught us through her passion. I could not imagine a better recipient for this award than Austin." – student

"Bria expressed genuine care for me and other students with her compassionate remarks. In addition, she gave excellent feedback on the core writing assignments of the course, guiding me to improve with each assignment". – student

"She structured the class in a way that built peer relationships ... it built community out of my class that was professional, hopeful, and actively engaged in the class material. ... This is a positive space to create under normal circumstances, but given that Austin was able to create a sense of peer-to-peer academic community in a remote format—during a global pandemic, through the duration of record setting statewide wildfires, and simultaneously with very hectic national and local elections—is frankly incredible. I doubt any other class on campus was able to engage its students and material as deeply as Austin was able to during this time." – student

"Though this course was notably difficult for me, having the support of Bria as a Teaching Assistant was a significant piece of my success in the class." 

Upcoming Internships

Benja Kromash will be working for the nonprofit Growing Gardens as an environmental educator in Boulder this summer.

Two Sociology Ph.D. students have been accepted into the CSU Summer Extension Internship Program. Interns each make a final Extension program and poster presentation at CSU’s annual Extension Forum held on campus each fall.

Emilia Ravetta was selected for the Larimer County Farmers’ Market internship. She will conduct qualitative research to help understand how the market functions as a community resource and community space. Emilia will also help establish connections between CSU, the Farmers’ Market and the community. Stop by her pop-up market stall this summer!

Azmal Hossan was selected for the “Agricultural Water Use in the Upper Colorado Basin” internship. He will spend the summer at CSU’s Western Colorado Research Center in Grand Junction. Azmal will help communicate the changing nature of CSU’s statewide engagement mission through community outreach via a variety of website and social media platforms that have not been effectively utilized by the Western Colorado Research Center units. He will also participate in planting, irrigation management, and data collection at the agricultural research campus. The internship aligns with Azmal’s Ph.D. research and his InTERFEWS appointment.

Beyond Campus

Azmal Hossan's CONVERGE COVID-19 Working Group for Public Health and Social Sciences Research received funding for their research proposal titled, "Developing a Disaster Food Security Scale (DFSS)" from the 25 Years of Food Security Measurement program at Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. Azmal will work as one of six Scientific Advisors on this project.

In late April, Azmal Hossan started his nine-month Agents of Change in Environmental Health Fellowship through Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University. He is attending regular monthly workshops and has already submitted a write-up on the water crisis in South Asia with a special focus on India-Bangladesh water relations. The piece is uunder review and Azmal hopes it will be published in Environmental Health News in the coming months.

Updates from Research Teams & Centers

Center for Environmental Justice 

"Thanks to more than a decade of effort from faculty, staff, and students, CSU is expanding [its] environmental lens to include social justice, and formalizing that commitment through the Center for Environmental Justice, officially launched in March 2020. What started as a study group in 2009, and grew to a working group in 2014, has become one of CSU’s leading initiatives regarding environmental justice issues around the world.CSU faculty launch Center for Environmental Justice to tackle access and inequality." Read more in this spring's SOURCE article.

Stephanie Malin is one of the Center’s founders and a current steering committee member. Joshua Sbicca is also a member of the steering committee.

Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRISS)

IRISS hired two new staff members this spring. Rachel Lahoff is a Research Associate III, and Trish Nickel is a Research Associate IV – Team Scientist.

For recent presentations, please see above section "Leaders in Social Justice & Equity" for Jeni Cross's keynote and workshops on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Faculty Happenings


President McConnell has approved the granting of tenure and promotion to Associate Professor of Sociology of Dr. KuoRay Mao, effective July 1, 2021.

President McConnell has approved the promotion to Associate Professor of Sociology of Dr. Pat Mahoney, effective July 1, 2021.

Awards & Honors

Pat Mahoney is the 2021 winner of the International Award for Excellence from The Journal of Tourism and Leisure Studies for his published article “Behold, The Horror of Man: Dark Tourism in the Anthropocene”. His article was selected for the award from among the highest-ranked articles from the peer-review process according to the editorial and review criteria for the journal.

Annabel Ipsen was awarded a CLA Ann Gill Faculty Development Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity for her proposal “Structural precarity, social inequalities, and virus transmission in U.S. meatpacking.”

Annbel Ipsen award slide

Annabel Ipsen was awarded funding from CSU's Office of the Vice President for Research that will support the same proposal.

Lou Swanson has been selected to receive the Yellow Mountain Foreign Advisor award, the highest recognition to a foreign national working in Anhui province of China. "This award belongs to a lot of people," says Lou. He has kindly agreed to an upcoming story on how the recognition is a result of the dedicated efforts of Wei Gao, Bridget Julian, KuoRay Mao, and many others near and far.

KuoRay Mao gave his acceptance speech for his 2020 Best Teacher award in this video collage. He was featured in this SOURCE article last spring. 

Prabha Unnithan completed his term as Immediate Past President (2020-2021) of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) at their Annual Meeting held virtually in April. He was first elected Secretary to the Academy serving from 2013 to 2016 and was then elected Second Vice President, First Vice President and President for 2019-2020.

Prabha accepting ACJS honor

Book Chapters

Matt Greife and Mark Pogrebin (CU-Denver) published "Qualitative Approaches to Research in Prisons and Parole" in the edited first edition of The Encyclopedia of Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Link coming soon

In Memory

Dennis Mileti passed away on January 31, and his obituary ran in The New York Times.

"Dr. Mileti was Professor of Sociology in our Department for many years before going to University of Colorado, Boulder. He served as CU's Director of the National Hazards Center until he retired from it in 2003. Dr. Mileti was a key national and international figure in the Sociology of Disasters and had a very important influence on our Department, its programs and our students." – Pete Taylor

screenshot of NYT obituary

Sociologists on Campus

Dean Withers invited Michael Carolan to serve on the "Discovery with Impact" Strategic Plan Task Force and Pete Taylor to serve on the "Future of Teaching and Learning" Strategic Plan Task Force.

Pat Mahoney was appointed to the "steering committee" of the newly formed College of Liberal Arts Equity Group (formal name TBD).

Pat Mahoney served as a judge for CSU's annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research & Creativity (CURC).

Pat Mahoney is a Faculty Advisor for Maintaining Pre-Health Minds (MPHM), a student organization providing a supportive community to prevent burnout from the stresses of pre-health academic studies here at CSU. MPHM also sponsors speakers both from inside and outside CSU to speak on issues related to mental health, the healthcare system, and the medical field.


Hannah Love (Ph.D. '19), Jeni Cross, and Mehmet Ozbek (Construction Management) published “Assessment of the Development of Social and Learning Networks in Construction Management Courses using Social Network Analysis” in International Journal of Construction Education and Research in August 2019. Read

Pat Mahoney published "Behold, the Horror of Man: Dark Tourism in the Anthropocene" in the Journal of Tourism and Leisure Studies in November. Please see the Honors & Awards section for the prestigious award he received for this article. Read

Jeni Cross (5th author) and co-authors including Dale Manning and Jordan Suter (both Ag Econ) and Sheryl Magzamen (Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences) published "Stars and Energy Stars, an Assessment of Student Academic Achievement and School Building Energy Efficiency” in Energy Policy in December. Read

Jeni Cross (4th author), Patricia A. Aloise-Young and Elizabeth C. Ross (both Psychology)Ellyn M. Dickmann (IRISS), Daniel Zimmerle (Energy Institute), and MaryEllen C. Nobe (Construction Management) published "Overcoming Barriers to Direct Current Power: Lessons learned from four Commercial Building Case Studies” in Energy Efficiency in December. Read

Prabha Unnithan was invited by the British Society of Criminology to write a commentary on three criminal justice issues relevant to the change of administrations in the U.S. His article "Between the End and the Beginning: Three Questions for American Criminal Justice After Trump and Before Biden" was published in the BSC's winter newsletter. Read

Michael Carolan was invited by the American Sociological Association (ASA) to write about his recent research relating to the pandemic. He published “COVID-19’s Impact on Gendered Household Food Practices: Eating and Feeding as Expressions of Competencies, Moralities, and Mobilities” in The Sociological Quarterly in January. Read

Hannah Love (Ph.D. '19), Jeni Cross (4th author), and co-authors Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez, Svetlana Olbina, and Mehmet Ozbek (all Construction Management) published "Is Cultivating Reciprocal Learning the Gold Standard for High Impact Pedagogies?" in  Higher Education Research and Development in February. Read

Parker Arnold (Ph.D. student and 2nd author), Jeni Cross (3rd author) and co-authors published "Does Conservation Ethic Include Intergenerational Bequest? A Random Utility Model Analysis of Conservation Easements and Agricultural Landowners" in Rural Sociology in February. Read

Jeni Cross (4th author), Rebecca Lassell and Arlene Schmid (both Occupational Therapy) and Wendy Wood (Animal Science and Occupational Therapy) published "A comparison of quality of life indicators during two complementary interventions: adaptive gardening and adaptive riding for people with dementia" in Complementary Therapies in Medicine in March. Read

India Luxton (Ph.D. student), Jeni Cross (3rd author), Meara Faw (Communication Studies), and Deana Davalos (Psychology) published “Surviving and Thriving: Qualitative Results from a Multi-Year, Multidimensional Intervention to Promote Well-being among Caregivers of Adults with Dementia” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in April. Read

Stacia Ryder (Ph.D. '19) and Stephanie Malin published "Mechanisms of metapower & procedural injustices in the Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force decision-making process" in Critical Policy Studies in April. Read

Hannah Love (Ph.D. '19), Jeni Cross, and CSU co-authors Bailey Fosdick, Kevin Crooks, Susan VandeWoude and Ellen Fisher published "Interpersonal relationships drive successful team science: an exemplary case-based study" in Humanities and Social Sciences Communication in May. Read

Elena Windsong published “White and Latino Differences in Neighborhood Emotional Connections and the Racialization of Space” in Sociological Focus this spring. Link coming soon

In the Media

Tara Opsal's community cohesion research was featured as Sociology's article in CLA's winter magazine.

KuoRay Mao was one of three scholars interviewed in January by Voice of America regarding food security, rural development, and environmental governance in China.

Prabha Unnithan was interviewed by Steamboat Pilot & Today for their January article "Steamboat police partner with Mind Springs Health for 24/7 co-responder program."

Matt Greife was interviewed by The Denver Post and FOX 31 after his February legal victory became the largest K-9 unlawful use of force settlement in Colorado history.

Laura Raynolds' research was featured in February by Fairtrade International in their article "Fairtrade enhances women's rights and well-being on Ecudador's flower farms." 

Jeni Cross gave "The Science of Team Science" podcast in March for the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging at CSU.

Matt Greife was interviewed by KDVR in March after he helped a young adult sue the Adam's County Sheriff's Office for excessive force.

Pat Mahoney was interviewed by the Denver magazine 5280 for their March article “Can a Private Social Club Also Be Inclusive?”

Stephanie Malin was interviewed about by WELL+GOOD for their March article "Why Access to Safe, Clean Water Is a Wellness Issue."

KuoRay Mao was featured in the March SOURCE article "The walls between us: Building and rebuilding trust” as part of CLA's series on wicked problems.

Social Media Feature

screenshot of Jeni Cross Facebook spotlight

Contributing Near & Far

Pat Mahoney presented at the “Li­vi­ng i­n the End Ti­mes: Utopi­an and Dystop­ian Representati­ons of Pandem­ics ­in F­icti­on, Fi­lm and Culture", an Internati­onal Interdisciplinary Conference hosted by Cappadoc­ia Uni­versi­ty, Turkey in January. Pat's presentation was titled “The Sociological Present and Future Imaginaries: Creating a Conversation”.

Michael Carolan was the invited keynote speaker for Research Institute for Humanity and Nature's (RIHN) 15th International Symposium held virtually January 13–16. This year’s theme was “Transitioning Cultures of Everyday Food Consumption and Production: Stories from a Post-growth Future.” Michael opened the final day with his talk titled “Food Journeys: Encounters that Engender Empathy across Difference.”

Jeni Cross was selected as an advisor for International WELL Building Institute two years ago. In January, IWBI released her group’s innovative report linking buildings and spaces with health and humans.

Please see above section "Leaders in Social Justice & Equity" for Jeni Cross's recent keynote and workshops on justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Josh Sbicca and co-authors of A Recipe for Gentrification were invited to speak at a virtual forum hosted by The City University of New York (CUNY) Urban Food Policy Institute on February 24.

Jessie Luna co-organized a three-panel session at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference in April on the topic of “Political Ecology and New Green Revolutions in Africa.” The panels were well attended and filled with invigorating scholarship and discussion.

Jessie Luna served as a discussant for an Author Meets Critic session at the AAG conference on Matt Schnurr’s new book Africa’s Gene Revolution.

Josh Sbicca and co-authors of A Recipe for Gentrification were interviewed by iEatGreen's radio show on April 1.

Stephanie Malin was one of four panelists for Just Transition and Recovery for Colorado hosted by Inside the Greenhouse as part of the 2021 Solve Climate by 2030 Global Dialogues held virtually on April 5. Additional panelists were Governor Jared Polis, Will Toor, Executive Director of The Colorado Energy Office, and Lizeth Chacon, Executive Director of the Colorado People's Alliance.

Stephanie Malin was a panelist for "Water: The Essence of Life (The Big Picture Climate Change Series)" held virtually April 21. The event was presented by KGNU radio and City of Longmont Sustainability.

Pat Mahoney has an upcoming conference presentation titled “From March to Plight of The Penguin: Confronting Antarctic Tourism” at the 6th International Conference on Tourism & Leisure Studies hosted by the University of Dubrovnik in Dubrovnik, Croatia in May 27–28.

Michael Carolan is the invited keynote speaker for the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals (NACDEP) to be held virtually May 17–20. The title of his talk is "Food Systems, Community Livelihoods and COVID-19."

Pat Mahoney will give a conference presentation at the 14th Global Studies Conference hosted by Concordia University in Montréal, Canada June 5–6. His presentation is titled “Global Pandemics and The Biopolitical Regimes of The State”.

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Alumni Updates

 Many thanks to Janis Johnston ('06 Ph.D.), Social Science Analyst at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, and Leah Eyob ('18), Sub-Saharan Africa Research Analyst for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, who kindly agreed to talk career paths with a current student. Meghan Mordy connected the student with Sara Gill and Carmen Ruyle Hardy who happily made the alumni connections.

Let us know if you have students who would like a formal or informal mentor, or if you'd like a guest speaker or two for your courses. 

Jared Redulla ('94)

Prabha Unnithan received this email from Jared Redulla, a former Sociology student who has reached a very high-level position in Hawaii's Department of Public Safety. Prabha recalls Jared doing well in his courses and in the internship program. A story will soon be in the works on Jared's inspiring career path. 

Aloha Dr Unnithan:
I do not know if you remember me.  I was a student of yours 30 years ago at CSU.  I was in the Criminal Justice Studies program and subsequently earned my degree in sociology.  In fact, you were my academic advisor.

After college, I obtained jobs in law enforcement in Hawaii.  Many decades later, I am the Chief law enforcement officer and Administrator for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, Narcotics Enforcement Division.

This morning,  my work focused on developing a state plan for the future role that the criminal justice system will play in the future in responding to, preventing, and treating those with issues of drugs and substance abuse in Hawaii.  Moreover, the plan will focus on how criminal justice intersects with other social issues such as homelessness, juvenile delinquency, victimization, etc.

In my discussions with other professionals only moments ago, we spoke about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Sutherland’s differential association, nature versus nurture.  During that conversation, I could not help but remember my days as a student in the Clark Building, sitting in your classes, and learning about those theories! More surprising was the fact that I remembered what those theories were about and could easily apply them to the work I am currently doing!

Even more important, was my realization of how well CSU has prepared me for my career in law enforcement.  I am so thankful for having been in your classes and for having been in the Sociology program at CSU!

If you still have contact with students, please let them know just how important their studies are and the impact that their Sociology studies will have in the future!  I am so thankful for the difference that you, the other Sociology instructors and CSU has made in my life and my career!  My CSU education has brought me to this point in my career.  CSU has allowed me to touch the lives of many in Hawaii.

With eternal thanks and aloha

Jared K. Redulla
State of Hawaii
Department of Public Safety
Narcotics Enforcement Division

Chris Bland ('11)

Chris Bland is one of two Fort Collins Police Services officers who make up a new mental health response unit along with a paramedic and a community programs coordinator/co-responder. The new team is part of the co-responder program Fort Collins launched almost three years ago.

Chris and the Mental Health Response Team have been featured by the CollegianColoradoan and CBS4 news.

James Hale ('17 Ph.D)

James Hale wrote a guest post this spring for the School of Global Environmental Sustainability's (SoGES) HumanNature Blog. James is a 2020-2021 SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellow.

Aude Chesnais ('17 Ph.D. )

Aude Chesnais, a political ecologist and senior researcher for the Native Lands Advocacy Project, was interviewed during the March 26 episode of SoGES Sustainability Happy Hour (SHH!).

Aude has worked for over 10 years on issues of sustainable land use and food-systems on tribal land, with sustained collaboration with Lakota communities in South Dakota, US. Her work bridges qualitative research with GIS technology, data visualization and decolonial methodologies to design locally useful research that supports indigenous innovation and sovereignty. She is particularly interested in regenerative food-systems and how innovative research design can support the just transition to build climate resilient sovereign economies. – Aude's update is from SoGES's website

On A Lighter Note

Benja's books and pottery

Benja's pottery

After watching the Visit Day tour collage, aren't you curious how Benja's amazing artwork is coming along?

Here are two photos of the books, pottery and coffee that he says got him through the semester!

Thanks for sharing, Benja! Virtual high five!

Amanda Gorman social media post screenshot

Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman, Presidential Inauguration poet, is a cum laude Sociology graduate – Harvard class of 2020! At age 22, she is the youngest known inaugural poet. She quite possibly stole the show in January with her recitation of “The Hill We Climb”.  Amanda is an inspiration on so many levels. As we posted on social media, when we say you can do anything with a sociology degree, we mean it!

snowman wearing mask

Who still wore masks on campus this spring?


Save the Date • Fall 2021

Thanks to many of you who wrote your ideas on the hallways lists.
If you're not on campus, please feel free to email Carmen. We'll do what we can within CSU regulations.

FIRST FRIDAYS: SiP speakers from near & far from 12–1:30pm

THIRD MONDAYS: casual brownbag gatherings from 12–1:30pm

Wednesday, August 18: Grad Student Welcome Reception from 3:30–5pm

Week of August 16–20: RamWelcome details TBD

Friday, October 1: 43rd Judge Conrad Ball Award in partnership with Larimer County Community Corrections

Monthly BIRTHDAY CAKES are making a comeback
(Love to bake and want to share the calories? Never baked but want to try? We'll happily be your taste testers. Let Carmen know which month you'd like.) 

All of the above are pending CSU protocols for Fall 2021

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Sociology: Because Life Is A Team Sport

Thank you for reading this newsletter.

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

Thank You For All You Do!