Kevin Fleming, Sociology Major and First Generation Scholar at Colorado State University Wins Award

Kevin Fleming, a Sociology major in Colorado State University’s College of Liberal Arts, was recently named a First Generation Scholar.




Also interviewed in this video is Dr. Tara Opsal (Assistant Professor of Sociology), who had the pleasure of working with Kevin last semester.


Congratulations Kevin!

April College to Career Alumni Panels in Sociology, Political Science, and History

The College of Liberal Arts Development Office is hosting College to Career Alumni Panels for College of Liberal Arts departments. The College to Career Alumni Panels consist of alumni from the College of Liberal Arts who have created a successful and meaningful career with their Liberal Arts degree. While there are a range of careers that can be pursued by Liberal Arts graduates, for many graduates it can take a while to find a career that works well for them. Speaking from experience, the alumni panelists will give students advice, tips, direction, and best practices that students can use when networking and applying for jobs. For Spring 2013, the College of Liberal Arts hosted an Economics panel in March and will host panels in Sociology, Political Science, and History in April.

College to Career Alumni Panel – Sociology

Wednesday, April 3
4 – 5: 40 p.m.
Clark Building C364

Panelists include:

McCabe Callahan, ‘02 Liberal Arts/Sociology

McCabe opened Mugs coffee shop six months before graduating from Colorado State University, and opened 5 more operations in the next 3 years. In 2007 McCabe made the difficult decision to downsize and restructure the business to spend less time operating multiple businesses and instead spend the time to focus on development of the concept of the business at the Mugs Downtown location. In October of 2010 he opened Mugs @ the Oval. His new venture,  Community Funded, harnesses the power of crowdfunding to support diverse projects and community initiatives across the country.



Aaron Madonna, ’08 Sociology

Aaron and fellow CSU student Juwon Melvin founded Dreamreel Media, their answer to inspiring young adults through publications and speaking engagements. Aaron has authored two books, Destination College and Help! IDK What I Want to Do with My Life. After graduation, the two friends founded LifeSoap, a company that sells organic soap and gives a portion of the profits to bring clean water to schools in developing countries, in partnership with H2O for Life. Lifesoap has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, and Aaron and Juwon already have completed two clean-water projects in Nicaragua.


Thad Smith, ‘74 Sociology

Thad is President of Thaddeus Smith & Associates, a specialty brokerage and risk management service to the biomedical and medical device manufacturing industry.  Thad is also an officer and director of Alacer Corporation and trustee of the Jay W. Patrick Trust.  Based in California, Alacer Corporation distributes health supplements nationwide and generates about $30 million in annual revenue.






College to Career Alumni Panel – Political Science

Monday, April 15
4:30p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Microbiology Building, A113

Panelists include:

Donn Hopkins, ’82 Political Science

As Americas Security Manager for Agilent Technologies, Inc., Donn’s role includes protecting Agilent’s people, intellectual and physical assets, proprietary information and related investigations. Prior to working for Agilent, Donn was in law enforcement for over 32 years, 18 of those as Chief of Police at Colorado State University, where he directed the recovery of the CSU Police Department after the total loss of their facility in a flash flood in 1997, including relocating and building a new police facility and 911 dispatch center. Donn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Colorado State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, 160th Session. He has served as President of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, and President of the Colorado Association of Institutional Law Enforcement Directors.


Mary Kathryn Hurd, Political Science ’09

MaryKathryn Hurd is the legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the state’s Medicaid agency. As the Department’s lobbyist, she is responsible for designing, managing and administering the Department’s legislative agenda. She works with the Colorado General Assembly to secure sponsors and support for their bills, tracking all legislation introduced and analyzing the legislation for its impact on the Department. She is currently working on Medicaid Expansion in Colorado and implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. Prior to this role, MaryKathryn was the legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration where she was instrumental in the creation, drafting and passage of the “Colorado Talent Agenda” (Amendment S), both the statutory and constitutional statewide personnel reform measures. She has been involved in public policy at the federal as well as at the state level.  In Washington D.C. she interned for Dutko Worldwide Government Affairs Firm on their environment and energy team and later worked on environmental issues for Congressman John Sarbanes. A native of Annapolis, Maryland, MaryKathryn graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Political Science and Asian Studies with a minor in Mandarin Chinese.


College to Career Alumni Panel – History

Wednesday, April 24
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lory Student Center – Room 224

Panelists include:

John Blair, ‘74 Social Sciences/History

John Blair, Jr. is a Colorado native and earned a BA in Social Sciences from Colorado State University in 1974. He studied Trust Administration at the National Graduate Trust School, and graduated with honors in 1983. He has more than 30 years experience in Trust Administration and currently serves as Senior Vice President and Trust Officer of Home State Bank in Loveland, CO.  He is deeply invested in the community, and has served in leadership roles for OpenStage Theater & Company, Inc., Pathways Hospice, Respite Care, and the CSU Planned Giving Advisory Council.



Jack Graham, ‘75 History

Graham graduated from CSU in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in U.S. history. After playing football for CSU, he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. He went on to a successful 30-year career in the international insurance and reinsurance markets, where he was known as an innovator and effective leader. In 1998, he founded ICAT Managers, a leader in catastrophic risk insurance products. He sold ICAT, including its Lloyd’s of London business, in 2010 and remains on the company’s board of directors. Graham also sits on the advisory board of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.



Mike Nosler

Mike Nosler ‘69 History

Mike Nosler is General Counsel for the Colorado State University System. Nosler leads a legal team responsible for advising the CSU System chancellor, the Board of Governors, administrators, faculty and staff. He provides counsel on matters including application of Federal and State policies, university governance, student affairs, policy formation, employment issues and grievances, health care, intellectual property, real estate transactions and bond offerings. Nosler also serves as a liaison to the Attorney General’s Office.  Before coming to CSU, Nosler was a practicing attorney specializing in employment law for more than 30 years and was the managing partner for 11 years. In 2001, he encouraged the creation of the Diversity in Law Program at Colorado State University, and persuaded Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons to provide scholarship funds for up to eight students of diverse ethnic backgrounds who are considering careers in law or criminal justice.


For questions regarding the College to Career Alumni Panels, please contact:

Marilyn Bistline
Alumni and Annual Giving
College of Liberal Arts
Colorado State University
(970) 491-4030

Sociology lecture, titled “Toxic Crimes and Environmental Injustice: Research in the Sacrifice Zones”

The Sociology Department welcomes Dr. Melissa Jarrell (Associate Professor of Criminal Justice; Texas A&M University).  Dr. Jarrell will be speaking March 11 at 12 – 1p.m. in the Lory Student Center, Room 228. Light Refreshments will be served.  The University community is welcome to attend.

Sociology Minor and CDRA Student Graduates and Lands Amazing Internship

Meagan Templeton-Lynch graduated from Colorado State University (CSU) in the fall of 2012 with a B.A. in Journalism and Technical Communication concentrating in news/editorial and computer mediated communication, accompanied by minors in English and Sociology. While at CSU she was actively involved around campus and in the community. Meagan was a staff reporter for the Rocky Mountain Collegian, the branch manager and a contributing writer for Her Campus Media, and a communications intern with the CSU Alumni Association. She edited the novel Hands of the Maker for Enki Publications, was the newsletter coordinator for CSU Apartment Life, and to top it all off, Meagan worked under Dr. Lori Peek as an undergraduate research assistant at the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis (CDRA)!


During her time at CDRA, she was able to synthesize her major and minor by working with empirical data, as well as practicing academic and science writing. She applied her amazing design work to a flyer, as well as a report for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) project that profiles Colorado’s counties regarding childcare centers and disaster preparedness. Meagan said that the experience working with CDRA has led her to “think more about what I might be able to do as a journalist to help the general population understand or prepare for potential hazards.”

Peter Hall, Department of Sociology, publishes book titled “The Meta-Power Paradigm: Impacts and Transformations of Agents, Institutions, and Social Systems” (Peter Lang Publishers)

Description (from


“This work presents, elaborates, and illustrates what is arguably the most important concept in the social sciences: power. It focuses particularly on a major class of power phenomena, meta-power, that is, power over power, transformative and structuring power. This encompasses powers to establish, reform, and transform social systems (institutions, power hierarchies, cultural formations, and socio-technical and infrastructural systems). Understanding meta-power is essential to the effective analysis of the formation of societal structures, their dynamics and evolution. This collection presents numerous illustrations and case studies at local, meso, and macro levels, showing how meta-powering is mobilized and operates in different contexts. The book should be of particular interest to business and management researchers, anthropologists, historians, legal scholars, political scientists, and, of course, sociologists.”

Michael Carolan, Department of Sociology, publishes book titled “Society and the Environment: Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues” (Westview Press)

Description (from

Talking about global environmental issues need not be an exercise in gloom, doom, and individual sacrifice—as Michael Carolan ably demonstrates in this introduction to environmental sociology.
Society and the Environment examines today’s environmental controversies within a socio-organizational context. After outlining the contours of “pragmatic environmentalism,” Carolan explores the material world: air, water, biodiversity, and trash. He considers the pressures that exist where ecology and society collide, such as population growth and its associated increased demands for food and energy. Finally, he drills into the social/structural dynamics—including political economy and the international legal system—that create ongoing momentum for environmental ills.
This interdisciplinary text features a three-part structure in each chapter that covers “fast facts” about the issue at hand, examines its wide-ranging implications, and offers pragmatic consideration of possible real-world solutions. Bolstering the analysis, a variety of boxes highlight relevant case studies as well as the value judgments which lurk everywhere in talk about environmental phenomena. Discussion questions and key terms enhance the text’s usefulness, making Society and the Environment the perfect learning tool for courses on environmental sociology.

Eisenhower Fellow Visits Sociology Faculty Member and CDRA Co-Director, Lori Peek

Shashanka Saadi, a 2012 Eisenhower Fellow, and his partner, Farhana Saadi, visited Lori Peek, CDRA Co-Director and Associate Professor of Sociology, recently in New York City. Shashanka and Farhana gave a lecture at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, where Dr. Peek is spending her sabbatical year. Shashanka and Farhana have worked extensively in the areas of disaster riskreduction and recovery in Bangladesh, which is one of the world’s most vulnerable places in terms of hazards risk.

Visiting Scholar Meets with CDRA Faculty and Research Assistants in a Cross-U.S. Journey

Salman Algarni, a master’s student at the University of Newcastle in Australia, has always been fascinated by disaster research. He also has had a longstanding desire to visit the United States. In the fall of 2012, Salman took time off of his schooling to travel to the U.S. to visit research centers specializing in disaster across the country.


Starting out in New York City, Mr. Algarni was able to tour the Big Apple and meet up with both CDRA Co-Directors (Lori Peek is currently a Visiting Research Scientist at Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) and Sammy Zahran is a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University). While in New York, Salman presented his research at the NCDP. After this, he visited the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University to learn about research being conducted there. While in the city, Salman toured areas of the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy to see the response and recovery processes unfolding.


After about four weeks in New York, Salman flew to Colorado and drove to Fort Collins to visit the faculty and students affiliated with CDRA. Specifically, Salman had the opportunity to meet with Professors Suren Chen, Hussam Mahmoud, and John van de Lindt in the College of Engineering; and with Mostafa Khattab, Head of the Department of Construction Management. Toward the end of his visit, Salman presented to CDRA students on the recent flooding disaster in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


After nearly two weeks in Colorado, Salman boarded a plane and flew to the West Coast. His first stop there was California State University, Northridge, which was heavily damaged in the 1994 earthquake. He then continued to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was able to meet with students and take a tour of the campus.


It was a pleasure having Salman as a visiting scholar at CDRA, and we look forward to his next visit!

Congratulations to Dr. Andy Prelog on the New Position at Sam Houston State University

Dr. Andy Prelog recently began a new tenure track position in the Department of Sociology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.


While a doctoral student in Sociology at CSU, Andy was a graduate research assistant for the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis and the Center for the Study of Crime and Justice. His dissertation, Longitudinal and Geographic Analysis of the Relationships Between Natural Disasters and Crime in the United States, merged his interests in crime and disasters.

Using both longitudinal and geographic analytical methods, Andy examined 14 years of secondary data on crime and disaster impacts. This work drew upon three diverse sociological theories to inform the examination of his research results, including—therapeutic community hypothesis, social disorganization theory, and routine activity theory. Andy’s findings revealed general trends, such as higher crime rates accompanying disasters of greater magnitudes, but also highlighted distinctions in terms of how different crime types seem to be influenced by different disaster types.  Dr. Lori Peek, who served as Andy’s dissertation co-chair, noted that his dissertation was one of the most “theoretically novel and methodologically rigorous” pieces of scholarship that she has read in a very long time.


Please join us in congratulating Andy on this wonderful accomplishment!

Criminology students and faculty cited in amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court

Faculty and graduate students in sociology were recently cited in amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The research cited refers to a 2009 Cold Case study for the CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation).  See the brief here: Brief US Supreme Court