CSU Sociolgy Professor Appears on CBS, USA Today, and Other National News Outlets

Dr. Lori Peek of the CSU Sociology Department was featured on multiple national news outlets in connection to her research relating to the children of Hurricane Katrina.Dr. Peek was featured in Rolling Stone, USA Today and US News & World Report articles, as well as a video feature on the CBS Evening News.

Watch the CBS Evening News video Here.

Read the Rolling Stone article Here.

Read the USA Today article Here.

Read the US News & World Report article Here.

Book launch! Sociology’s Dr. Peek and Dr. Browne from Anthropology, Sept 10th

Come lift a glass and help us launch our new books:
Children of Katrina and Standing in the Need.

We are dedicating this evening of music and celebration to
those who endured hardship and loss from Katrina. The
event features CSU authors Kate Browne and Lori Peek
and Louisiana-raised jazz and blues artist, Hazel Miller
and her amazing band.

Save the Date!
Katrina Book Launch,
Music, and Celebration
Thursday, Sept. 10, 5-7pm
605 S. Mason Street
Fort Collins, Colorado


All book proceeds will be donated to the St. Bernard Project and Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools

Dr. Lori Peek (Sociology) co-authors new book, w/Dr. Fothergill, Children of Katrina

Lori Peek, an associate professor in Sociology at Colorado State University, and Alice Fothergill, a sociologist at the University of Vermont, have just published a new book with the University of Texas Press. Children of Katrina offers one of the only long-term, multiyear studies of young people following disaster. Fothergill and Peek spent seven years after Hurricane Katrina interviewing and observing several hundred children and their family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, and other caregivers. In their book, they focus intimately on seven children between the ages of three and eighteen, selected because they exemplify the varied experiences of the larger group. In the book, they explain what facilitated or hindered children’s recovery after the nation’s worst natural disaster.




CSU authors pen half of special series for Hurricane Katrina anniversary

By Jeff Dodge, as appearing in SOURCE

Two new books by Colorado State University authors about Hurricane Katrina represent half of the special “Katrina Bookshelf” series issued to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the natural disaster, which is Aug. 29.

CSU anthropology professor Katherine Browne’s book Standing in the Need: Culture, Comfort and Coming Home after Katrina follows a large African-American family over the eight-year ordeal of their recovery from the aftermath of the hurricane, both natural and man-made.

Katrina KidsLori Peek, associate professor of sociology at CSU, co-authored Children of Katrina, a book that explores how children and youth responded to the disaster. It was written with Alice Fothergill, associate professor of sociology at the University of Vermont.

They are two of the four books published this summer by the University of Texas Press as part of the Katrina Bookshelf series conceived by distinguished sociologist and series editor Kai Erikson in honor of the storm that hit the Gulf Coast a decade ago.

“Katrina was an unbelievable disaster, unlike anything else we have experienced in our country; it destroyed not just property but also the way of life of everyone in its path,” said Browne. “I wanted to know how large, interconnected families, so common in the area, cope with something like this. How do they rebuild their lives in a place that has been changed forever?”

With a grant from the National Science Foundation, Browne located a family of more than 150 who had fled their bayou home in St. Bernard Parish ahead of Katrina and taken refuge with a relative in Dallas. She recruited a filmmaker and, with colleague Ginny Martin, tracked the family for 20 months as they returned home. The documentary, Still Waiting, was first broadcast on PBS stations in 2007.

“What I observed as members of the family tried to resume life in little bitty FEMA trailers was that no one in what I call the ‘recovery culture’ understood who they were or what they needed to truly recover,” Browne said.

Determined to follow a family she had come to respect, Browne continued her research for six more years after the completion of the film. She learned how recovery proceeds in fits and starts, how people adapt to sweeping change, and how a tattered social fabric can be repaired. Browne also discovered that the years of hardship family members endured were caused less by the storm than by the institutional approach of the recovery effort itself.

“There were ways that the institutions of recovery could have brought comfort by helping restore the cultural vitality of this family, including providing places to gather, cook big meals together, and care for their children,” Browne said.

With her book, Browne offers a partial roadmap for recovery for an entire community, even a nation, whenever and wherever the next disaster strikes.

Peek’s book, Children of Katrina, draws on research that involved about 700 children between the ages of 3 and 18 as well as 100 adults. The authors focus primarily on 25 young people who they followed intensively over the seven years after the storm. In the book, they tell the stories of seven individual children who exemplify the varied experiences of the larger group.

“We think it’s the longest qualitative study of children after a disaster that’s ever been done,” Peek said. “We watched these children grow up and change over time. It was incredible.”

Soon after starting their observations, interviews and focus groups, Fothergill and Peek realized they would have to get creative about getting the youngest survivors of Katrina to open up about how they felt. So they gave them paper and crayons and encouraged them to draw their answers to questions about what Katrina looked like, or what good came out of it, for example. The researchers also made flash cards labeled with topics they wanted to discuss, placed them in front of the children, and let them take turns picking the subject.

When children experience upheaval and trauma, adults often view them as either vulnerable and helpless or resilient and able to “bounce back.” But Peek and Fothergill found a more complex reality.

The two authors’ work demonstrates that outcomes were often worse for children who were vulnerable and living in crisis before the storm. Fothergill and Peek outline what kinds of assistance children need during emergency response and recovery periods, as well as the individual, familial, social and structural factors that aid or hinder children in getting that support.

A launch party for both of their new books will be held at Avogadro’s Number, 605 S. Mason St. in Fort Collins, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 10. The event will feature live music by the Hazel Miller Band.

Corey Wrenn (Sociology) named the 2016 Exemplary Diversity Scholar

Corey Wrenn (PhD student) has just been name the 2016 Exemplary Diversity Scholar by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity.


As they explain it: “Exemplary Diversity Scholars are awarded to candidates with an established history of contributions in diversity-related research, practice, and teaching. These candidates tend to be existing PhDs, or early-career scholars with tenure-track positions.”
Congrats, Corey!


Dr.Lori Peek (Sociology), featured as part of the Women and Girls Lead initiative

Lori Peek, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University, was one of three female faculty members across the university selected to be featured as part of the Women and Girls Lead initiative. This is a public media campaign designed to educate and connect people worldwide in support of issues facing women and girls. At the root of the program is the idea that even though much progress has been made in many places,there is still work to be done to ensure equality, justice, and opportunities for all.

Dr. Peek, as well as several of her students at CSU, is featured in a 30-second advertisement for Women and Girls Lead that has been running on Rocky Mountain PBS television stations since early 2015. The video can be viewed here:https://vimeo.com/101540271

To learn more about Women and Girls Lead, visit: http://womenandgirlslead.org/

Dr. Jeni Cross (Associate Professor of Sociology) featured in Coloradoan

College of Liberal Arts interdisciplinary research team receives $1 million grant to study green schools

Jennifer Cross
Click here to read the full story.