Ensuring A Better Future Here & Afar

Our Research Mission & Values

Inspired by Colorado State University’s land-grant heritage, the Sociology Department support’s CSU’s commitment to excellence and to setting the standard for public research university research for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado, the United States and the world. Sociology at CSU has a long tradition of high quality research in support of effective solutions to complex social, economic development and environmental problems.

  • Our Sociology Department supports four research centers that actively contribute to CSU’s Tier 1 interdisciplinary community of faculty and graduate.
  • Sociology faculty members blend their research, teaching and outreach/engagement, bringing to their classrooms up-to-date knowledge and expertise about current societal problems and providing unique opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to work with them on research.
  • Sociology faculty are University leaders in “engaged scholarship,” which is encouraged by Colorado State University as a Carnegie Elective Classified University for Engagement. According to Carnegie, “Community engagement describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”

“Sociology helps get to the core of scientific questions by offering tools to understand why problems arise in the first place.” – Michael Carolan, Professor of Sociology

Recent Faculty Projects

fair trade logo collage

Laura Raynolds’ CFAT studies handicraft groups in India and Nepal, and more this spring

May 19, 2019

The Center for Fair & Alternative Trade (CFAT) continues to pursue its interlocking research, teaching, and outreach activities focusing on local, national, & global market-based approaches to alleviating […]

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Jeni and Jesse

Jeni Cross, Hannah Love and IRISS work with NSF, present at Science of Team Science conference, and more

May 19, 2019

Have you seen the The Walking Dead? The television series isn’t real, but have you ever wondered what happens in the ‘real world’ when a […]

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smart cities logo

Pat Mahoney designing curricula for NSF’s Smart and Connected Communities project

May 19, 2019

Pat Mahoney is a member of this spring’s grant writing team for NSF’s Smart and Connected Communities project through CSU’s One Health Institute. CSU’s project proposal introduces a health-related information […]

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Jeni Cross

Jeni Cross, Hannah Love and IRISS offer social science research to CSU faculty

March 20, 2019

Story by Jeff Dodge. Originally published on SOURCE. For social science research, CSU faculty can now pick IRISS For social science research, CSU faculty can […]

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Recent Books & Publications

Crime, Law and Social Change cover

Matt Greife’s environmental crime research published by Crime, Law and Social Change

October 25, 2019

Crime, Law and Social Change published Matt Greife and Michael Maume’s paper “Do companies pay the price for environmental crimes? Consequences of criminal penalties on […]

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book cover

Jeni Cross publishes chapter on regenerative development in Routledge’s latest book on climate change research

October 24, 2019

Jeni Cross and Josette Plaut bring together designers, practitioners & social scientists in their chapter of Routledge’s latest book on climate change research. Their chapter […]

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Lynn Hempel and Keith Smith published by Society & Natural Resources

September 20, 2019

Society & Natural Resources published Lynn Hempel and Ph.D. student Keith Smith’s paper “Evangelical Protestantism, Politics, and the Environment: When and How Do Biblical Beliefs Matter?” ABSTRACT […]

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3 speakers

Jessie Luna speaks at CLA’s Great Conversations Season Kickoff Event “Does Technology Cause or Heal Partisan Divides”

September 29, 2019

Story by Serena Bettis. Originally published by The Collegian.  Great Conversations explores technology, partisan divides Great Conversations kicked off its 24th season with a community conversation […]

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event poster

Josh Sbicca speaks at Colorado Food Insecurity event

September 13, 2019

Josh Sbicca was a panelist for Colorado Food Insecurity event held September 13 on campus. Participants were invited to learn how they can contribute to […]

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Prabha on stage

ACJS President Prabha Unnithan visits international conferences

July 3, 2019

Prabha Unnithan, 2019-2020 president of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, traveled internationally this summer representing the ACJS and CSU Sociology. The Asian Criminological Society held […]

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Awards & Honors

Hastings receiving award

ASA awards Pat Hastings 2019 Family Section Article of the Year Award

By Sociology Communications | June 15, 2019

Pat Hastings and co-authors Daniel Schneider and Joe LaBriola, both at University of California-Berkeley, have been awarded the American Sociological Association (ASA) 2019 Family Section Article of the Year Award for “Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments.” The study was published by American Sociological Review in May 2018. The award will be presented to Hastings and his colleagues […]

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Michael Carolan awarded Fulbright Distinguished Chair

By Sociology Communications | May 2, 2019

Michael Carolan has been selected for a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award. This is among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program and requires candidates be eminent scholars with significant publication and teaching records. Find out more about the program here. Dr. Carolan will spend the next 12 months conducting a cross-cultural comparison between Canada […]

Dr. Unnithan receiving award

CLA honors Prabha Unnithan with Stern Distinguished Professor Award

By Sociology Communications | April 24, 2019

Dr. Prabha Unnithan was one of two winners of 2018-2019 John N. Stern Distinguished Professor Awards. Many thanks to Dr. Mike Hogan,Dr. KuoRay Mao, Dr. Josh Sbicca, and Dr. Pete Taylor nominating Dr. Unnithan. The Stern Award is the top honor given by CLA annually, and it recognizes a career of outstanding achievement in research/creativity, teaching and service that has brought recognition to the […]

In The Media

children and school bus

Urban Institute’s Housing Matters releases brief on Pat Hastings’ research

By Sociology Communications | January 8, 2020

In its research brief “School Quality Influences Where Parents Choose to Live—and How Much They’re Willing to Pay for Their Homes,” the Urban Institute’s Housing Matters initiative presented recent findings by Assistant Professor Orestes Pat Hastings and Adam Goldstein (Princeton). Their paper “Buying In: Positional Competition, Schools, Income Inequality, and Housing Consumption” was published by […]

Food Justice Now cover

Boulder Weekly features Josh Sbicca and his new book

By Sociology Communications | February 28, 2019

Striving for a more equitable food system Story by Amanda Moutinho. Originally published by Boulder Weekly Seemingly every day Netflix adds a food documentary, another farmers’ market opens and more restaurants offer farm-to-table fare. While some obvious improvements are being made in the way society consumes food, author, sociologist and CSU professor Joshua Sbicca thinks there […]

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Jeni Cross’s SPHEReS team hosts future scientists, featured by USGBC+

By Sociology Communications | January 19, 2019

Jeni Cross’s Sustainable Places, Health and Educational Research in Schools (SPHEReS) research team hosted 52 fourth-graders from Northglenn’s STEM Lab in January. SPHEReS partners with Adams 12 Schools to examine the impact of school environment on occupant health and performance. Funded by the EPA, the Healthy Schools project is the first time that epidemiologists, sociologists, economists, and sustainability experts have collaborated at this scale to address this question. STEM Lab […]

“Sociology: because life is a team sport.”
– Lynn Hempel, Associate Professor of Sociology