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

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IWBI advisor Jeni Cross & team release Global Research Agenda linking buildings & spaces with health & humans

January 26, 2021

In July 2018, Jeni Cross was selected as an advisor for International WELL Building Institute. In January 2021, IWBI released her group’s innovative report linking […]

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Tara Opsal’s community cohesion research featured in CLA magazine

January 19, 2021

Originally appeared in CSU’s College of Liberal Arts Magazine. Story by Carmen Ruyle Hardy. Economic viability and the health of a community: tackling wicked problems […]

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Inspired by semester-long discussions around equality, poverty and stratification, Jason Downing’s students continue record-breaking donations for the Food Bank of Larimer County

December 17, 2020

Fifteen years ago Jason Downing’s students began stacking cans of donated food in the corner of their Front Range Community College (FRCC) classroom. He would […]

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Jeni Cross Co-PI on new ecosystem and climate change global project funded by National Science Foundation

September 1, 2020

CSU joins global team to study ecosystem, climate change interactions in thawing permafrost Article by Jeff Dodge. Originally published on SOURCE. A footbridge has broken due to […]

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Recent Books & Publications

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RSS honors Michael Carolan with “Rural Sociology Best Paper Award”

September 1, 2021

Dr. Michael Carolan received the 2020 Rural Sociology Best Paper Award for his paper “The Rural Problem: Justice in the Countryside.” His paper and $1,000 […]

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Elena Windsong publishes research on racial space in Sociological Focus

June 23, 2021

Elena Ariel Windsong published “White and Latino Differences in Neighborhood Emotional Connections and the Racialization of Space” in Sociological Focus on June 23, 2021. ABSTRACT […]

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The Sociological Quarterly publishes Michael Carolan’s research on COVID-19’s impact on gendered household food practices

January 21, 2021

Michael Carolan published “COVID-19’s Impact on Gendered Household Food Practices: Eating and Feeding as Expressions of Competencies, Moralities, and Mobilities” in The Sociological Quarterly on […]

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Michael Carolan keynote speaker for RIHN 15th International Symposium

February 9, 2021

Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) held its 15th International Symposium virtually January 13–16, 2021. This year’s theme was “Transitioning Cultures of Everyday Food […]

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KuoRay Mao presenting virtually

KuoRay Mao, Lou Swanson, and Pete Taylor invited speakers at international forum on poverty and ecology

November 7, 2020

KuoRay Mao, Lou Swanson, and Pete Taylor presented virtually at the 2020 International Forum on the Theory & Practices of Poverty Alleviation and Ecological Revitalization […]

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Pat Hastings, Jessie Luna, Becca Clark-Hargreaves, Stephanie Malin, KuoRay Mao, Tony Roberts and Nefratiri Weeks present at ASA Annual Meeting

August 15, 2020

The 115th American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting was held virtually this year. 2020’s theme was “Power, Inequality and Resistance at Work.” Presentations: Dr. Pat […]

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Awards & Honors

KuoRay Mao

KuoRay Mao receives sabbatical funding from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation

By Sociology Communications | September 23, 2021

Dr. KuoRay Mao is the recipient of an American Region Scholar Grant from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, the most prominent and prestigious grant-giving foundation among scholars who study social issues in the greater China region. KuoRay’s sabbatical research project, “Environmental Social Control & Regulatory Pluralism: A Green Criminology Approach to the Generation and Transference of […]

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RSS honors Michael Carolan with “Rural Sociology Best Paper Award”

By Sociology Communications | September 1, 2021

Dr. Michael Carolan received the 2020 Rural Sociology Best Paper Award for his paper “The Rural Problem: Justice in the Countryside.” His paper and $1,000 award were mentioned at the Rural Sociological Society’s (RSS) Virtual Awards Ceremony on August 1, 2021. His paper was published by Rural Sociology on May 19, 2019. His research was […]

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Dr. Berry transitions to Emeritus Professor after 50 years of service at CSU

By Sociology Communications | July 15, 2021

Please join the Department of Sociology in thanking Dr. Ken Berry and wishing him well as he enters 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) […]

In The Media

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Matt Greife helps young adult sue deputies for excessive force

By Sociology Communications | April 2, 2021

Faculty member and alum Matt Greife is also an attorney in Denver. In February, he secured the largest K-9 unlawful use of force settlement in Colorado history. In March, he helped a young adult sue for excessive force and was interviewed by Denver media. Story by Rob Low. Originally published by KDVR.  Teen sues Adams County Sheriff’s […]

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CSU’s Center for Healthy Aging features Jeni Cross in Living Healthy Longer podcast

By Sociology Communications | March 8, 2021

Jeni Cross talked about the science of team science during her podcast for the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging at CSU. She presented her work around why humans work better in teams and how research benefits from a transdisciplinary approach. She discussed how teams of people foster innovation, how they communicate effectively with […]

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KuoRay Mao featured by CSU SOURCE in CLA’s wicked problems series

By Sociology Communications | March 4, 2021

Article by Jeff Dodge. Originally published on SOURCE. The walls between us: Building and rebuilding trust Liberal arts faculty examine role of U.S. in the world What is the appropriate role of the U.S. on the world stage? It’s a question that has been hotly debated by politicians and scholars alike for decades. The transition […]

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