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

Produce stand with various fruits

Fair Trade Institute launches updated online resource collection – Laura Raynolds

June 26, 2018

CFAT’s online service draws on user contributions to provide the world’s most comprehensive collection of fair trade publications, expertise, and resources.

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Income inequality graph

American Sociological Review publishes Pat Hastings’ “Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments”

May 23, 2018

The study, “Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments,” was published May 21 in the American Sociological Review, the peer-reviewed flagship journal of the American Sociological Association.

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NEA funds Jeni Cross’s team to continue research on aging brains

May 9, 2018

A group of CSU faculty studying the effect that engaging environments have on the brains of aging adults and people with dementia has received a prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to continue its work.

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Food system diagram

Michael Carolan’s Rural Wealth Creation team benefits both urban and rural communities

May 1, 2018

Two CSU professors are leading the charge to better understand the linkage between rural and urban communities, their respective well-being, and how these diverse worlds interact with the food that comes across your dinner table.

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Recent Books & Publications

Josh Sbicca

Utne Reader publishes sections of Josh Sbicca’s new book

September 11, 2018

About the book Food Justice Now!: Deepening the Roots of Social Struggle, published this summer by the University of Minnesota Press and available at the CSU Bookstore, […]

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The Journal of Peasant Studies publishes Jessie Luna’s research on intersectional inequalities

September 3, 2018

Jessie Luna published “The chain of exploitation: intersectional inequalities, capital accumulation, and resistance in Burkina Faso’s cotton sector” in The Journal of Peasant Studies this […]

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Food Justice Now cover

Josh Sbicca’s new book examines how food is used in social justice efforts

August 27, 2018

Story by Jeff Dodge. Originally published on SOURCE. CSU faculty member’s new book examines how food is used in social justice efforts Recently the term […]

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National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) logo

Jeni Cross presents at National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) workshop

November 3, 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is forming new Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) focused on solving convergent problems that address challenges with significant societal impact. NSF’s National […]

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Lynn Hempel presentatie

2018 Extension Forum invites Lynn Hempel to present on social sustainability

October 25, 2018

Over 190 CSU Extension employees from all over Colorado joined their on-campus colleagues October 22-25 for the 2018 Extension Forum held at the Lory Student […]

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Michael Carolan being interviewed on 1 News Now

Michael Carolan makes the rounds in New Zealand on prestigious fellowship

June 27, 2018

The CSU sociology professor received the 2018 Presidential Scholarship from the University of Auckland and spent two weeks there in April and May delivering public talks and doing media interviews about his research on food systems.

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Awards & Honors

semester at sea

Pat Mahoney selected as Global Teaching Scholar for Semester at Sea

By Sociology Communications | October 20, 2018

Pat Mahoney has been selected as a Loren W. Crabtree Global Teaching Scholar for the Fall 2020 CSU Semester at Sea (SAS) voyage. Four CSU faculty members are chosen for this honor on each voyage. SAS moved its offices to the CSU campus in 2016, and well-deserving Global Teaching Scholars have been boarding the ship since. This article describes […]

The Tobin Project screenshot

The Tobin Project awards Pat Hastings the 2018 Prize for Exemplary Work on Inequality and Decision Making

By Sociology Communications | October 20, 2018

The study offers an outstanding examination of how inequality manifests itself in individuals’ day-to-day lives, how individuals react to such inequality, and the possible consequences of their actions for the rest of society.

Pat Hastings awarded ASA’s Family Section 2018 Article of the Year

By Sociology Communications | August 12, 2018

Hastings’s article “Income Inequality and Household Labor” published in Social Forces received an award at the 2018 ASA meeting.

In The Media

Fostering Success participants

CSU’s Fostering Success Program benefits from research by Tara Opsal and M.A. student Rebecca Eman

By Sociology Communications | November 5, 2018

New peer mentoring program created as part of Fostering Success Article by Drew Smith. Originally published on Source. A new mentoring program has been formed for CSU students who were foster youth or otherwise separated from their parents. The Fostering Success Program was started at CSU in 2010 for students from independent backgrounds. This includes […]

book covers

Food Tank’s Fall 2018 Reading List features books by Michael Carolan and Josh Sbicca

By Sociology Communications | October 25, 2018

Food Tank’s Fall 2018 Reading List—19 Books To Take the Food System Back Contributing Author: Katherine Walla. Originally published on foodtank: The Think Tank for Food Food Tank is highlighting 19 books about food and agriculture to fall for this season! These books explore food policy, nutrition science, healthy eating, food justice, and the challenges […]

Food Sleuth screenshot

Josh Sbicca interviewed by Food Sleuth Radio

By Sociology Communications | October 11, 2018

Did you know that mutual understanding and respect are at the heart of food justice? Join Food Sleuth Radio host and Registered Dietitian, Melinda Hemmelgarn, for her interview with Joshua Sbicca, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University and author of Food Justice Now!: Deepening the Roots of Social Struggle. Sbicca explains the differences […]

“Sociology: because life is a team sport.”
– Lynn Hempel