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

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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Nuanshui fieldsite village

KuoRay Mao builds unique partnership of CSU, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Research Center for Rural Economy, and NGO Green Camel Bell to address community environmental governance in rural China

September 13, 2018

Since 2014, Dr. KuoRay Mao, Assistant Professor of Sociology, has been an official consultant of Green Camel Bell (GCB), a grassroots environmental NGO based in the Gansu province […]

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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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Recent Books & Publications

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Criminal Justice Policy Review publishes Jeff Nowacki’s paper on Gender Equality and Sentencing Outcomes

April 4, 2019

Criminal Justice Policy Review recently published Dr. Jeff Nowacki’s paper “Gender Equality and Sentencing Outcomes: An Examination of State Courts.” Abstract: An important source of racial […]

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journal cover

Jeff Nowacki’s research published in the International Journal of Police Science & Management

April 3, 2019

Dr. Jeff Nowacki and co-author Tyrell Spencer, Southern Illinois University, recently published “Police discretion, organizational characteristics, and traffic stops: An analysis of racial disparity in […]

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cover of pub

Jessie Luna published in Qualitative Sociology

February 8, 2019

Jessie Luna published “The Ease of Hard Work: Embodied Neoliberalism among Rocky Mountain Fun Runners” in Qualitative Sociology in January. Luna joined CSU’s Department of Sociology […]

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Prabha moderating forum

Prabha Unnithan moderates public forum for Larimer County Jail project

June 1, 2019

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners invited Professor of Sociology and President of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) Prabha Unnithan to facilitate the public forum […]

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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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National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) logo

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

October 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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Awards & Honors

ASA conference logo

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 […]

Fulbright logo

Michael Carolan awarded Fulbright Distinguished Chair

By Sociology Communications | May 2, 2019

Dr. 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 […]

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

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 […]

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 […]

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