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

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Stephanie Malin’s climate crisis work published by The Conversation

July 3, 2019

Story by Becky Alexis-Martin (Manchester Metropolitan University), James Dyke (Univ. of Exeter), Jonathon Turnbull (Cambridge), Stephanie Malin (CSU). Originally published on The Conversation.  Climate crisis: […]

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An Agricultural Adjustment Administration representative in his office, Taos County, New Mexico, December 1941. The agency was created under the New Deal to reduce farm surpluses and manage production.

The Conversation publishes Josh Sbicca’s “US agriculture needs a 21st-century New Deal”

July 3, 2019

Story by Maywa Montenegro (UC-Davis), Annie Shattuck (UC-Berkeley), Josh Sbicca (CSU). Originally published on The Conversation.  US agriculture needs a 21st-century New Deal These are difficult times […]

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Stephanie Malin published by Energy Policy

June 18, 2019

Stephanie Malin, Adam Mayer and colleagues published “Putting on partisan glasses: Political identity, quality of life, and oil and gas production in Colorado” in Energy Policy. 

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Carolan speaking at ESRS

Michael Carolan invited keynote at European Society of Rural Sociology (ESRS) 2019 Congress

June 28, 2019

The Scientific Committee for the European Society of Rural Sociology (ESRS) invited Michael Carolan to be the keynote speaker for its 2019 Congress held in […]

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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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Jeni Cross invited to UM to present research on team science

April 19, 2019

Jeni Cross was invited to speak at the University of Miami (UM) in April after their Associate Provost for Research heard her speak elsewhere. Jeni’s lecture […]

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Awards & Honors

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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

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 […]

STEM story screenshot

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 […]

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 […]

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