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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Michael Carolan’s food systems team studies COVID-19 impacts on Denver supply chain

July 21, 2020

Story by Anne Manning. Originally published on SOURCE. Food systems experts to study Denver supply chain impacts from COVID-19 Social distancing measures, including shutdowns of […]

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A Call for Racial Justice

New Social Justice and Equity Committee Working Group launched

June 12, 2020

In June 2020, CSU Sociology faculty created this Call for Racial Justice. They also established the department’s new Social Justice and Equity Committee Working Group […]

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Michael Carolan on CSU’s food supply task force providing rapid-response research for COVID-19

April 23, 2020

Originally appeared in SOURCE. Article by Anne Manning. Food supply task force at CSU providing rapid-response research for COVID-19 During a global pandemic that changes […]

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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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Recent Books & Publications

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Jeni Cross publishes ‘unlearning’ racism article on The Conversation

September 1, 2020

Article by Jeni Cross. Originally published by The Conversation. Many Americans are asking how they can be more sensitive to members of different racial groups, […]

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The Conversation publishes Joshua Sbicca’s article on food and gentrification

July 10, 2020

Story by Joshua Sbicca, Alison Alkon (University of the Pacific) and Yuki Kato (Georgetown University). Originally published on The Conversation. In changing urban neighborhoods, new […]

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Deviant Behavior cover

Kellie Alexander and Tara Opsal publish hazing research in Deviant Behavior

April 30, 2020

Deviant Behavior published “‘That’s Just What You Do’: Applying the Techniques of Neutralization to College Hazing” by Ph.D. student Kellie Alexander and Associate Professor Tara […]

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Joshua Sbicca and Ph.D. student Becca Clark-Hargreaves present at annual American Association of Geographers Meeting

April 26, 2020

Joshua Sbicca and Ph.D. student Becca Clark-Hargreaves organized and participated in a virtual session in April for the annual American Association of Geographers Meeting. The […]

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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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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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Awards & Honors

KuoRay Mao

KuoRay Mao featured by CLA as Best Teacher Award winner

By Sociology Communications | May 8, 2020

Originally appeared in Source. Article by Peyton Daily Best Teacher Award winner KuoRay Mao helps students become problem solvers for real world issues Great teaching embodies much more than the transmission of knowledge; it is characterized by a willingness to dedicate the classroom to the growth of the students. This commitment to students is just […]

Tara and Elena receiving plaques

Elena Windsong and Tara Opsal honored as Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence Fellows

By Sociology Communications | February 27, 2020

Joyce McConnell, President of CSU, and Shannon Archibeque-Engle, Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Assessment in the Vice President for Diversity office, recognized Tara Opsal and Elena Windsong at the 2020 Faculty Institute for Inclusive Excellence Awards Ceremony. Joyce wrote about the institute in her weekly email message to the campus community: “Last week, […]

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KuoRay Mao named a 2020 Best Teacher Award winner

By Sociology Communications | February 26, 2020

By Tony Phifer. Originally published on Source. BEST TEACHER AWARDS Seven outstanding teachers to be honored at the 2020 Best Teacher Awards Each year, students, faculty and alumni nominate the teachers who’ve inspired them and made an impact in their lives for the Best Teacher Awards. The 2020 recipients of the Best Teacher Awards, representing five […]

In The Media

Johnnie Henry, president of the Navajo Nation’s Church Rock chapter house community center, hauls drinking water to neighbors in Gallup, N.M.

Joshua Sbicca and Stephanie Malin’s Conversation piece discusses obstacles Native Americans face in overcoming COVID-19

By Sociology Communications | June 1, 2020

Editor’s note: Lindsey Schneider, assistant professor of Native American studies; Joshua Sbicca, associate professor of sociology; and Stephanie Malin, an associate professor of sociology at Colorado State University, wrote this for The Conversation in June 2020. Colorado State is a contributing institution to The Conversation, an independent collaboration between editors and academics that provides informed news analysis and commentary to […]

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Jeni Cross interviewed about why humans are howling during COVID-19

By Sociology Communications | April 28, 2020

Originally appeared in SOURCE. Article by Ty Betts Why humans are howling every night, and why wildlife is joining in Click to hear from Jeni Cross and others in this video by Ty Betts Listen carefully the next time howling erupts in your neighborhood in honor of the healthcare workers who are saving lives while risking […]

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KuoRay Mao encourages students to “Fight on!” in CSU Social’s video

By Sociology Communications | March 25, 2020

CSU Social put together this encouragement video with “Best Teacher” faculty from around the University. At 1:40 from start, please find KuoRay Mao’s words of wisdom: “The world will need solution makers to help us better prepare for the future. That is why listening to your professors’ online lectures – it is not a chore, instead it is […]

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