RESEARCH, OUTREACH, & ENGAGEMENT

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

farmers market

CSU’s Food Systems Institute brings interdisciplinary work to one table

May 3, 2022

The new CIOSU will work to advance University efforts toward strengthening the economic, environmental, cultural and social foundations of the state’s local and regional food systems.

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mountain forest landscape

NSF funds Jeni Cross and transdisciplinary sustainability collaborators

March 21, 2022

Breaking free from the silo: Regional network focuses on all parts of the sustainability puzzle Article by Stacy Nick. Originally published on SOURCE. A new Colorado […]

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Lab logo

Prison Agriculture Lab launched by Joshua Sbicca, Becca Chalit Hernandez, Azmal Hossan, Julia Kovacs

December 15, 2021

Joshua Sbicca has launched the Prison Agriculture Lab, a collaborative space for inquiry and action that focuses on agricultural practices within the criminal punishment system. […]

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AAPI Statement headline

AAPI statement reaffirms our Call for Racial Justice

April 29, 2021

CSU Sociology reaffirms our commitment to the struggle for racial justice and commits to raising awareness of the valuable contributions our Asian, Asian-American and Pacific […]

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Recent Books & Publications

screenshot of some Colorado maps

Carrie Chennault and Joshua Sbicca’s prison agriculture research published by Agriculture and Human Values

November 7, 2022

Carrie Chennault (Anthropology and Geography) and Joshua Sbicca (Sociology) have published “Prison agriculture in the United States: racial capitalism and the disciplinary matrix of exploitation […]

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Carolan with award

Michael Carolan wins international Business Impact Award for A Decent Meal

October 27, 2022

Michael Carolan received the Frankfurt Book Fair’s getAbstract 2022 International Book Award for Business Impact. Carolan was flown to Germany in October and honored during […]

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Building Something Better book cover

Stephanie Malin releases latest book Building Something Better: Environmental Crises and the Promise of Community Change

May 8, 2022

Stephanie Malin and co-author Meghan Kallman published Building Something Better: Environmental Crises and the Promise of Community Change through Rutgers University Press. In April, CSU’s Center for […]

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Presentations

Feminist Criminology cover

Kellie Alexander and Jeff Nowacki’s research on gender & promotion in policing published by Feminist Criminology

December 24, 2021

Ph.D. student Kellie Alexander and Dr. Jeff Nowacki’s research “Women in power? Examining gender and promotion in policing through an organizational perspective” was published December 24, 2021 by Feminist […]

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Jessie on radio show

Jessie Luna visits West Africa as keynote speaker and radio panelist on pesticides & public policies

November 20, 2021

Jessie Luna gave the keynote address at a fall conference in Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa) on Pesticides and Public Policies in the Global South. Her […]

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RIHN logo

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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Awards & Honors

Carolan with award

Michael Carolan wins international Business Impact Award for A Decent Meal

By Sociology Communications | October 27, 2022

Michael Carolan received the Frankfurt Book Fair’s getAbstract 2022 International Book Award for Business Impact. Carolan was flown to Germany in October and honored during a formal ceremony. Carolan’s newest book, A Decent Meal: Building Empathy in a Divided America, was selected from 10,000 non-fiction titles. The jury chose it “for its timely relevance that […]

Prabha accepting award

Prabha Unnithan honored by the Academy of Criminal Justice Science

By Sociology Communications | March 26, 2022

The Academy of Criminal Justice Science (ACJS) presented Dr. Prabha Unnithan with the prestigious Gerhard O.W. Mueller Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Criminal Justice at the International Section’s Annual Awards Luncheon during the 2022 ACJS Annual Meeting held in Las Vegas in late March. This annual award is given to an individual who has made an […]

Career Impact Award logo

Tara Opsal selected as Career Impact Award recipient by CSU’s Career Center

By Sociology Communications | March 9, 2022

Dr. Tara Opsal has been selected as a 2022 Career Impact Award recipient by CSU’s Career Center. This award recognizes students, staff, faculty, employers, and alumni who are champions for student career development, equity and inclusion, and student success. “Tara leads by example as she incorporates DEI into her innovative and collaborative approaches to student success. […]

In The Media

The Audit: Can healing our divided nation start at the dinner table?

By Sociology Communications | November 15, 2022

CSU Sociology Professor and Food Systems Institute Co-director Michael Carolan spoke to The Audit podcast about his research into food, food systems and building empathy on common ground.

A rendering of the proposed Santa Clara Agrihood.

Joshua Sbicca interviewed by Civil Eats about agrihoods and “green gentrification”

By Sociology Communications | September 13, 2022

Agrihoods Promise Fresh Food and Community. Can They Add Equity to the List? Agrihoods promise to save farmland by turning it into a residential amenity. Can this effort to bridge housing and farmland support environmental justice? Article by Greta Moran. Originally published by Civil Eats.  Please click here to read.

screenshot of article title "Building something better: How community organizing helps people thrive in challenging times

Stephanie Malin publishes community organizing piece for The Conversation

By Sociology Communications | September 8, 2022

Building something better: How community organizing helps people thrive in challenging times Article by Stephanie Malin and Meghan Elizabeth Kallman. Originally published by The Conversation.  Please click here to read the article.  

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