Hillary Steinberg received the United Government of Graduate Students Graduate Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of her teaching this past year. Congrats Hillary!

Our alumnus Angel Hoekstra was featured in this week’s ASA Footnotes on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic while working abroad. You can read the blurb from Angel here: https://www.asanet.org/news-events/footnotes/may-jun-2020/personal-narratives/insights-pandemic-abroad Congrats Angel! 

Jocelyn West presented a webinar about an ongoing collaborative research project on risk communication for landslides in Puerto Rico. The project team includes Lori Peek as well as students and scientists from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez and U.S. Geological Survey. You can view the webinar recording here. It is part of the Natural Hazards Center's Making Mitigation Work webinar series.

David Pyrooz and Jenn Tostlebe, along with Ryan Labrecque (UCF) and Bert Useem (Purdue) published an article on prisoner perceptions of COVID-19 in Justice Evaluation Journal using mixed methods data from their ongoing study in the Oregon prison system: "Views on COVID-19 from Inside Prison: Perspectives of High-Risk Prisoners." 

Related, David Pyrooz and Jennifer Tostlebe wrote an essay for the Social Science Research Council, “Using social science to understand and respond to COVID-19 in jails and prisons,” for the Items: Insights from the Social Sciences series (with Ryan Labrecque and Bert Useem). 


Hillary Steinberg was elected Student Council Representative for the ASA Children and Youth section. Congrats Hillary!

Lori Peek is director of the Natural Hazards Center, which serves as the Secretariat for the North American Alliance of Hazards and Disaster Research Institutes (NAAHDRI). This past week, NAAHDRI issued a Statement on Systemic Racism and Disasters that was signed by over 70 leaders of major academic hazards and disaster research centers across North America. You can see the full statement, here.  

Melissa VillarrealCandace Evans, and Lori Peek, along with other collaborators through the Natural Hazards Center, have recently completed 
and published two additional free online training modules through the NSF-funded CONVERGE initiative. The first module focuses on Cultural 
Competence in Hazards and Disaster Research, and the second module focuses on Institutional Review Board (IRB) Procedures and Extreme 
Events Research. Both are available, along with free online sample assignments, here.
Yesterday, Rick Rogers and Justin Vinneau published the following article: Rogers, Richard G., Robert A. Hummer, Justin M. Vinneau, and Elizabeth M. Lawrence. 2020. “Greater Mortality Variability in the United States in Comparison with Peer Countries.” Demographic Research 42: 1039-1056 (DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2020.42.36). Congrats!


Jenn TostlebeDavid PyroozRick Rogers, and Ryan Masters, published the following article in Homicide Studies, "The National Death Index as a source of homicide data: A methodological exposition of promises and pitfalls for criminologists." 

Our very own Stef Mollborn has been chosen to serve as Interim Director of IBS from August 2020-May 2021 while Myron Gutmann is on sabbatical. Congratulations Stef! 

Robert Scott was awarded the International Association of Wildland Fire 2020 PhD Scholarship. Congrats Robert!

Bertha Bermúdez was awarded one of the Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA) Shelter Project micro-grants for a project she will develop along with Mario Jimenez, a Mexican plastic artist living on the US-Mexico border. Their virtual project named: "Twin Cities Torn Apart," talks about how border cities experience the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the borders. And will include a curatorial text and a painting describing the situation on the border. Their work will be available on the CHA website before the Fall semester begins

Lori Peek wrote a piece entitled The Stories We Tell, which focuses on the upheaval and many disasters that are currently spreading across our nation. You can read it here. Congrats Lori!


Lori Peek is heavily featured in this Inside Higher Ed article on COVID-19 research in the social sciences.


Jill Harrison’s new book, From the Inside Out: The Fight for Environmental Justice within Government Agencies, has received for Honorable Mention for the 2020 Allan Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Environmental Sociology. 

This week, Jill also gave an invited presentation on her book to the Geography Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis. 


Heather Champeau was awarded one of the Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA) Shelter Project micro-grants for her study of homelessness in Denver during the pandemic. Her virtual project will be available on the CHA website before the Fall semester begins.

Liam Downey, Elizabeth Lawrence, Micah Pyles, and Derek Lee just had their article, “Power, Hegemony, and World Society Theory: A Critical Evaluation,” published in Socius. The article was featured in a recent ASA e-mail.


David Cook-Martin presented at the Law and Society Association conference as part of the migration and citizenship network (incidentally, organized by CU Law’s Ming Chen). One of our graduates, Catherine Bowman also presented. He will present again on Saturday. Both of these papers are related to a project sponsored in part by CUPC. 


Good morning and Congratulations Class of 2020,

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, we have published a Department of Sociology Commencement Video for the class of 2020.  We will welcome back Sociology 2020 Graduates to participate in our May 2021 commencement ceremony, if they would like.  Please go ahead and share the video with your family and friends.  It will go live at 11am MT today, May 15th 2020. 

Department of Sociology Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement Video:



Please email brse5301@colorado.edu with any questions. 


Congratulations, you did it!

Matt Brown

The Matthew C. Brown Scholarship Fund will support Sociology graduate students with demonstrated commitment to making a positive social impact through teaching and who have faced unusual adversity and/or are from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in Sociology. Read more about Matt in the Arts & Science Magazine.

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Message from the Chancellor COVID-19 Update: We are taking action to limit the spread; Additional updates in the coming days.

Kathleen Tierney, former Director of the Natural Hazards Center here at IBS, has recently been interviewed by multiple media sources about the COVID-19 situation. Check it out here

A huge congratulations to our amazing graduate students who completed either their Masters or PhD in the department of Sociology


Skye Niles 

Tara Streng Schroeter 

Melissa Villareal 

Elizabeth Weltman


Jennifer Balliet

Laurent Cilia 

Miriam Counterman 

Sherri Sasnett-Martichuski 

Juhee Woo

2020 Winners of Graduate Student Awards

Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Boulder 

Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award: This $500 award is given in recognition of outstanding performance in the mentoring and/or teaching of students. 

The 2020 recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Teacher Award is Hillary Steinberg. Hillary, who is the former Center for Teaching and Learning Lead for the department, has taught courses on sociological research methods, the social construction of sexuality, and sex, gender, and society. Hillary’s teaching philosophy is anchored around rigor, accessibility, and respect for students that allows for their academic, sociological, and personal growth. Hillary’s students comment on her intelligence, creativity, honesty, humor, and compassion. In addition to all that Hillary does inside the classroom, she is also an outstanding mentor to students outside the classroom. She is a champion for teaching in the department, and she has spearheaded several initiatives to improve the graduate teaching experience here at the University and beyond. 


Outstanding Research Paper Award: This is a $500 award which recognizes an outstanding research paper--which may be theoretical or empirical, qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods in its approach. 

This year, two papers will be recognized for the Outstanding Research Paper Award: 

‘We don’t know much about Bees!’ Techno-Optimism, TechnoSceptiscism, and Denial in the American Large-Scale Beekeeping Industry by Laurent Cilia 

Drawing on over four years of ethnographic fieldwork with U.S. large-scale beekeepers, this paper advances our sociological understanding of denial in the context of a rapidly changing socio-ecological and technoscientific context. The paper, which has been published in Sociologia Ruralis, draws on rich ethnographic data to untangle contradictions and paradoxes that are ultimately failing to challenge larger sociocultural modes of food food production. 

The Immigrant Health Advantage: An Examination of Africa-Origin Black Immigrants in the United States by Justin Michael Vinneau 

This paper presents a novel exploration of the immigrant health advantage as it pertains to overweight, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes among African-origin black immigrants in the United States. In analyzing data from the 2000-2018 National Health Interview Survey, this paper helps place health outcomes among African-origin black immigrants in larger context, by comparing this population group to U.S. born blacks and to non-Hispanic white immigrants and Mexican American immigrants. Ultimately, the paper finds that despite potentially experiencing high rates of discriminatory and/or racist behaviors, African-oriign black immigrants’ health does not deteriorate differently or more rapidly than samples of non-black immigrant counterparts. 


Wilson Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award: This $500 award is given to up to two students in recognition of outstanding performance as a graduate teaching assistant. 

The 2020 recipients of the Wilson Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award are Andrea Tilstra and Jennifer Tostlebe. Andrea and Jennifer have both TA’ed for a range of classes in the department, and the Graduate Committee is thrilled to recognize them for their many contributions to undergraduate and graduate student teaching and learning. 

Andrea was nominated for her performance as a TA in undergraduate statistics (SOCY 2061), which is a large lecture course that enrolls nearly 200 students each semester. Students in the course commented on Andrea’s clarity, helpfulness, patience, and ability to engage a wide range of students in the material. 

Jennifer was nominated for her contributions as a TA for graduate statistics (SOCY 5111). Her graduate student colleagues described her intellectual and teaching contributions as “invaluable” and they noted that she is “flexible,” “understanding” and “compassionate” both in and out of the classroom. 


Ralph and Barbara Dakin Award: This award of $1,000 was made possible by an endowed gift to the Department by Ralph Dakin (who received his Ph.D. from this Department in 1958) and his spouse, Barbara. The purpose of the award is to recognize “outstanding scholarship that contributes to peace, inter-cultural understanding, resolution of conflict, or amelioration of important social problems.” 

The 2020 recipient of the Ralph and Barbara Dakin Award is Juhee Woo. Juhee is an outstanding scholar whose rigorous qualitative and quantitative research explores smoking initiation, persistence, and escalation among African American women and Korean women. Despite their disproportionate risk for negative health and social outcomes, little research has investigated smoking behaviors among these populations. Juhee’s research is of profound social and public health importance, and the faculty in the Department of Sociology are thrilled to recognize her with the 2020 Ralph and Barbara Dakin Award. We wish her the best as she begins a new faculty position as an Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University. 


The Betsy Moen “Walk the Talk” AwardThis $500 award is given each year to a graduate student in the Sociology Department who epitomizes the legacy of Elizabeth “Betsy” Moen Mathiot. Betsy was an Associate Professor of Sociology at CU, who died in 1993 while doing fieldwork in India. Dr. Moen left a unique legacy of feminist scholarship and social action. As the call for nominations notes: “She had developed an ability for, and was an exemplary model of, combining the ‘examined life’ and making a difference in other people’s lives; doing as well as thinking; being as well as contemplating; acting as well as reflecting.” Each year the department gives an award to a student whose research and service reflects this feminist, social justice oriented example. This year’s Betsy Moen Award committee consisted of Rachel Rinaldo, Amanda Stevenson, and Sara Veljic

The 2020 recipient of the Betsy Moen Award is Jax Gonzalez. Jax’s research, pedagogy, service to the sociology department, and service to the profession are imbued with a concern for feminist critique and social justice that encapsulates the legacy of Betsy Moen. 

Jax’s dissertation aims to understand the impacts of queer pedagogy on teachers’ gender ideology. Jax also dedicates substantial time to service, taking an activist approach that is crucial in times of trouble. Last year, as a graduate student representative to our department’s graduate committee, Jax urged decisive action to address how our department could improve its culture.  Jax currently serves as the graduate student representative for the national professional organization Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS). This year at the SWS winter meeting in San Diego, they organized and led a panel on how graduate students can enact change on their campuses. More recently, Jax collected data from graduate students around the country to both understand and improve university response to graduate student needs during COVID19.  

Congratulations to all the award recipients! 


David Pyrooz was among the dozen participants invited to take part in the National Institute of Justice’s “Meeting of Stakeholders to Advance Knowledge on Gangs and Gang Violence.” At the request of the NIJ he delivered a presentation on “Identifying and Addressing Hurdles to Using Robust Research and Evaluation Methods.”

Amanda Stevenson is Principal Investigator and Jane Menken and Stef Mollborn are Co-Investigators of a newly awarded R01 Research Grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development at the National Institutes of Health. This grant will provide $2.5 million in direct costs over 5 years to support continuing collaborative work with the US Census Bureau assessing the life course impacts of access to the means of controlling fertility in the contemporary US using full-count Census data and linked administrative records including full IRS tax filings and Medicaid eligibility data. The project will also develop methods for improved measurement of fertility in the US for demographic subgroups and subnational geographies. The team also includes Katie Genadek (US Census) and Sara Yeatman (CU Denver) as co-investigators.

The winner of CU Boulder's inaugural Map the System competition, organized by Don Grant, has been announced! 


Congratulations to Tim Wadsworth and Michael Sousa for coverage on their recent work on the ACA and bankruptcies!

Aubrey Limburg co-authored an op-ed with Karen Lutfey Spencer at CU Denver in The Society Pages focused on COVID-19, lonely deaths, and end-of-life care. Congrats Aubrey!

Stefanie Mollborn has a new publication that has just become available online, with two recent alums of Sociology and the Pop Center/IBS: Mollborn, Stefanie, Bethany Rigles, and Jennifer A. Pace. Published online ahead of print. “‘Healthier Than Just Healthy’: Families Transmitting Health as Cultural Capital.” Social Problems.   DOI: 10.1093/socpro/spaa015 

Miriam Counterman successfully defended her dissertation with revisions. Congratulations Miriam! Her project is titled “Food security, labor migration, and natural resource use in rural South Africa” and the abstract follows.

Abstract: Food security is a basic human right, shaped by many factors in the environment including choice of livelihood activities. Based on an adaptation of the sustainable livelihoods framework that incorporates a conceptualization of livelihood use from migration theory, this study contributes analyses of food security in a complex and multidimensional context. There are opportunities and limitations in livelihood activities based on available capitals and an array of socio-economic, cultural, and environmental conditions. This study examines the complexity of food security through the role of two livelihood activities, labor migration and natural resource use, in one region of rural South Africa. Using unique longitudinal data from the Agincourt Health and Socio-Demographic Surveillance System, the analyses find that both labor migration and natural resource use are associated with a lower likelihood of experiencing a food shortage. This was notably true across varying gender composition, age, education, and wealth. However, using one of these livelihood strategies reduced dependence on the other strategy for food suggesting the utility of livelihood diversification. Overall, the findings underline the importance of labor migration and natural resource use for food security in rural South Africa and points to valuable policy interventions to combat persistent food insecurity.

Lori Peek
 is co-principal investigator for a new $50,000 grant, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The grant is titled: “Learning from Extreme Events: Developing the Capacity of Social Science Researchers to Conduct Quick Response Research.

Aubrey Limburg passed her specialty comprehensive exam! Congrats Aubrey!

Lori Hunter just received word that CUPC was renewed by NIH for another five years of funding!  Competition is fierce for these infrastructure grants (~$350,000/year, including indirect costs) which support administrative infrastructure, seed grants, topical research groups, and other research-supporting activities.  This renewal is a real testament to the strength of population science at CU Boulder!  SOCY colleagues Jason Boardman and Rick Rogers are Executive Committee members and also helped in putting the proposal together!  [cupc.colorado.edu]cupc.colorado.edu

Bertha Bermúdez (SOCY), Arielle Milkman (ANTH), and Jim Miranda (ENGL) received a 2020-2021 LASC Research Cluster Funding to support their project named "Hostile Terrain 94 at CU Boulder: Data Visualization and Memorialization on the Migrant Trail".  They were also awarded a  2020 Community Project Grants sponsored by the city of Boulder and the Office of Arts and Culture. 


Good news for the amazing Kim Truong-Vu, who has won her SECOND teaching award during her time at CU! She received the GPTI Teaching Excellence Award from the Graduate School.
Tracy Fehr was also selected as a recipient of the CU Boulder 2019-2020 Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award. Congrats Tracy!

David Pyrooz wrote an article for The Conversation.

Kyle Thomas published a lead-authored article in Criminology.

Congratulations to Carrie Seay-Fleming, who successfully passed her specialty comprehensive exam!

Jax Gonzalez co-hosted an official ASA Webinar on navigating the impacts of COVID-19. They presented their project on collecting information on university response to the pandemic, and provisions for graduate students. You can see a video of the webinar here (after free registration) and find the program report and slide deck here

Lori Hunter and colleagues had an article accepted by the South African Journal of Science (a REALLY big deal for her South African collaborators!)

Ragie FH, Olivier DW, Hunter LM, Erasmus B, Vogel C, Collinson M, Twine W. forthcoming. “A portfolio perspective of rural livelihoods in Bushbuckridge, South Africa.” South African Journal of Science.


Lori Peek, the Natural Hazards Center, and the NSF-supported CONVERGE initiative were featured in CU Boulder Today for their efforts related to mobilizing the social science community in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Hillary Steinberg was awarded the Beverly Sears Research Grant from the Graduate School. It will go toward her ethnographic work on childhood hospitalization.

Carrie Seay-Fleming and Tracy Fehr each received a $1000 CU Beverly Sears Graduate Student Grant to help support their international dissertation research. 

Graduate student, Jax Gonzalez, is quoted in this article on graduate student needs in this challenging time.


Please help me in congratulating Patricia Burton, Program Manager from the Department of Sociology as Dean Brown’s selected winner for the February 2020 Monthly Social Sciences Staff Recognition Award.  She received multiple award nominations and has been described as dedicated, compassionate, efficient and reliable.  She has a deep commitment to the mission of the unit and is focused on the students she serves.  Congratulations, Patti!



Lori Peek was a keynote speaker for the annual Pacific Risk Management Conference in Honolulu. She was joined by the prime minister of the Cook Islands and the Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa. Lori also gave a guest lecture to the Department of Sociology and Department of Urban Planning at the University of Hawaii.

Congratulations to Sherri Sasnett-Martichuski on the successful defense of her dissertation entitled "The Transgender Experience: Exploring the Politics of Being." 

Last week, Carrie Seay Fleming was awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant to conduct field work on food security politics in Guatemala.  

Lori Peek announced a CONVERGE Virtual Forum to share research information and resources about COVID-19.  It was highlighted in the Daily Camera on Thursday.

Hillary Steinberg has been awarded the inaugural Sociology Graduate Research Fellowship, a one-semester research fellowship for Spring 2021  Hillary will continue her dissertation research which is an ethnography of a children’s hospital where she follows 15 focal patients of various ages and diagnoses. Congratulations Hillary!  

And for everyone else, keep your eyes out for the request for proposals next fall to support a student in Spring 2022!


Aubrey Limburg, Stefanie Mollborn, and Bethany Everett (alumni) had an article published in Journal of Women's Health this week: 

Limburg, Aubrey, Bethany G. Everett, Stefanie Mollborn, and Michelle Kominiarek. 2020. Sexual Orientation Disparities in Preconception Health. Journal of Women's Health. Published online ahead of print. Read it here

David Pyrooz, along with his coauthor Chantal Fahmy, Dylan Jackson, and Scott Decker, published the following article in the Journal of Criminal Justice, “Head injury in prison: Gang membership and the role of prison violence.” 

Leslie Irvine was interviewed for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's morning current affairs radio program "AM" about pets and trauma following disasters.  Listen here.

Leslie Irvine was also featured in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation web news article.

Last week at the 2020 ESS annual meetings, titled "Sociology as a Science and Vocation: In the era of National Populism" many from the department spoke on panels. Congratulations to David Cook-Martin, Adenife Modile, Christina A. Sue, Joris Gjata, and Hillary Steinberg!


Hillary Steinberg's paper Distance and Acceptance: Identity Formation in Young Adults with Chronic Health Conditions has been accepted at Advances in Life Course Research. This is based off my third year paper/masters work.

Leslie Irvine was interviewed for CU's "Brainwaves" podcast on why we love pets. Listen to the whole interview, or find Leslie at 8'22."

Stef Mollborn won the prestigious Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence Award for Research, Scholarship and Creative Work.

Simone Domingue received the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award for her work on coastal risk reduction efforts in Louisiana.

Congrats to Laurent Cilia, who successfully defended his dissertation entitled, “'It’s never been such a good Time to be a Beekeeper!' Large-scale Beekeeping and the Plight of Honey bees in the United States."

There’s a great new article out on David Pyrooz’s new book. Congratulations, David!



Leslie Irvine was interviewed on NPR's podcast "The Pulse," by WHYY in Philadelphia. The February 7 episode entitled "How Movies Move Us" features Leslie in the segment, "Can dogs really act or is it all an illusion?"  You can listen to it in full anywhere you get your podcasts, or here. If you want to just listen to/read the dog acting segment you can do that here

A revised and edited version of Mathieu Desan’s 2013 Sociological Theory article was translated into Italian and published in Bourdieu e Marx. Pratiche della critica (Mimesis Edizioni). 


Seed Grant Awardees


Congratulations to David Pyrooz for a great book talk at Boulder Bookstore on Tuesday.  Amidst the public audience were several faculty and graduate students -- David did a great job of presenting his work and then fielded intriguing questions about methods, findings, and implications.  Congrats David!

Amanda Stevenson’s recent paper on judges vetoing teens’ abortion decisions was covered by a number of news outlets – including traditional ones. But most exciting to her former-nerd self was coverage by Gizmodo.

Also this week Amanda was an invited expert as Florida’s state senate deliberated changing its parental involvement law for abortion. Her public testimony is available here. Congrats Amanda!


Ryan Masters and Eric Reither (Utah State University) have a new paper in Population Health Metrics, "Accounting for biases in survey-based estimates of population attributable fractions." The paper is Open Access here

Congratulations to Sociology doctoral student, Candace Evans, and faculty member Lori Peek. Candace and Lori (along with Rachel Adams, who is a postdoctoral researcher at the Natural Hazards Center) have recently developed and released two new online training modules. The first is focused on the topic of Social Vulnerability to Disasters, while the second focuses on Disaster Mental Health. These resources are being developed as part of Peek’s NSF-funded CONVERGE grant. Info

Candace, Lori, and Rachel will be leading a webinar on January 17, where they will provide a brief demonstration of the newest training module. Find out more here, and please tune in if you can! 

In 2019, Sociology graduate students Simone Domingue and Lisa McDevitt both published independent book reviews in the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters. Simone and Lisa originally wrote their reviews for Lori Peek’s graduate seminar on the Sociology of Disasters, which they then revised and submitted for publication. Congratulations Simone and Lisa!

Aubrey Limburg and Stefanie Mollborn have a new article published from their collaboration with SOCY alum Bethany Everett

Everett, Bethany G., Stefanie Mollborn, Virginia JenkinsAubrey Limburg, and Lisa M. Diamond. Published online ahead of print. “Racial/Ethnic Differences in Unwanted Births: Moderation by Sexual Orientation.” Journal of  Marriage and Family

Bertha Bermudez Tapia has been invited by the Nuevo León Council to participate as an immigration expert consultant in the revision of the Strategic Plan for the Mexican state of Nuevo León, 2015-2030. Bertha has also been invited to participate as a panelist at the Author Meets Critics session of the American Association of Geographers Annual Conference, to discuss the book: Deported to Death: How Drug Violence is Changing Migration on the US-Mexico Border by Dr. Jeremy Slack.

Amanda Stevenson has a paper with CU nursing professor Kate Coleman-Minehan and Texas attorney Susan Hays out this week documenting for the first time that abortion restrictions requiring parental involvement before minors can get care allows judges to deny teenagers’ abortion decisions.  “Denials of Judicial Bypass Petitions for Abortion in Texas Before and After the 2016 Bypass Process Change: 2001–2018” 

Check out the paper on CU Boulder Today! 


Join us for the UndocuAlly Training, Thursday, January 16th 12:30-2:30pm in KTCH 1B40. RSVP only via this link 

What is DACA? During this training, we will provide an overview of what DACA is, an explanation and update about the ASSET legislation in Colorado, a brief overview of immigration history and its intentional or unintentional consequences on community. Additionally, members of the Inspired Dreamers will participate in the conversation and share from their experiences the impact of policy on their lives. What's in it for you? Given the uncertainty surrounding the DACA program, presenters will discuss with the audience how intentions of inclusivity by supporters are appreciated and how the UndocuAlly network positively impacts their campus life and beyond. Appropriate for all audiences. Once you complete this training you will be given a placard and sticker that can be used to indicate your support for undocumented individuals in our community. 


Congrats to four of our undergraduate Honors students will be presenting their research at the Pacific Sociological Association meetings in May 2020.  They have received funding from the Hanson Fund in Sociology designated to support undergraduate research, and also the Professional & Academic Conference Endowment Fund which supports undergraduate travel to professional meetings.

  • Spencer Bajcar, “The Kachin Refugee Crisis and Its Influence on Gender Norms”
  • Kieran Haffey, “County-Level Indicators of Suicide Rates Moderated by Level of Urbanization”
  • Katy Halverson, “Experiences of Religious Change: Latter-Day Saint Womens’ Perceptions of Church Policy Shifts”
  • Abby McConnell, “Challenges and Solutions: How Rights of Nature Activists Overcome Barriers to Achieve Their Goals”


Hillary Steinberg passed her comprehensive exams.

Adriana Nunez’s article, "Collateral Subjects: The Normalization of Surveillance for Mexican Americans on the Border" was published by Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.  Read it here.

The Department of Sociology was well represented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology. The following presentations were delivered by faculty and/or students:

  • Jenn TostlebeDavid Pyrooz, and Scott DeckerLegal orientations as an explanation of the gang membership-misconduct link.
  • Elizabeth Weltman. Student fear of mass shootings and campus concealed carry.
  • Jose Sanchez, Jenn Tostlebe, David Pyrooz and Scott Decker. Where colors collide: Does race moderate gang membership and inmate misconduct? 
  • Erica Jackson. Understanding the development of delinquent behavior: An integrated biosocial and labeling theory approach. 
  • Kyle Thomas, Eric Baumer and Tom Loughran. Structural determinants of individual perceptions and preferences.
  • David PyroozElizabeth Weltman, and Jose Sanchez. Intervening in the lives of gang members in Denver: Evaluation of the Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver.
  • David Pyrooz and Scott Decker. Prison misconduct, victimization, and their overlap: A group process perspective.
  • Meghan Mitchell and David Pyrooz. The use of restrictive housing on gang and non-gang affiliated inmates in U.S. prisons: Findings from a national survey of correctional agencies.
  • Kendra Clark. Rethinking Prisonization: A Longitudinal Investigation of Adherence to the Convict Code Across Stages of Incarceration   
  • Kendra Clark received the Division of Corrections and Sentencing’s “Outstanding Student Paper” award


Rachel Rinaldo gave two talks in Indonesia last week. She was a keynote speaker for the International Conference on Social and Political Sciences at University Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah in Jakarta on November 12, 2019. Her talk was called "The Women's Movement and Democratization in Indonesia." On November 13, she was a guest speaker for the International Relations department at Airlangga University in Surabaya on the topic of Transnational Contexts and the Indonesian Women's Rights Movement.

Lori Peek and colleague JC Gaillard published an article in Nature, calling for a code of conduct in disaster zone research. The article is available here.

Current post-doctoral researcher Tom Laidley, current graduate student Justin Vinneau, and Jason Boardman’s paper entitled “Individual and Social Genomic Contributions to Educational and Neighborhood Attainments: Geography, Selection, and Stratification in the United States” was just published in Sociological Science and is available here.

Former post-doctoral researcher (now Assistant Professor at Stanford) Ben Domingue, Jason Boardman, and others published “Implications of gendered behaviour and contexts for social mobility in the USA: a nationally representative observational study” in The Lancet: Planetary Health and the paper is available here.

Former CU Sociology PhD student Justin Denney (now Professor at Washington State) and Jason Boardman recently found out that their paper entitled “Hearing quality, social resources, and mortality among US adults” was accepted for publication in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences.

Former post-doctoral researchers Brooke Huibregtse and Benjamin Domingue, former pre-doctoral researcher Breanne Newell-Stamper, and Jason Boardman have a forthcoming paper in Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences entitled “Genes Related to Education Predict Frailty Among Older Adults in the United States.” The paper is available online here.

Jill Harrison, Lori Hunter and Amanda Stevenson attended an Op-Ed workshop by the Scholars Strategy Network. Info



Jill Harrison gave an invited talk at Colorado State University this week on her new book, From the Inside Out: The Fight for Environmental Justice within Government Agencies (2019, MIT Press).

Rachel Rinaldo and Jeff Guhin's new article "How and Why Interviews Work: Ethnographic Interviews and Meso-level Public Culture" has been published online by Sociological Methods and Research Info


Kendra Clark and David Pyrooz published a paper in Sociological Methods & Research, titled “Method to the madness: Tracking and interviewing respondents in a longitudinal study of prisoner reentry.” This paper, coauthored with Chantal Fahmy, Meghan Mitchell, and Scott Decker, outlines the data collection procedures in the longitudinal component of the LoneStar Project Info

Jessica Austin and Leslie Irvine were accepted for publication for “’A Very Photogenic Cat’: Personhood, Social Status, and Online Cat Photo Sharing.” Forthcoming in Anthrozoös.

With a focus on their recently funded “tiny town” project, Lori Hunter and Catherine Talbot are noted in the College’s latest magazine. Info

Lori Hunter and Catherine Talbot are presenting their work in anonymization with demographic surveillance data at a conference on “Environmental Demography” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Lori is also presenting work on measuring “trapped populations” (collaborative with Fernando Riosmena), as well as acting as a discussant on a climate-migration panel. Info

Justin Vinneau and Rick Rogers were active at this year’s Southern Demographic Association annual meetings in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 23-25, 2019.

Justin Vinneau presented “The Immigrant Health Advantage: An Examination of African-Origin Black Immigrants in the United States” and “Diabetes and Cognitive Decline: The Role of Social and Genetic Factors.” The second paper was coauthored with CU colleagues Joshua Goode, Brooke Huibregtse, Ryan Milstead, Thomas Laidley, and Jason Boardman.

Rick Rogers presented “A Demographic Portrait of Early Life Mortality in the United States.”

Lori Peek gave the annual McDonald-Mehta Lecture on Friday at Texas Tech University. She spoke about the NSF-funded CONVERGE initiative located here at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Ryan Masters Talk! Info 


Rick Rogers is now an Associate Editor of Population Health Metrics Info

On Friday, October 11, Prof. Mike Radelet gave a public lecture entitled Race, Ethnicity, and the Death Penalty in San Diego County: The Predictable Consequences of

Excessive Discretion at Columbia University Law School in New York.

Mike Radelet has a new publication: Michael L. Radelet & G. Ben Cohen, The Decline of the Judicial Override. ANNUAL REVIEW OF LAW AND SOCIAL SCIENCE 15 (2019): 539-557.

Don Grant has set up a competition for the campus called “Map the System”

Laurent Cilia's article, "“We don't know much about Bees!” Techno-Optimism, Techno-Scepticism, and Denial in the American large-scale Beekeeping Industry," was accepted for  publication in Sociological Ruralis.


Lori Peek’s recent $3 million National Science Foundation CONVERGE award was featured as part of this write up in Colorado Today, regarding the record amount of research funding generated by the University this year Info

Jill Harrison was featured on CU’s website in an article titled “Environmental Justice For All” Info

Skye Niles and Jill Harrison, along with their co-authors (including CU ENVD professor Shawhin Roudbari) have had an article accepted in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction: “Bridging the Praxis of Hazards and Development with Resilience: A Case Study of an Engineering Education Program.” 

Leslie Irvine and Wisam H. Alshaibi (CU BA 2015). "Personal Trials and Social Fears: Examining Reflexivity in Captivity Narratives." NANO: New American Notes Online. Info

In the special issue "Captivity Narratives Then and Now: Gender, Race, and the Captive in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Literature and Culture."

Collaborating with Stef Mollborn and Paula Fomby (U of Michigan), Josh GoodeAubrey Limburg, and Kim Truong-Vu have authored two new publications about kids' and teens' technology use in the mobile internet era compared to earlier cohorts.

Joshua A. Goode, Paula Fomby, Stefanie Mollborn, and Aubrey Limburg published online ahead of print. “Children’s Technology Time in Two U.S. Cohorts, 1997-2016.” Child Indicators Research. Accessible here


Fomby, Paula, Joshua A. Goode, Kim-Phuong Truong-Vu, and Stefanie Mollborn published online ahead of print. “Technology Use and Adolescent Health Lifestyles in Two US Cohorts.” Youth & Society. Accessible here


The Department of Sociology stands in solidarity with the BSA and we join the campus community in condemning the racist acts directed at African-American students on Oct 6. As sociologists, we acknowledge the long history of institutional and interpersonal discrimination and oppression against African-Americans, Native Americans, Latinxs, the poor, women, and others. Recognizing this history of exclusion and ongoing discrimination, we support the demands of the Black Student Alliance including the circulation of a statement regarding the explusion of the perpetrator from campus, widespread campus alerts on the situation, improved reporting, administrative accountability and a restructuring of campus policies that impact communities of protected classes.


Sociology Faculty Book Talks
Join us for talks from SOCY faculty who have recently published books! Info


Fall 2019 Speaker Series Info
November 11th 12:00pm-1pm in IBS 155A w/ light lunch provided at 11:45am.
Dalton Conley is the Henry Putnam University Professor in Sociology at Princeton University and a faculty affiliate at the Office of Population Research and the Center for Health and Wellbeing. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).
Title: Using Genetics for Non-Genetic Social Science
Abstract: The cost of genetic information has been dropping at a rate faster than of Moore's law in microcomputing.  As a result, the science of genetic prediction has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years and with it has emerged a novel field: sociogenomics.  Sociogenomics seeks to integrate genetic and environmental information to obtain a more robust, complete picture of the causes of human behavior as well as novel ways to answer old sociological questions. This talk will highlight some recent examples of sociogenomic research, touching upon issues such as adolescent peer effects, racial discrimination, assortative mating and fertility patterns.  The talk will conclude by discussing the social and policy implications of genetic prediction.   Info


Fall 2019 Colloquia Series Info


New open access book edited by Leslie IrvineWe are Best Friends: Animals in Society.https://www.mdpi.com/books/pdfview/book/1594 This book is a printed edition of the special issue published in https://www.mdpi.com/journal/socsci Three Department of Sociology alums are among the contributors: Cameron Whitley (CU BA ’05); Jenny Vermilya (CU PhD ’15); and Devon Thacker Thomas (CU BA ’05, MA ’06, PhD ’13).


Lori Hunter is co-Investigator on a new $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) to build an interdisciplinary network of researchers focusing on rural population health and aging. The project is led by Penn State and also involves Syracuse University and the University of Mississippi. The newly established “Interdisciplinary Network on Rural Population Health and Aging” will identify gaps, stimulate new research, and develop and disseminate training materials as well as data and analytic resources to better understand rural health and aging trends and the factors affecting these trends.


Over the past year, the team at the Natural Hazards Center has been working to build out a global map and online listing of hazards and disaster focused research centers and institutions around the world! That map is now live, here: https://hazards.colorado.edu/resources/research-centers And this past week, Emma Hines (former graduate student in Geography), Mason Mathews (postdoc in the Natural Hazards Center), and Lori Peek had the following paper accepted for publication, which describes this new technical resource. 

Hines, Emmanuelle, Mason Mathews, and Lori Peek. “Global List and Interactive Web Map of University-Based Hazards and Disaster Research Centers.” Forthcoming in Natural Hazards Review.


SOCY was represented at this week’s meeting of the Interdisciplinary Association of Population Health Science in Seattle.  Presentations included:

Daniel H. Simon and Ryan Masters:  The Opioid Epidemic and Suicide Mortality Trends among White Americans

Andrea M. Tilstra and Ryan Masters:  Race/Ethnic Trends in Cesarean Deliveries, Induced Labors, and U.S. Birth Weight

Aubrey Limburg and Stef Mollborn and Bethany Everett (CU SOCY Alum): Sexual Orientation and Race/Ethnic Disparities in Birth Weight


Lori Peek will be delivering a short Ted style talk at the upcoming Research and Innovation Office (RIO) Faculty Fellows event on Tuesday, October 15 at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome and registration info is below!

RIO Faculty Fellows TED-Style Talks

•             Gordon Gamm Theater, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80302 

•             This event is free and open to the public. RSVP

The Research & Innovation Office (RIO) Faculty Fellows will present short TED-style talks in the Gordon Gamm Theater, located at the Dairy Arts Center. Catch a glimpse of the leading edge of research, scholarship and creative works from some of CU Boulder's most influential leaders, representing disciplines across the spectrum—from ethnic studies to engineering, computer science to cinema studies, biochemistry to sociology and more.



Melissa Villarreal was interviewed by the Boulder Daily Camera about her research about disparity in disaster response by gender.

Kendra Clark was the sole awardee of the Student Paper Award from the American Society of Criminology’s (ASC) Division of Corrections and Sentencing, which is based on her third-year paper and master’s thesis, Rethinking Prisonization: A Longitudinal Investigation of Adherence to the Convict Code across Stages of Incarceration. Kendra will receive the award at the annual meeting of the ASC in San Francisco in November.

David Pyrooz was elected to the Executive Board of the American Society of Criminology’s (ASC) Division of Corrections and Sentencing.

Kyle Thomas had a new paper published in Criminology (w/ Matt Vogel), titled “Testing a Rational Choice Model of ‘Desistance:’ Decomposing Changing Expectations and Changing Utilities.” Info

Mathieu Desan gave an invited talk on his book project at the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Sociology



Jason Boardman was awarded this year’s CU Boulder Outstanding Postdoc due to being an uncommonly generous scholar…giving of time and attention, charitable with resources and connections, and where due, always happy to share credit for intellectual contributions.


The University of Colorado sociology Department welcomes YOU! Stop by Ketchum 1B40 for some free pizza on September 11th at 5:30PM. Info


Check out this NYT article to see Mike Radelet’s work getting linked to all over the place! (see research finding hyperlinks) Info


Congratulations to David Pyrooz and Rachel Rinado, now officially Associate Professors with tenure!
Departmental affiliate and past graduate student (PhD 2009) Emmanuel David has also been promoted. Info


Professor Claire Decoteau of the University of Illinois - Spring 2019 Speaker Series. Info


Professor Tim Bartley of Washington University in St. Louis - Spring 2019 Speaker Series. Info 


Professor Kelsy Burke of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln - Fall 2018 Speaker Series. Info


Congrats to David Pyrooz for being mentioned in the NYTimes Info


Barry Eidlin of McGill University - Spring 2018 Speaker Series. Info


Pilar Goñalons-Pons of the University of Pennsylvania - Spring 2018 Speaker Series. Info


Corey Fields of Georgetown University - Spring 2018 Speaker Series. Info 


Leslie Irvine has a new publication in the journal Animal Sentience: "Animal Pain and the Social Role of Science." http://animalstudiesrepository.org/animsent/vol2/iss16/18/

Tracy Fehr-Sardone wrote an article for the Huffington Post, featuring Jax Gonzalez: "The Grad Student Rallying Cry for Higher Education." https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-grad-student-rallying-cry-for-higher-education_us_5a1f7e00e4b064ca3c1511c3


Stephanie Bonnes has won the American Society of Criminology's Division on Women and Crime's Graduate Scholar of the Year Award. This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of graduate students to the field women and crime, both in their published work and their service to the Division of Women & Crime.  Additionally, her article "The Bureaucratic Harassment of U.S. Servicewomen" appears in the most recent issue of Gender & Society. Read here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0891243217736006. This paper was awarded the American Society of Criminology's Division of Victimology's Graduate Student Paper of the Year Award at the ASC'a Annual Meeting in November. 


Robbee Wedow, Ryan Masters, Stef Mollborn, and Jason Boardman's recently published article "Body size reference norms and subjective weight status: A gender and life course approach" was published ahead of print in Social Forces and can be found here: https://academic.oup.com/sf/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/sf/sox073/4656143?redirectedFrom=fulltext


Jamie Vickery has had an article accepted for publication in Environmental Sociology: "Using an intersectional approach to advance understanding of homeless persons' vulnerability to disaster." 


Last week, Mathieu Desan participated in the Social Sciences Today Forum panel “Beyond #Protest” organized by CARTSS at CU. He also presented a paper, “Is the Front National Republican and Does it Matter?”, at the annual meeting of the Social Science History Association in Montreal this past weekend.


Emily and Sam Bacon welcomed Harper Claire early in the morning on Wednesday, November 8th. We are all happy and healthy and enjoying our time together. 

An interdisciplinary certificate in Animals and Society, directed by Leslie Irvine, has now been approved. The program emphasizes scholarship from the social sciences and humanities, with elective options in the natural sciences. The requirements include courses in History, Philosophy, Anthropology, and French and Italian, along with Animals and Society in Sociology.

Elizabeth Bittel (2011 cohort) presented a paper at the 46th Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison, WI titled “Gender and Modernization or Development of Sri Lanka’s East Coast After the 2004 Tsunami and War.”

Additionally, Elizabeth developed a teaching module for the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies as part of a curriculum development grant competition, that is (at long last) live on the AISLS website! The module, titled “Teaching about the 2004 Tsunami” is a two-part unit of curriculum meant to be adaptable to instructors in a wide array of fields who may be teaching (both online and face-to-face classes) about the social dimensions of disasters and hazards. The two sections focus broadly on the topics of “disasters and disaster recovery” and “social capital and disaster recovery” by grounding the relevant concepts in the context of Sri Lanka’s recovery from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and 30-year civil war. The module can be found here: http://www.aisls.org/resources/teaching-about-sri-lanka/the-2004-tsunami/ Please feel free to use the module, share it widely, and reach out to Elizabeth with any questions you may have about it. Elizabeth.bittel@colorado.edu



Lori Peek is Co-PI on a new grant funded to enhance the number of racial and ethnic minorities in disaster research and emergency management practice. Peek is part of an interdisciplinary team including Nnenia Campbell (CU Ph.D. in Sociology, 2016) and other researchers at the University of Nebraska. You can read more here: https://hazards.colorado.edu/news/center-news/collaboration-wins-national-award-to-enhance-stem-fields



Andrea Tilstra's article "Estimating Educational Differences in Low-Risk Cesarean Section Delivery: A Multilevel Modeling Approach," has been accepted for publication at Population Research and Policy Review.

Rachel Rinaldo was quoted in two recent articles about gender issues in Indonesia:




David Pyrooz published the following article in Criminology, "Parenthood as a turning point in the life course for male and female gang members: A study of within-individual changes in gang membership and criminal behavior," with coauthors Jean McGloin and Scott Decker.


Dr. Pyrooz also published a guest editorial in The Crime Report, "Disengaging from gang life: What works?," with coauthors Scott Decker and Caterina Roman.


Rick Rogers and Justin Vinneau were active in this year’s Southern Demographic Association annual meetings in Morgantown, West Virginia, October 25-27, 2017.

CU graduate student Justin Vinneau presented “International Trends in Early Life Mortality Research.” This project includes CU researchers Rick Rogers, along with UNC collaborator Bob Hummer.

UNC graduate student Nathan Dollar presented “Geographic Divergence in Early Life Mortality Rates, 1969-2014.” This project includes CU researcher Rick Rogers and UNC collaborators Liz Lawrence (a previous CU graduate student), David Braudt, Iliya Gutin, Samuel Fishman, and Bob Hummer.

Plenary Speaker Rick Rogers presented “Recent Trends and Future Prospects for Mortality Research.”

University of West Virginia President Gordon Gee welcomed the SDA to UWV. Gee has served as president for more universities than anyone else and was president of CU from 1985 to 1990.


Lori Peek was named by the Ottawa University Alumni Association as the 2017 recipient of the Ottawa University Outstanding Achievement Award. The award "recognizes individuals who have made an impact in their chosen field of endeavor, whethere over a span of many years or in a relatively short time frame." To be considered for the award, candidates must "have made accomplishments in the context of their paid career, or for a civic personal interest which they have pursued, with or without pay and achieved accomplishments that have had an impact on the world, nation, state, or community." The full announcement is available here:


Michael Radelet collaborated on an article recently published but already being used in several Oklahoma death penalty appeals: Glenn L. Pierce, Michael L. Radelet, & Susan Sharp, Race and Death Sentencing for Oklahoma Homicides Committed Between 1990 and 2012, 107 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 733-56 (2017); available at http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/jclc/vol107/iss4/5/


Jill Harrison gave two invited presentations last week at the Environmental Justice Community Solutions Conference organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the California Environmental Health Tracking Program. Her presentations were titled "Government EJ Grant Programs – What Funders Need to Know to Ensure that Programs Better Meet EJ Principles,” and "Drift Catcher Air Monitoring Project: How Citizen Science Programs Can Best Serve Community Needs.” 

Jessie Luna’s article “Getting out of the dirt: racialized modernity and environmental inequality in the cotton sector of Burkina Faso,” has been accepted for publication at Environmental Sociology.


Lori Hunter and Dan Simon had their study titled, “Might Climate Change the “Healthy Migrant” Effect” accepted for publication in the journal, Global Environmental Change

Emily Bacon has had two articles accepted for publication. The first, "Does the Hispanic Health Advantage Extend to Better Management of Hypertension? The Role of Socioeconomic Status, Sociobehavioral Factors, and Healthcare Access," was accepted at Biodemography and Social Biology, with coauthors Richard Rogers from sociology and Fernando Riosmena from geography. The second, "Racial/Ethnic Differences in Treatment Recommendations: Lifestyle Changes and Medication Prescriptions for High Cholesterol," was her third year paper and was accepted at Ethnicity and Health.

Vanessa Roberts has been invited to present two workshops at the CIRCLE (Connecting Inclusive Responsive Communities Leading Education) conference in Denver this Saturday - the first on how a colorblind ideology reinforces injustice; the second on how to create an inclusive classroom environment. Both workshops are a combination of sociological research and practical applications for educators. For more information on the conference please check out their homepage


Stephanie Bonnes has won the American Society of Criminology's Division on Victimology's 2017 Graduate Student Paper of the Year Award.


Jessie Luna welcomed daughter Jade Luna Kilcher into the world on September 20. The new Luna was fittingly born on a new moon, and the whole family is happy and healthy!


Jill Harrison was interviewed about immigration politics and dairy industry workers in a recent article in the Huffington Post:https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wisconsin-dairy-industry-undocumented-workers_us_59c3cfb7e4b06f93538cfd3f


David Pyrooz coauthored an op-ed that was published this morning by the St. Louis Post Dispatch:



News from alumni:  Mary A. Romero (Ph.D. 1980) has been elected President, American Sociological Association.