Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Commitment

We are committed to building a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere in which every member of the department can thrive. We strive to incorporate diverse perspectives, experiences, and inquiry in our departmental and classroom spaces.

 We aim to:

  • Recruit, mentor, and promote a diverse faculty.
  • Provide mentorship, research support, social engagement, and learning opportunities so that students, postdocs, staff, and faculty can understand diverse identities and perspectives.

Initiatives

Faculty diversity. We commit to hiring so that our department better reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of Sociology PhDs.

Student research. We created the Wade Smith Research Award, given each fall to a student pursuing original research on racial justice or a closely related topic.

Junior faculty mentoring. We initiated a formalized mentoring program for all junior faculty. Every junior faculty member is matched with a mentor within and outside the sociology department. In the first year, there is a schedule for new faculty mentoring, including an orientation and 6-month follow-up meeting with the DEI committee. We also commit to sponsor a visitor during each junior faculty member's first three years to build professional network and get feedback on work.

Student mentoring. We commit to hosting termly social and professional development events with sociology majors. For example, in the spring of 2021 we had a screening of Moonlight with a post-film discussion. We sponsor student memberships in Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD). Faculty commit to attending AKD meetings to talk about their research once per term.

Professional development. We initiated a graduate student colloquium series. We host a junior faculty writing group. We support postdoctoral fellows through colloquia and one-on-one mentoring.

Research related to DEI. We have a number of faculty research projects directly related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Shaonta' Allen studies how Black individuals and groups perceive and respond to racial and gendered inequality and how their resistance varies across social locations and institutional contexts.
  • John Campbell writes about how racial and ethnic diversity affects social cohesion and economic performance in nation-states. 
  • Jason Houle investigates racial disparities in student debt, the labor market, and the criminal justice system.
  • Sunmin Kim does research on Asian American identity and policy, and racial differences in political participation.
  • Janice McCabe focuses her research on identities and inequalities, including how the structure and content of friendships may differ across institutions and students' backgrounds.
  • Michele Tine explores how rural and urban differences in child poverty may affect children's cognition and memory.
  • Emily Walton examines the cultural dimensions of whiteness that perpetuate racial domination in diverse communities.

Diversifying the curricula. We have an annual meeting devoted to teaching and sharing resources/feedback with each other about teaching.