Sociologist Network 2023
We would like to welcome you all back to another exciting year at the Universityh of Utah! We wanted to spotlight some of the inspiring accomplishments that our Sociology family has brought to us this last year. Go Utes!
Highlights and Awards
Sara Elizabeth Grineski: 2023 Recipient of the CSBS Award for Advancing Equity and Connecting Communities. Sara Grineski also recieved the 2023 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Congrats Sara!
Brett Clark: 2023 University of Utah Distinguished Research Award. Congrats Brett!
Akiko Kamimura: 2023 John G. Francis Prize for Undergraduate Student Mentoring. Congrats Akiko!
Guangzhen Wu: 2023 Junior Scholar Award for the ASA Section on Drugs and Society. Finalist for 2023 Superior Teaching Award for junior tenure-line faculty. Congrats Guagnzhen!
Marcel Paret: 2022 Presidental Scholar Award. This award supports the work of exceptionally promising mid-career faculty in academic units across the campus. Congratulations Marcel!
Undergraduate Department Awards: The Sociology Department is proud to announce Camden Alexander as the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award. Camden was mentored by Sara Grineski. Congrats Camden!
Sara Grineski is the 2023 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award Recipient!
See below what she had to say about her amazing accomplishments! Congratulations Sara!
She actively mentored undergraduate students on research and has supported many students as paid RAs in recent years. Many of these students are involved in research with the Center for Natural and Technological Hazards and co-mentored with Tim Collins (Geography).
Students that she has mentored and supported in recent years:
Alyssa Castor. (ENVST) Social vulnerability to Hurricane Harvey. January-December 2019. (Funded by Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to National Science Foundation Award#: CMMI-1760655). University of Utah.
Angel Griego. (Sociology) Social vulnerability to Hurricane Harvey. January 2020-May 2021. (Funded by Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to National Science Foundation Award #: CMMI-1760655). University of Utah. Completed undergraduate thesis in SOC. Also supported by UROP.
Camden Alexander. (SOC/CRIM) August 2021-present. Funded by Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to National Science Foundation. University of Utah.
Callie Avondent (SOC/History) August 2022-present. Funded by Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to National Science Foundation. University of Utah. Also supported by UROP.
Jaqueline Gomez. (ENVST) August 2021 - December 2022. University of Utah. Completed honors thesis in ENVST. Also supported by UROP. January 2023-present. Funded by NIEHS Supplement to R25. University of Utah.
Nancy Pasillas. (SOC) August 2022-present. Funded by Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to National Science Foundation. University of Utah.
Piper Christian. (ENVST) August 2021 - December 2022. University of Utah. Completed honors thesis in ENVST. Also supported by UROP.
Kevin Ramos. (GEOG). August 2021-present. Funded by Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to National Science Foundation. University of Utah. Funded by NIEHS Supplement to R25.
Shaylynn Trego. (GEOG) January-December 2020. Funded by Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to National Science Foundation. University of Utah.
She also co-direct a 5-year NIH-funded summer research program for U undergraduates from underrepresented racial/ethnic minority backgrounds focused on air pollution and health research. Each summer, four faculty mentors, each paired with one graduate student training coordinator, co-mentor two undergraduate students.
Welcome New faculty!
We are so lucky to add a new faculty member to our Sociology family! Congratulations Max Coleman, we are so excited to have you on campus with us! See below a small snippet about Max and stop by the office to meet him soon!
Max Coleman, Ph.D., is an incoming Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Utah. His research examines inequalities in mental health and their structural and cultural determinants. He is especially interested in "health paradoxes" that existing theories of inequality can't easily explain. Before coming to the University of Utah, Max received training from Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin, and Oberlin College—all midwestern universities; and is looking forward to being closer to his hometown in Northern California.
Max recently pulished "Mental Health in the College Classroom: Best Practices for Instructors." Teaching Sociology 50(20):168-82. It was in the top 5% of all publications scored by Altmetric, a measure of the "attention surrounding scholarly content." Top-scoring of all publications in Teaching Sociology (#1 of 483 as of July 2022).
While not teaching or conducting research, Max enjoys listening to jazz, drinking tea, hiking, and playing piano.
The Sociology Department Has SIX Graduating Ph.D. Students!
We are so lucky to have had these six amazing graduates with us the last couple of years! Congratulations to Mindy Steadman, Adrienne Griffiths, Natalie Blanton, Bethany Gull, Samin Panahi, and Alla Chernenko!
See below what a couple of them had to say about their time at the University of Utah and their next chapter! Congrats Graduates!
Adrienne Griffiths: "I chose the University of Utah’s Sociology program because I was interested in using a structured methodology to build on my background in English, Psychology, and American Studies (i.e., Disability studies). While I initially came in with hopes of working on human-rights related issues on a larger, societal level, I was drawn to Medical Sociology, health disparities, and components of mental health, race/ethnicity, gender, and intimate partner violence/dating violence. My experience has been unique due to the fact that I was assigned an advisor later in my first year, but it has been a wonderful experience learning from such a variety of faculty at the U—with all different strengths, expertise, and advice. I really did grow a lot as a researcher and student. I was able to carve out my own research interests that were shaped based on the elements I learned in the courses I took. Furthermore, I felt really supported by the dissertation committee and connections that I made with my cohort and faculty that I surrounded myself with. I was only able to finish the five-year program in four years based on the support I received from the department and dissertation committee to complete my research using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to research depression during midlife for a variety of outcomes (i.e., relationship satisfaction, intimate partner violence risk, and sexual health. While this has been a really challenging graduate program—even without the added stress that came with the global pandemic— it has been a really rewarding experience where I’ve been able to see exponential personal growth."
Mindy Steadman: "After teaching public health for several years at UVU and BYU, I decided it was time to come back to school for a Ph.D. I chose the Sociology program at the U because of its emphasis on population and health (an excellent complement to my public health training) and because I wanted to understand better how social factors shape the health of individuals and populations. While here, my study and research have focused on health disparities, particularly among children who co-reside with grandparents (a topic I find personally relevant since I've raised my kids in a multigenerational family). I feel so fortunate to have had wonderful friends and mentors during my time in the program, something that has truly enriched my graduate experience and prepared me for my next steps. I just accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health at UVU and can't wait to bring a sociological perspective to the courses I teach there!"
Natalie Blanton: "I did my undergraduate here and wanted to stick around family and community organizations I had ties to and continue working with Brett Clark! My qualitative dissertation consisted of interviewing 65 individuals in the Salt Lake Valley to determine if environmental concerns (namely global climate change and local air pollution) were factored into their fertility intentions and future. It turns out they are! Immensely so. My chapters explore this idea of what to expect when you are expecting catastrophic climate change and take gender and environmental justice/race/ethnicity lens or analyses. I am excited to keep pulling these environmental and reproductive justice threads and situate my work in the southern United States. I just accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga in Sociology (gender emphasis) within their Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies department. I am very grateful for my experience here -- I have loved this department and the opportunities I had."