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coins icon$1.3 MILLION IN GRANTS

The Department is above the median in faculty awards and federal grant dollars per faculty. Our faculty have received four NIH R01 grants and other significant foundation grants.

grant winners


group of people icon10:1 ratio of enrolled students to faculty

In Spring 2019, 357 students (331 undergraduates and 26 graduates) were seeking degrees through the Department of Sociology. We currently have 21 core and 13 auxiliary faculty members.

Overall our students benefit from a 10.5:1 ratio of students to faculty. While undergraduates experience a 9.7:1 ratio, graduate students enjoy a .76:1 ratio.

FACULTY Profiles


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TOP 5%

 #1 undergraduate sociology program in Utah, #25 overall and #1 online in the nation

College Factual ranks programs offered by 4-year U.S. colleges and universities based on student satisfaction markers. Our undergraduate program ranked 25 out of 552 nationwide placing it in the top 5% of U.S. sociology programs. 

College Factual Rankings


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From 2016-2019, our faculty have produced over 200 publications. According to Academic Analytics, the Department is ranked second (of 201 departments) in articles per faculty and eighth in citations per faculty.

Recent Publications


Bethany Everett, Assistant Professor of Sociology wins College award for her research in LGBT health. 


Tom Quinn, Assistant Professor Lecturer wins praise from students of his Population and Society and Social Statistics classes. 

portrait of Sara GrineskiThe Guardian Publishes Article Citing Paper by Sara Grineski, Professor of Sociology and Tim Collins, Professor of Geography

“This could well be impacting an entire generation of our society,” said Dr Sara Grineski, an academic who has authored the first national study, published in the journal Environmental Research, on air pollution and schools.

Grineski and her University of Utah colleague Timothy Collins grouped schools according to their level of exposure to more than a dozen neurotoxins, including lead, mercury and cyanide compounds.

Read the full article

Jazmine Hurley, undergraduate student, has been selected for the Parent Fund Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Scholar for 2017-2018 for her project entitled “Evaluation of Intimate Partner Violence Curriculum in Residency Training Programs” with Professor Akiko Kamimura.

Angela Midgley, Administrative Officer, Department of Sociology is winner of the 2018 College of Social and Behavioral Science Staff Excellence Award.

Sociology welcomes recent additions to our faculty

Guangzhen Wu
Guangzhen Wu, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice who joined the University of Utah in the fall of 2018. Dr. Wu earned his Ph.D. from Washington State University in 2018 and previously held a tenure position at the Criminal Investigation Police University of China. His research interests include comparative criminology/criminal justice, policing (international policing, police integrity, police stress and job satisfaction, and police-public relations), and the drug policy (the effects of marijuana legalization). He has taught multiple courses including Criminological Theory, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Statistics, and Research Methods.

Lazarus Adua
Lazarus Adua is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Utah. His research focuses on the human dimensions of energy (energy inequality and the relative impacts of efficiency improvement and lifestyles on the environment),the structural drivers and social consequences of global environmental change, and local governments’ social,developmental, and environmental (land-use) polices. He also conducts research on environmental concern and activism, using both survey and experimental research designs. His work as a professor spans several years of teaching experience in the United States and abroad (Ghana and China).

Sara Grineski
Sara Grineski is a Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at the University of Utah. Her research interests are in environmental health disparities, children’s health, and environmental justice. Her doctoral education was funded by a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) fellowship in urban ecology at Arizona State University. As a Master’s student, she collaborated with a neighborhood on a community-based participatory research project on children’s environmental health, an experience that set the course for Dr. Grineski’s future career. After graduating in 2006 with her Ph.D. in Sociology with a minor in Geography, she became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).  While at UTEP, she was a Principal Investigator (PI) on the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) award, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). On this award, Dr. Grineski developed and directed the academic year and summer research mentoring programs for undergraduate student and faculty mentees, which spanned across 15 colleges and universities. Separate from the NIH BUILD award, Dr. Grineski has received external research funding as a PI or Co-PI from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Health (NIH) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She has published in outlets ranging from Social Science & Medicine and Social Forces to Environmental Research Letters and Environmental Research. Throughout her faculty career, Dr. Grineski has set as a top priority involving students in her research; over half of her publications involve student authors.

Faculty Grants and Awards

Over the past five years, few public research universities have risen in stature as quickly for both academic excellence and the creation of life-changing technological and medical innovation as the University of Utah.

Faculty Awards

Brett Clark
Winner of 2017 Paul Sweezy Marxist Sociology Book Award, Marxist Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. Award received for the book, The Tragedy of the Commodity.

Brett Clark
Honorable Mention for the Allan Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication Award, Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.

Sarita Gaytan
Honorable Mention, Best Paper in the Social Sciences, Mexico Section, Latin American Studies Section for,“The Transformation of Tequila: From Hangover to Highbrow.”Journal of Consumer Culture, v.17, n.1: 62-84. 

Faculty Awards from the University of Utah

Claudia Geist
Winner of the 2017-2018 College of Social and Behavioral Science Superior Teaching Award

Sarita Gaytan
Finalist for the 2016-2017  CSBS Superior Research Award

Theresa Martinez
Career Services Faculty Recognition Award 2017

Heather Melton
University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award 2017

Marcel Paret
Finalist for College of Social and Behavioral Science Superior Teaching Award 2016-2017

Rebecca Utz
Graduate School Distinguished Mentor Award 2017


Daniel Adkins

2017-2021 National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Child Health and Development

Sexual acceptability's role in contraceptive preference and behavior

This study 1) documents sexual acceptability for various contraceptive methods, 2) determines associations between sexual acceptability and continuation over time, and 3) develops new, more valid sexuality measures for reproductive health research and interventions. Role: Co-I

Claudia Geist

2018 University of Utah Consortium for Families and Health Research Pilot Grant

HerStories: Economic Context of Family Planning

Qualitative interviews about how economic circumstances shape ideas about family planning, that is the desire to become pregnant, the anticipated timing of pregnancy, and their long-term desired family size.

Sara Grineski

National Science Foundation (NSF) Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events

Trajectories of social vulnerability among Houston area households: A pre- and post-event study of Hurricane Harvey.   

PI: Tim Collins, Co-Is: Sara Grineski, Jayajit Chakraborty. Start 10/1/2017-End 9/30/2018.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Education Research and Policy Studies

Building Capacity for Interdisciplinary Analysis of Longitudinal Data for Education Policy Research: Understanding science and math teacher labor markets.

PI: David Knight. Co-I: Sara Grineski, Tom Fullerton. National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Education Research and Policy Studies. Start 9/1/2017- End 8/31/-2020.

Kim Korinek

Integration of the Undocumented and Documented in a New Destination: Utah

PI: Ken Jameson. Co-PI(s): Kim Korinek, Ming Wen, Julie Stewart, Thomas Maloney, Claudio Holzner. Russell Sage Foundation, 07/15/2008 - 07/15/2010.

Mekong Region Initiative. PI: KORINEK,KIM. HENRY LUCE FOUNDATION, 03/01/2013 - 03/01/2017.

Bethany Everett

Interdisciplinary Innovation grant from the Society of Family Planning (Co-PI)

Akiko Kamimura

Community Health Grant from the Sorenson Legacy Foundations (PI)

Marcel Paret

Faculty Research and Creative Grant, University Research Committee, University of Utah, 2016
Law and Society Association Travel Grant, 2015

Ming Wen

Scholar Grant from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation (PI)

Academic Engagement

Sociologists in the Media

Sara Grineski

Radio Interview.  America’s toxic schools. Living on Earth with Steve Curwood. (broadcast on 250 public radio stations) February 9, 2018.

Review of research study in the Guardian. February 1, 2018.

Community Presentations

Sara Grineski

Air Pollution in El Paso and its Impact on Children's School Performance. Joint Advisory Committee for the Improvement of Air Quality in the Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua / El Paso, Texas / Doña Ana County, New México Air Basin ( Cd. Juarez, Mexico. (Remote Participant) 18 January 2018.

Invited Grand Rounds Speaker. Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Boise, Idaho. 2 May 2018.

Marcel Paret 

Guest Editor of Special Issue Journals:
“Politics of Precarity: Critical Engagements with Guy Standing.” Global Labor Journal 7(2), 2016.

“Building Citizenship From Below: Precarity, Migration, Agency.” Citizenship Studies 29(3-4), 2016. Co-edited with Shannon Gleeson.

Brett Clark

Chair, Marxist Sociology section of the American Sociological Association


Graduate Student Spotlight

Fellowships and Grants

Zobayer Ahmmad was awarded a Consortium for Families and Health Research (C-FAHR). Fellowship 2018

Daniel Auerbach received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the Tanner Humanities Center for his work Agent Orange: And the Treadmill of Destruction

Amanda Bertana received the 2015 “Doctoral Dissertation Research: Environmentally Induced Migration.” (PI Sarita Gaytan), National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, the 2015 “Doctoral Dissertation Research: Environmentally Induced Migration.” University of Utah Global Climate Change and Sustainability Center Grant and the 2016-2017 Utah Scholar Strategy Network Graduate Fellow.

She has also co-authored a peer-reviewed journal article: Jorgenson, Andrew K. and Amanda Bertana. 2013. “The Sociology of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Brief Overview.” Rural Connections 7(2): 15-18.

Alla Chernenko was awarded the Graduate Research Fellowship from the University of Utah Graduate School 2018-2019.

Graduate Student Publications

Kamimura, A., Ahmmad, Z., Pye, M., & Gull, B. (2018). Peer Smoking and Smoking- related Beliefs Among College Students in Bangladesh. Journal of preventive medicine and public health = Yebang Uihakhoe chi, 51(1), 51. doi:10.3961/jpmph.17.146

Kamimura, A., Panahi, S., Ahmmad, Z., Pye, M., & Ashby, J. (2018). Transportation and Other Nonfinancial Barriers Among Uninsured Primary Care Patients. Health services research and managerial epidemiology, 5, 2333392817749681. doi:10.1177/2333392817749681

Graduate Student Conferences

Bethany Gull presented "Coming Out" Narratives: Similarities and Differences in Identity Development Between Disaffiliating Mormon Women and LGB Individuals" at the 2018 Mormon Social Science Conference, Utah Valley University, Orem Utah.

Rebecca Owen co-presented with Ed Muñoz at the annual American Society of Criminology conference back in November in Philadelphia, PA.  We presented on our ongoing Salt Lake Peer Court project, specifically looking at what kinds of dispositions were associated with successful completion of the program or reduced recidivism within 1 year.

Last Updated: 4/12/21