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College of Arts and Sciences Sociology

Single mom earning degree while raising her son

Ana BetancourtFor the average college student juggling school, classes and a job can be a difficult feat in itself. WSU Vancouver, however, is not a campus filled with traditional students. It is a commuter campus and sees everything from parents to long-distance commuters attending classes.

Ana Betancourt is a WSU Vancouver junior majoring in sociology and minoring in history. Off campus, her primary job is photography. On campus, » More …

Public support for environmental spending hinges on White House

Infographic showing public support for environmental spending Leveraging the power of data analytics, WSU sociologist Erik Johnson teased apart the opinions of more than 20,000 people over more than four decades and found support for environmental spending consistently plummeted during the administrations of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Democrats all.

Johnson made his discovery using a statistical analysis that looked at poll respondents in terms of their age, the time period in which they were surveyed and » More …

AAAS Fellow honors for WSU faculty

Monica Johnson-KirkpatrickMonica Kirkpatrick Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, is one of three WSU faculty named as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The honor, bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, recognizes Johnson for her “distinguished contributions to research on life course development focusing on how adolescents transitioning into adulthood is impacted by different social relationships and economic resources.”

She is a leading researcher in understanding well-being and achievement in adolescence and the transition to adulthood, serves on the editorial board for four » More …

McNair scholar bridges cultures in life, research

Lysandra PerezIt’s fall 2014. New freshman Lysandra Perez, the first in her family to attend college, sits on the bed in her Streit-Perham Hall dorm room. The emotional farewells are done, and her parents are driving back home to the small town of Moxee, near Yakima. Her roommates won’t be arriving for another few days.

She is all alone. “What do I do now?” she remembers thinking in a moment of panic.

Fortunately, the panic didn’t last long. “I had to remind myself that going to college » More …

Renewable energy offers common ground for Democrats, Republicans

Solor panel farm in the desertAs the battle lines are drawn for next month’s hotly contested midterm elections, some Americans may be comforted to know there is at least one area of common ground for Democrats and Republicans: regardless of political standing, age or gender, U.S. voters are in favor of renewable energy, according to research by Christine Horne, professor of sociology.

Horne and Emily Kennedy, a former WSU sociology professor now at the University of British Columbia, are the authors of a new study in the journal Environmental Politics that shows while conservatives and liberals tend to disagree » More …

Distinguished sociology professor brings expertise in health disparities

Denney portrait, outsideWhen Justin Denney was still an aspiring, young sociologist, he strove to understand the dynamic forces that shape and perpetuate social inequality. Then, in graduate school, he came across the signal texts of renowned sociologist and Washington State University alumnus William Julius Wilson.

“Those classic works illuminated a central tenet and contribution of sociological inquiry that had eluded me to some degree,” Denney said. “It was an important moment for me and has influenced my career in a profound way.” » More …

2017 Wilson Award and Symposium

William Julius Wilson Symposium with Elijah AndersonWSU created the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice in 2009 to recognize individuals who promote social inclusiveness and diversity in social policies and strive to reduce joblessness. Wilson received his doctorate in sociology from WSU in 1966 and is widely considered one of the nation’s most influential sociologists. He is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University.

The biennial award is presented during a symposium held on the Pullman campus. The 2017 recipient is Elijah Anderson, one of the nation’s leading urban ethnographers and the William K. Lanman Jr. professor of sociology at Yale University. » More …

Sociology department newsletter, October 2017

Screen shot image of sociology newsletterFall is here—and WSU sociology has seen some exciting changes. We begin this issue with a letter from new department chair Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson. She shares her goals for the department, including implementation of a new strategic plan.

» More …

Innovative WSU approach ignites survey industry, earns national award

Winners holding plaqueWSU researchers received a national award for designing a new survey method that is now used in censuses around the world.

WSU Regents Professor Don Dillman and a team of former graduate students were honored with the Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research. The last award was granted in 2015 to Nate Silver, creator of FiveThirtyEight , the statistics-based news site.

The WSU team’s innovation is overcoming the negative effects that modern communication trends have on public opinion survey results by turning to an old-school source: postal mail.  » More …