Sociology Matters Spring 2023

Spring is a season of growth, of transitions and transformations, and it sneaks up fast. June rushes up in an eyeblink.  One minute the Quad is full of pink cherry blossoms and the next  we’re conferring degrees and seeing another wave of graduates out into the world.

This year we marked many happy milestones. We celebrated the careers of professors emeritus Edgar Kiser and Pepper Scwartz, bringing together students, colleagues, and mentors to share stories and commemorate the many contributions of these fantastic scholars.  Alexes Harris continued a career of ground-breaking firsts in becoming the University of Washington’s first Faculty Regent. Meanwhile, Sara Curran was named the university’s Associate Vice Provost for Research. Theresa Rocha Beardall won a rare Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. We completed two faculty searches, and are very pleased to welcome Rosalind Kichler as new Assistant Teaching Professor, and Sasha Shen Johfre as Assistant Professor of Sociology and Statistics. Both will be joining our full time faculty this fall.

We promoted Tyler McCormick and Nathalie Williams to full professors.  Tyler also was honored with a highly prestigious appointment as a fellow of the American Statistical Association recognizing his many contributions and innovative work in statistics. Nathalie, in concert with Jerry Herting, Zack Almquist, and a huge team of student and faculty collaborators has recently launched the data-gathering phase of a new study on housing and homelessness in the Puget Sound Area.

Our faculty and graduate students continue to do groundbreaking research and innovative teaching, and several received formal recognition. Steve Karceski was awarded the Honors Excellence in Teaching Award, nominated by the enthusiastic acclaim of his students.  Ryan DeCarsky won the Harlan Hahn Endowment Fund Grant for his work with the deaf-queer community for a second time.  Celine Liao won the Chester Fritz International Research and Study Fellowship from the Graduate School. Alison Goldberg won the Mack and Mayerfield Fellowship from the Center for Human Rights.  Hugo Aguas was awarded a Latinx Scholars Graduate School Fellowship.

On May 25th we held our annual departmental awards ceremony in the Grieg Garden.  You’ll find a full list of awards and honorees in the newsletter links below.

On June 7th we convened to recognize and honor our graduates and send them on their way to the roar of applause and cheering from friends and family.  Our graduation celebration is always a tearful and happy event and this year was no exception.  Michele Cadigan, Connor Gilroy, and Neal Marquez successfully defended dissertations this year, and their PhD’s were conferred at graduation.  Michele has accepted a Presidential Postdoc at Arizona State University, Neal is on a postdoc in the Population Research Center at Portland State University, and Connor has accepted a great job in industry.

We also bid a sad farewell to excellent colleague and scholar, Magda Boutros, who is leaving us to join the faculty at Sciences Po, in Paris. Besides a strong institution near family in a world-class city, we’re not sure what would compel Magda to leave. At any rate, she will be missed.

When I look back on the year, I am reminded that our department has many things to be proud and grateful for. The engagement we see from friends such as yourself is near the top of that list.  Thank you for sticking with us as we look forward to another year of teaching, learning, and discovery.

Kyle Crowder, Professor and Chair

head shot portrait kyle crowder


Congratulations, 2023 Sociology Graduates! 

It's been an honor and a pleasure to see all that you have accomplished during your time at UW. We are fortunate to know so many sociological thinkers, and we know that you will have a positive impact on your communities. We hope you stay in touch with us! Please let us know what you're up to!

seated graduates in Meany Hall

article by Ulrika O'Brien On the Road Again, Again Edgar Kiser lives a life shaped by disruption.  Unexpected change comes to us all, and for Edgar it started early, and came often.  At the height of the Cold War, when Edgar and his younger sister were children, their father worked as a naval radar operator. He was gone for long stretches, flying patrols supposedly to Iceland but probably far beyond, into Soviet air, on missions he couldn’t talk about.  Naval fiat repeatedly… Read more
For many students coming to Seattle for the first time, the visibility of homelessness here is a major shock. Personal reflections on homelessness rarely delve beyond the initial reaction, but a course called the Sociology of Homelessness gives students the space to investigate and reflect. Students challenge their deeply held assumptions about homelessness, learn about the historical and social factors that contribute to its perpetuation, and explore a variety of community responses.  When… Read more
Graduating senior Dawit Borrows has been selected as one of the Husky 100 of 2023.  He is completing a double degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering (BS) and Sociology (BA).  Congratulations to Dawit!Check out the Husky 100
UW Sociology is delighted to announce that Sasha Shen Johfre will join us and CSSS as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2023. Currently a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Stanford University, her research focuses on the social construction of social knowledge, including the ways that ideas of human difference (e.g. based on gender, race, or age) are made to be seen as real and essential. … Read more
The department is pleased to announce that Tyler McCormick, Associate Professor of Sociology, Statistics, and CSSS, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA).  ASA Fellows are named for their outstanding contributions to statistical science, leadership, and advancement of the field.  Professor McCormick's work develops statistical models for inference and prediction in scientific settings where data are sparsely observed or measured with error. His citation… Read more
Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Alexes Harris, professor of sociology, to the Board of Regents, effective Oct. 21, 2022. Harris becomes the first to hold the new Faculty Regent position on the Board. “I am excited and thankful to have been appointed by Governor Inslee to the first Faculty Regent position for the University of Washington,” Harris said. “I am a first-generation student from Seattle who graduated from the UW in 1997. My educational experiences created my path towards a fulfilling… Read more

Awards and Accomplishments

2023 Departmental Awards

  • Woolston Award for Academic Excellence: Katherine Raquel Quintanilla
  • Al Black Award for Community Service: Elizabeth Lu Gao
  • Outstanding Performance in the Master’s Degree: Maxine Wright, Urban Displacement, Stress, and Well-being in Historical Black Urban Neighborhoods: a Case Study
  • Herbert L Costner Award: Steven M. Karceski, Efforts to Tax Carbon in Washington State
  • Graduate Award for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant:  Zack Brown
  • Graduate Award for Excellence in Teaching: Lindsey Beach; Marco Brydolf-Horwitz
  • Faculty Excellence in Teaching: Jelani Ince
  • Faculty Excellence in Graduate Training: Sarah Quinn

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