Authors and Editors
Angela Barian taught sociology for almost twenty years to classes as small as four and as large as four hundred. She designed courses on the sociology of the body, food culture, digital citizenship, and cannabis in American society, just to name a few. Her PhD in sociology is from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she currently works as an editor and writer. These days, her research and writing interests center on the ways people understand and experience failure. Sometimes, people pay her to sing, but most of the time, they don’t.
Maia Cucchiara teaches urban education at Temple University in Philadelphia. She studies urban educational policy with a particular focus on communities and schools. She is also interested in the relationship between education and urban policy and wrote Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities: Who Wins and Who Loses when Schools become Urban Amenities about the costs and benefits of efforts to recruit middle-class families to urban public schools. Originally from the Washington, DC area, Maia worked as a community organizer in Louisiana—where she learned to eat hush puppies, pralines, and crawfish—and a teacher in Camden, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA. She likes to run and do yoga and loves living in the city.
Judith Halasz teaches sociology and film studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She specializes in urban life, culture, labor, and social theory. She was a child actor in the award-winning performance group The Squat Theatre. Her experiences in the downtown creative scene inspired her ethnographic and historical study of bohemian life in New York’s Lower East Side, The Bohemian Ethos: Questioning Work and Making a Scene on the Lower East Side. Judith is currently researching advanced gentrification and recent cultural changes in Brooklyn, New York, using qualitative and quantitative methods. In her spare time, she enjoys running, swimming in the ocean, taking photographs, and supporting her family and friends’ creative endeavors.
Margaret (Maggie) Hicken is a Research Assistant Professor in the Social Environment and Health Program at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. She oversees interdisciplinary graduate and post-doctoral training on cultural and structural racism and population health as the Director of RacismLab, Principal Investigator of the Landscapes of Racial Dispossession and Control project, and Faculty Associate at the UM Population Studies Center. Her research centers on cultural and structural racism, with a focus on the interactive impact of social and environmental exposures, social stress, and health inequities. She loves traveling with her daughter, especially to Okinawa to visit family.
The late Peter Kaufman, formerly a professor of sociology at the State University of New York at New Paltz, passed away in November of 2018. An announcement of his death and a description of his life and work can be found here. At SUNY-New Paltz, he taught introduction to sociology, sociological theory, social interaction, education and society, and senior seminar. He recently co-authored his first book, Teaching with Compassion: An Educator’s Oath to Teach from the Heart. Since 2011, he was a regular contributor to the Everyday Sociology Blog, writing posts on a wide range of contemporary topics. In his spare time, Peter enjoyed cycling, swimming, and walking his greyhound, Billy. He also played the drums for Questionable Authorities—an all-faculty, punk-rock cover band that was together longer than The Beatles. We all consider ourselves extremely lucky to have been able to work with Peter, a truly inspiring teacher and person.
Shamus Khan is professor and chair of sociology at Columbia University in the City of New York. He researches and writes on culture, inequality, gender, and research methodology. As a teenager he attended an elite boarding school and returned, years later, as a researcher. Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School, his ethnographic study of the school, sought to better understand and explain the culture of the American elite. He is currently co-leading a quantitative and qualitative research project on the sexual lives of students at Columbia, with a focus on experiences of sexual assault. When not writing and teaching, Shamus enjoys playing music with friends and cooking. He worked through school as a cook, co-founding the Underground Food Collective in Madison, Wisconsin. You should check it out if you’re ever in Madison!
Hedwig (Hedy) Lee received her PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan from 2009 to 2011. She holds a courtesy joint appointment at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and is a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is also an Associate Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Equity. She currently serves as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Committee on Population. Her recent work examines the impact of structurally rooted chronic stressors, such as mass incarceration, on health and health disparities. Hedy is a modern art enthusiast and currently serves on the board for The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.
Rashawn Ray is associate professor of sociology and director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland. He is also a co-editor of Contexts magazine. Ray’s research addresses racial and social inequality and ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy. Publishing over 40 scholarly works and op-eds, Ray is the author of books on How Families Matter and race relations. Ray has written for a series of mainstream outlets including The New York Times and appeared on MSNBC, HLN, Al Jazeera, NPR, and Fox, and MSNBC. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family, bike riding, watching Matlock, and playing Fortnite with his boys.
Fabio Rojas is the Virginia L. Roberts professor of sociology at Indiana University and co-editor of Contexts, the official magazine of the American Sociological Association. His research focuses on organizational behavior, social movements, and institutional theory. He is the author of From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline; Party in the Street: The Antiwar Movement and the Democratic Party after 9/11 (with Michael T. Heaney); and Theory for the Working Sociologist. He has published in numerous academic journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, the Academy of Management Journal, and Social Forces.
Todd Schoepflin is associate professor of sociology at Niagara University in Lewiston, NY. He has a PhD in sociology from Stony Brook University. The courses he teaches include introduction to sociology, social psychology, social stratification, and sexuality & gender. He is author of Sociology in Stories: A Creative Introduction to a Fascinating Perspective. His research interests are writing stories to interpret the social world and the scholarship of teaching sociology. He’s a proud western New Yorker: He grew up in Niagara Falls, roots for the Buffalo Bills, likes to show visitors the local architecture, and eats a lot of chicken wings.
Patrick Sharkey is professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University, where he will teach courses on crime and violence, urban inequality, and statistics. He has written books on the long-term consequences of neighborhood poverty and on the changes that have taken place in cities as violence in the U.S. has fallen over the past few decades. He recently returned from a year living in Nepal while on sabbatical, where he finished his latest book while being entertained by the monkeys tearing through his backyard. He just moved from Manhattan to Princeton with his wife and two children.
Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology and vice provost for academic initiatives at Nevada State College, a public teaching college with a diverse, largely first-generation student body. She is a displaced farm kid and the first in her family to attend college. She has taught introduction to sociology, gender, sexuality, urban sociology, race & ethnicity, and pop culture. Gwen’s current research focuses on the experiences of first-generation college students and how colleges and universities can better support their success. She lives in the Las Vegas area with two dogs and three cats.
Patricia Tevington is a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation at Montclair State University. Her research interests include social class and inequality, religion, and the family. In particular, she studies how class and religion affect young people’s transitions to adulthood. Outside of her research and teaching, Patricia is passionate about rescue dogs of all shapes and sizes, exploring new places, and sampling ice cream flavors.
Melissa J. Wilde is a sociologist of religion whose research focuses on how religion intersects with key social structures, especially, race, class, and gender. Her first book, Vatican II: A Sociological Analysis of Religious Change, examined votes from the Vatican Secret Archive that no researcher had ever seen before to explain the outcome of the Council. Her second book, Birth Control Battles, demonstrates that American religious groups were indelibly shaped by the white supremacist eugenics movement of the early twentieth century. Melissa’s current research explores the relationship between religion and political views, with a particular focus on intersections of religion and class. In her spare time, she enjoys CrossFit and any manner of outdoor activities, especially in the Adirondacks.
Jonathan Wynn used his backstage pass touring with a band to inform a study of how music festivals shape city culture, eventually writing Music/City: Festivals and Placemaking in Austin, Nashville, and Newport. He also wrote a book about tourism in New York City after 9/11. Jonathan blogs at Everyday Sociology, connecting sociology with movies, sports, and whatever Netflix show he’s watched lately. He is an associate professor and department chair of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.