Featured Alumni

PhD alumni

Susan E. Bell, GSAS PhD'80

Myrick Freeman Professor of Sociology at Drexel UniversitySusan Bell

A nationally known scholar on women's health, Susan has appointments on the editorial boards of several top medical sociology journals and has served for many years as her department's chair. The author of numerous articles and chapters, her most recent book is "DES Daughters: Embodied Knowledge and the Transformation of Women's Health Politics" (Temple University Press, 2009).

Phil Brown, GSAS PhD'79

Professor of Sociology, Brown UniversityPhil Brown

Phil is an esteemed professor of sociology at Northeastern University, specializing in medical and environmental sociology. He is the author or editor of scores of articles and nine books, including "Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement" (Colombia University Press, 2007). He is also well-known for his research on Catskill Culture. He has served as chair of both the Medical Sociology and the Environment and Technology sections of ASA and recently received the Fred Buttel Award for Distinguished Contributions to Environmental Sociology.

Nancy Chodorow, GSAS PhD'75

Nancy Chodorow, PhDAnalyst

Nancy is a leading feminist sociologist and psychoanalytical theorist. She was a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and is presently a practicing analyst in Boston. Among her publications, her classic book, "The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender" (1978), was derived from her doctoral dissertation.

Patricia Hill Collins '69, GSAS PhD'84

Patricia Hill Collins PhDProfessor of Sociology at University of Maryland

Patricia is a social theorist whose research and scholarship have examined issues of race, gender, social class, sexuality and/or nation. She served as the 100th President of the American Sociological Association in 2009. "Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism" (Routledge, 2004) received ASA's 2007 Distinguished Publication Award. Her other books include "Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice" (University of Minnesota Press, 1998); and "From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism" (Temple University Press in press for 2005). She has published many articles in professional journals such as Ethnic and Racial Studies, Signs, Sociological Theory, Social Problems, and Black Scholar, as well as in edited volumes.

Lynn Davidman, GSAS PhD'85

Lynn Davidman, PhDBeren Distinguished Professor of Modern Jewish Studies, University of Kansas

Lynn is a qualitative sociologist who works in the fields of gender studies and the sociology of religion. She has published three books: "Tradition in a Rootless World" (Univ. of California Press, 1991), which won a National Jewish book Award, "Motherloss," (Univ. of California Press, 2000), and "Feminist Perspectives in Jewish Studies" (Yale, 2004), co-edited with Shelly.

Lewis Friedland, GSAS PhD'85

Professor, School of Journalism & Mass Communication; affiliated professor Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-MadisonLewis Friedland

Lewis has published three books: "Public Journalism: Past and Future" (Kettering Foundation Press: 2003); "Civic Innovation in America: Community Empowerment, Public Policy and the Movement for Civic Renewal," with Carmen Sirianni (University of California Press: 2001); and "Covering the World: International Television News Services" (Twentieth Century Fund Press: 1993).

Kathleen Jenkins, GSAS PhD'02

Kay Jenkins, PhDProfessor and Chair of the Sociology Department at the College of William and Mary

Kathleen Jenkins is Professor and Chair of Sociology at William & Mary. Her most recent ethnography (2021), Walking the Way Together: How Families Connect on the Camino de Santiago, addresses parents and their young adult children who walk the Camino de Santiago together in northwest Spain. Her second book, Sacred Divorce: Religion, Therapeutic Culture, and Ending Life Partnerships, was published with Rutgers University Press - Sacred Divorce: Religion, Therapeutic Culture, and Ending Life Partnerships. Her first ethnography, Awesome Families: the Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ, was published with Rutgers University Press in 2005.  Jenkins has published articles in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Teaching Sociology, Qualitative Sociology, and Social Forces. Website: https://www.kathleenejenkins.com/

Valerie Leiter, GSAS PhD'01

Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology at Simmons CollegeValerie Leiter

Valerie's research focuses on children and youth with disabilities, their families, and public programs that provide services to them. She received the Irving K. Zola award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies in 2004 for her work on "Parental Activism, Professional Dominance, and Early Childhood Disability." She is currently a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar, working on a five-year project examining the transition to adulthood among youth with disabilities.

Donald W Light, GSAS PhD’70
Professor of Comparative Health Care Policy and Psychiatry, Rowan-Virtua University, New Jersey; Visiting senior professor, Center for Migration & Development, Princeton University

Donald Light

Donald has been a visiting professor in several countries and advised governments on more equitable & efficient forms of health care delivery. The H-Index for citations to his works on Google Scholar is in the 96th percentile. His co-authored book, Benchmarks of Fairness for Health Care Reform defined what fairness means for American health care. His co-authored book, The Risks of Prescription Drugs, analyzed the high rate of hospitalizations and death from properly taken drugs approved by the FDA as “safe and effective.” His co-authored book, GOOD PHARMA, describes the principles, financing, and practices of a major research center that does research on a non-profit, transparent basis.
Fatima Mernissi, GSAS PhD'74

Fatima Mernissi PhDAuthor of "Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood," Fatima was a Professor of Sociology at the Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco, a leading authority on women in the Muslim world and a pioneering Islamic feminist. She passed away in Rabat on November 30, 2015.

Victoria Pitts, GSAS PhD'99

Professor of Sociology, Wesleyan UniversityVictoria Pitts

Victoria is the author of "Surgery Junkies: Wellness and Pathology in Cosmetic Culture" (Rutgers University Press, 2007) and "In the Flesh: the Cultural Politics of Body Modification" (2003, Palgrave), as well as many articles and book chapters on social and cultural aspects of the body. She has won an Advancement of the Discipline Award from the American Sociological Association.

Rubén Rambaut, GSAS PhD'78

Professor of Sociology, University of California, IrvineRuben Rambaut

Rubén is a leading sociologist of contemporary immigration in the United States and a professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine. His book "Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation, with Alejandro Portes" (Berkeley and New York: University of California Press and Russell Sage Foundation, 2001) won the 2002 Distinguished Book Award of the American Sociological Association and the 2002 Thomas and Znaniecki Award for best book in the immigration field.

Henry Rubin, GSAS PhD'96

Henry Rubin, PhDDean of Liberal Arts, Quincy College

Rubin earned his Master's and PhD from Brandeis University in 1996. His main focus is sociology of gender and sexuality, classical and contemporary social theory, sociology of media and culture, and qualitative methods. In fall 2011, Henry was appointed as the Dean of Liberal Arts at Quincy College.

Dimitri Rupel, GSAS PhD'84

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of SloveniaDimitri Rupel

Doctoral Thesis: Slovene Literature as an Instrument of National Liberation

Prolific author and former professor of sociology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, former Slovenia Ambassador to the United States, presently Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and a key figure in the 2008 Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Barrie Thorne, GSAS PhD'71

Barry Thorne PhDProfessor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Barrie has written extensively on family and gender. She is the U.S. Editor of Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, a past chair of the ASA's section on the Sociology of Children and Youth. In 2002, she received the ASA's Jessie Bernard Award. Her recent books include "Feminist Sociology: Life Histories of a Movement," (ed. with Barbara Laslett), New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1997.

Johnny Williams, GSAS PhD'93

Associate Professor of Sociology, Trinity CollegeJohnny Williams

A sociologist of race and religion in the United States, Johnny is an associate professor of sociology at Trinity College.