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Monthly Archives: March 2012


Jessica Huerta, 1st generation undergrad, gets full scholarship to UCLA Soc PhD program

Jessica Huerta, one our honors students last year, was a first generation, non-traditional undergrad. She did excellent work at UCSD while working almost full time in the Equal Opportunity Office of the US Airforce and serving in the Air National Guard.   She collected original data for her  honors thesis in Prof. Ivan Evans’ honors course, she wrote a critique of neo-institutionalist frameworks for understanding sex discrimination and sexual harassment in the Air Force.

Jessica Huerta applied for doctoral programs in Sociology this year and received several offers, including a generous 5-year scholarship to UCLA.

Congrats Jessica!


“The War on Terror as Moral Panic”

Professor Gershon Shafir and  graduate student, Cynthia Schairer’s article, “The War on Terror as Moral Panic” will be published in Gershon Shafir and Everard Meade (eds), Lessons and Legacies of the War on Terror: How a Moral Panic Over 9/11 Turned into a Permanent War,  by Routledge Press, in December 2012. Cynthia’s participation was funded through the Summer Graduate Research Assistantship for Faculty-Student Collaboration.

Congratulations to  both authors!

Sociology Department Welcomes Two New Professors

The Department of Sociology will be welcoming two new professors in the Fall, Kevin Lewis and Vanesa Ribas.   Vanesa is currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina who is anticipating to defend May 2012.  Her dissertation is on the social and economic incorporation of Latina/o migrants in the American South. Vanesa Ribas’ research is in race/ethnicity, migration, work, and social movements.  Her principle line of research focuses on the intergroup relations, conditioned by the social organization of labor, that fundamentally shape the incorporation of Latina/o migrants in the contemporary American South. Vanesa Ribas’ dissertation, titled “On the Line: The Working Lives of Latinos and African Americans in the New South,” is an ethnography of a large meatpacking plant in the Southeast where she held entry-level production jobs on the line alongside mostly Latina/o and African American workers. She will be teaching Soci 104 Field Research: Methods of Participant Observation and Soci 139 Social Inequality: Class, Race and Gender.

Kevin Lewis is currently a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Harvard University, and is expected to receive his degree May 2012. He is also a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  Mr. Lewis’ area of expertise is in cultural sociology and network analysis.  His research focuses on the formation and evolution of social networks, and addresses three general questions. First, how are observed patterns of homogeneity in social networks generated? Second, how does culture contribute to the development and maintenance of social network ties? Third, what are the implications of both processes for the genesis and reproduction of inequality? To answer these questions, Mr. Lewis has primarily analyzed  two network datasets unique in nature and scale using cutting-edge methods for modeling cross-sectional and longitudinal network data.  His general range of teaching interests includes statistics, theory, network analysis, cultural sociology, social psychology, gender, sociology of the family, and inequality. He will be teaching Soci 108 Survey of Research Design as well as his new course – Soci 120T Social Networks.

Tom Waidzunas accepts position at Temple U.

In 2010, Dr.  Tom Waidzunas defended his dissertation, “Drawing the Straight Line: Hierarchies of Evidence in Sexual Reorientation Therapy Debates,” and began a  postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University.  At Northwestern, he has been busy writing, publishing, teaching, and extending his research on attitudes and policy toward gays into the African context.

The department of Sociology is please to announce that Dr. Waidzunas has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at Temple University ( in Philadelphia), in the Sociology Dept. which is known for research on gender, sexuality, and inequality, a commitment to public sociology, and the department home where Annette Lareau wrote her path breaking books.   He will begin his new position this summer.

Warmest congratulations to Tom!

Jeff Tirshfield wins IGERT Fellowship

Congratulations to Jeff Tirshfield on winning an IGERT Fellowship, based in the SIO!

Jeff is the second Sociology grad student to win this competitive fellowship, after Justin Feng won it last year.

Congrats Jeff!

Prof. Jules Rosette receives UCSD Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award

The Department of Sociology is pleased to  announce that our own Professor Bennetta Jules Rosette has been chosen as one of the 2011 UC San Diego Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards Program recipients.  The announcement of the awards program invited and encouraged nominations to recognize those individuals, departments and organizational units who have made outstanding contributions in support of UC San Diego’s commitment to diversity.  A review committee composed of representatives from each vice chancellor area evaluated the nominations and recommended them to the Chancellor for approval.

A ceremony was held with the Chancellor on February 14, 2012,  at the Price Center West Ballroom to recognize all the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards recipients.  Prof. Jules Rosette said, “It was inspiring to be included in the company of awardees doing such important work.”  Congratulations Bennetta