Category Archives: Faculty

John Evans receives UCSD Academic Senate Distinguished Research Award

Honoring exceptional achievement in scholarship, UCSD’s Academic Senate awarded John Evans the Distinguished Research in the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences in June 2021. For more information on Professor Evans’s work at the intersection of science and religion, see

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Professor April Sutton awarded National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellowship

Professor Sutton researches education, stratification, gender, and geographic inequalities. For more on her work, see here.

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Faculty Publish in Science Magazine; Write for Public Audiences in The Atlantic, Inside Higher Ed, and Washington Post

In January 2021, Professor John Skrentny’s research on immigration policies for STEM PhDs appeared in Science magazine, while Assistant Professor Neil Gong published an article in The Atlantic outlining a range of interventions for right-wing extremism. Early in February, Assistant Teaching Professor Michel Estefan contributed an article to Inside Higher Ed on how to build supportive classrooms that generate equity, particularly in our current remote environment. In May, Neil Gong wrote about homelessness in California for theWashington PostFor more on these and other faculty publications, please see faculty members’ CVs and personal websites.

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Welcome to Our Newest Faculty

We are happy to welcome our 3 newest faculty members: Michel Estefan, Neil Gong, and Richard Pitt.
Photo of Michel EstefanMichel Estefan received a BA in international relations and a MA in human rights from Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City). He received a MA in Latin American studies and a MA and PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a political sociologist that studies the rule of law from a comparative and historical perspective and a committed teacher with a practice and research focus on inclusive and equitable pedagogy. His current work in political sociology uses the empirical cases of twentieth century Spain and Mexico to unearth the authoritarian foundations of the rule of law.

Photo of Neil Gong

Neil Gong received his B.A. from New York University and his Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA. His research uses diverse empirical cases to study power and social control in modernity, with a particular focus on understanding American liberalism and libertarianism. To this end, he has investigated civil liberties dilemmas in psychiatric care and the maintenance of social order in a “no rules” fight club.
Photo of Richard PittRichard Pitt has a B.S. (Secondary Education) and M.Ed. (Counselor Education) from Penn State University and an M.A. and Ph.D (Sociology) from the University of Arizona.  His research primarily contributes to two sub-disciplines: sociology of religion and sociology of education.  Within these broad fields of inquiry, his work tends to focus on social identity, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality.  A (sociological) social psychologist by training, his methodological toolkit includes everything from qualitative content analysis, interviews, and focus groups to the quantitative analysis of both his own large surveys and pre-existing datasets.  Professor Pitt’s main focus is on the social construction and maintenance of social identity, particularly the intersection of social group identities (gender, race, sexuality) and religious, academic, and professional identities.

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Bennetta Jules-Rosette’s New Book, African Art Reframed

African Art Reframed Front CoverBennetta Jules-Rosette, Distinguished Professor and Director of the African and African-American Studies Research Center, has recently published her new book African Art Reframed: Reflections and Dialogues on Museum Culture. Along with J.R. Osborn, she explores the reframing of African art through case studies of museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, and Africa. Drawing on extensive conversations with curators, collectors, and artists, African Art Reframed is an essential guide to building new exchanges and connections in the dynamic worlds of African and global art.

For more information, click here.

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3 UCSD-Affiliated Scholars Win 2020 ASA International Migration Section Awards

David FitzgeraldAngela GarciaJiaqi Liu

Three UCSD-affiliated scholars win 2020 ASA International Migration Section Awards—Professor David FitzGerald for his book Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum, Angela Garcia for her book Legal Passing: Navigating Undocumented Life and Local Immigration Law (UCSD PhD, 2015, now Associate Professor at the University of Chicago), and graduate student Jiaqi (Mars) Liu for an article appearing in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Congratulations to all three on this trifecta!

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Richard Madsen Named 2020 Revelle Medal Recipient

Richard Madsen

Professor Emeritus Richard Madsen is named a 2020 Revelle Medal recipient, the highest honor given by the Chancellor to a retired or emeriti UC San Diego faculty member.

See more here.

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John Skrentny and Stacey Livingstone Receive 2019-2020 Distinguished Teaching Awards

John SkrentnyStacey Livingstone

Professor John Skrentny and graduate student Stacey Livingstone receive 2019-2020 Distinguished Teaching Awards—the highest honors for teaching at UC San Diego.

The full list of people who received the Distinguished Teaching Award can be found here. Congrats to all!

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Neil Gong, new Assistant Professor in 2021, writes op ed about sheltering homeless people during pandemic

Neil Gong will begin teaching as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology in Fall 2021. He currently is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan.

In late April, Gong published an op-ed in CalMatters on the continually evolving CA plan to place homeless people in hotels. Please follow this link to read his proposal.

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Mary Blair-Loy quoted in NY Times–parenting and work in time of Covid

Professor Mary Blair-Loy was quoted in an April 28 story in the New York Times. The article looked at how the Covid 19 lockdown has exposed the fiction that child care and working are separable. The article’s first hyperlink (on undivided loyalty) is to Blair-Loy’s book landmark book, Competing Devotions.

You can find the article here

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