Jordan Rinehart in Ethiopia

Jordan Rinehart on His Way to Ethiopia

By Don Dillman

Summer is often a time for expanding the opportunities in our graduate Sociology program.  Jordan Rinehart, who came to WSU in the fall of 2012 to begin our PhD program, will spend much of July in Ethiopia, helping to expand WSU Sociology’s international reach and foster research on human risk and resilience in developing communities.

Jordan Rinehart
PhD Student, Jordan Rinehart

Rinehart completed his undergraduate degree in sociology and anthropology at West Virginia University in 2007 and has since worked for several social justice advocacy organizations, including efforts to lobby for federal health care reform and tax equity. He most recently served on the national field campaign team of USAction, an economic justice advocacy organization with over 500,000 activists in 50 states.

Rinehart’s research interests are focused on organizations, inequality, and quantitative methods.

In recent years, Washington State University has established a relationship with Hawassa University, located 168 miles south of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Working under the direction of Thomas Rotolo and Robert Quinlan as part of an interdisciplinary project initiated by the WSU College of Arts and Sciences, Rinehart will be working with Hawassa University faculty in Ethiopia to digitize and expand a set of archival data on human risk and resilience.

Following the trip, data will be made available for a variety of faculty research interests across several departments and the trip will serve as an investment in long term collaborative efforts between WSU and Hawassa University.

Please be on the lookout for future news on this exciting project! For more information about Hawassa University, please visit their website.

To see updates and pictures from Rinehart’s trip, visit his blog at