Lisa McIntyre (1953-2023)

Lisa is seated at a table with Megan and they are looking over a book together. A full bookshelf is pictured behind them. Lisa is wearing one of her iconic ties.
Lisa (left) and Megan, a member of Sociology staff, review some office-related literature .

The department is deeply saddened that Lisa McIntyre, former associate professor and chair of Sociology, passed away in February 2023.

Lisa arrived at WSU in 1987 after earning a PhD from the University of Chicago and spent her entire career at WSU, retiring after the 2018-19 academic year. Lisa served multiple terms as department chair and as co-director of graduate studies (with Thomas Rotolo). Her research focused on the sociology of law, with publications such as The Public Defender: The Practice of Law in the Shadows of Repute (University of Chicago Press, 1987).

Lisa was passionate about teaching and widely known as a wonderful, dynamic, and amusing professor. Her teaching accomplishments were recognized through various awards, including the prestigious WSU President’s Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for Instruction in 2005. She was particularly famous for her development of the high-enrollment Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology course, which convinced many undergraduates to become sociology majors. She published six editions of the popular introductory textbook, The Practical Skeptic

A brief obituary is available. Some wonderful retirement tributes were written about Lisa in a previous edition of Sociology News, and in the fall issue, we will feature a memory piece in her honor.

If you have stories about Lisa that you would like to share, please email them to the editors at so that we may include some of these stories in the Fall 2023 edition of the newsletter.