Publications, Awards, and Other Accomplishments

If you graduated with a degree from the WSU Department of Sociology and have an accomplishment that relates to the education you received from the department that you would like to share in the newsletter, please send us an email to


Mari Amorim has been selected as an Institute for Research on Poverty 2023-2024 Visiting Scholar at the West Coast Center (University of Washington). 

Vanessa Delgado received the 2023 Linda Burton Award from the ASA Family Section. 

Justin Denney and colleagues from the WSU Medical School saw their 2021 article on the rural-urban disparities of opioid treatment options in Value in Health recognized on the list of most impactful and highly cited recent articles.

Don Dillman received the 2023 European Survey Research Association Outstanding Services Award.

Ish Green* passed their area paper.

Namrata Ray* accepted a postdoctoral fellow position at the Population Aging Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Rotolo began a second term on the WSU Faculty Senate Library Committee and was nominated as chair for this academic year.

Jennifer Sherman 

Received the 2023 Rural Sociological Society Frederick H. Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award for a Book for her 2021 book “Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream.”

Elected president of the Rural Sociological Society

Selected for a second term as a Humanities Washington speaker and Foley Faculty Fellow with her “‘Good Old Boys’ and ‘Bad People’: The Criminalization of Rural Disadvantage” presentation.

Invited to serve on the “Book Publication and the Rural Studies Series” panel at the 85th Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society.

Anna Zamora-Kapoor received the National Institutes of Health AIM-AHEAD Fellowship to learn new skills in artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve health equity.


Mari Amorim and Natasha Pilkauskas co-authored “’Excess’ Doubling Up During COVID: Changes in Children’s Living Arrangements”, accepted for publication at Demography.

Mari Amorim and colleagues Megan Bea and Terri Friedline co-authored

“Public Cash Assistance and Spatial Predation: How State Cash Transfer Environments Shape Payday Lender Geography”, accepted for publication in Social Service Review.

Steven Cassidy*Alair MacLean, and Justin Denney co-authored the manuscript “Military Service, Education, and Mortality Across Cohorts from World War II to the Post-Vietnam Era”, accepted for publication in Population Research and Policy Review

Sam Castonguay* authored “Gender differences in rewards for academic performance: the case of North American environmental sociology,” accepted for publication in Environmental Sociology.  

Caleb Cooley* and Justin Denney, with Zhe (Meredith) Zhang, co-authored a paper entitled “Sexual Orientation and Age-Related Patterns of Suicidal Ideation Among U.S. Adults” and published in LGBT Health.  

Vanessa Delgado authored “Uncovering Youth’s Invisible Labor: Children’s Roles, Care Work, and Familial Obligations in Latino/a Immigrant Families”, forthcoming in Social Sciences

Vanessa Delgado authored the book chapter “Motherhood, (Il)legality, and COVID-19: The effects of restrictive immigration policies on Latino/a immigrant families during the pandemic” for a forthcoming edited book volume. (The chapter is also part of an invited talk at Pennsylvania State University’s 31st Annual National Symposium on Family Issues.) 

Shekinah Hoffman* authored­ “The Impact of Sexual Harassment on Women’s Health and Well-Being: A Case for Studying the Casino Gaming Industry,” accepted for publication in Sociology Compass

Xiao Li* and Alair MacLean authored “Migration Across Metro-Nonmetro Boundaries and Hourly Wages,” accepted for publication in Rural Sociology.

Steven Mejia authored four papers:  

“The Effects of Debt Dependence on Economic Growth in Less-Developed Countries, 1990-2019,” accepted at Social Science Research.

“A Research Note on Women’s Legislative Representation, 1970-2018,” accepted at Social Science Quarterly.

“Globalization, Foreign Direct Investment, and Child Mortality: A Cross-National Analysis of Developing Countries, 1990-2018,” accepted at the International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

“The Effects of International Economic Dependence on Fertility in Developing Countries, 1990-2019,” accepted at Current Sociology.

Jennifer Sherman coauthored an op-ed in the Boston Globe with Leslie McCall.


Steven Cassidy* presented “Historical Change in Political Attitudes of Veterans, 1970s to 2010s”, a paper by Alair MacLean and Steven Cassidy, at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting.

Caleb Cooley* presented “Sexual Minority Mental Health and Substance Abuse: An Exploration of the Role of Social Support in Shaping Mental Disability and Substance Abuse Among LGB Adults” at the American Sociological Association 2023 Annual Meeting.

Vanessa Delgado will present an invited talk on the college to workforce transitions of immigrant-origin Latino/a young adults at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

Justin Denney presented:

“Using Secondary Survey Data to Study Health Disparities” at Western Washington University as part of their Department of Sociology’s Tedrow Lab for Demographic and Social Research initiative in Applied Data Analysis.

“Social Dimensions of Hearing Impairment and U.S. Adult Mortality” with Jason Boardman (University of Colorado) at the annual meeting of the Southern Demographic Association.

Thomas Familia* delivered a presentation at the 2023 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting within the Environmental Sociology Section titled “California PSPS Events and Interest in Solar, Battery Storage, and Self-Sufficiency: Exploring the Mediating Role of Trust.”  

Morgan Montanez* 

Presented “Moral Capital and Ethnicity in a Rural County: The Role of Moral Capital in a Majority Latine/Hispanic Community in Northern New Mexico” at the Rural Sociology Society Conference.  

Invited to speak on the “Special Session for Students: Preparing for the Next Steps After Graduation” panel about her work as a project manager with the SESRC at the Rural Sociology Society Conference.  

Jennifer Sherman delivered five presentations:

“Rethinking Rural Recidivism: System Navigation Problems and the Myth of the Revolving Door,” (first author) to Small, Tribal, and Rural (STAR) Justice Series of the Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center.

“Rural Poverty and Inequality: Processes, Mechanisms, and Discourses” as a keynote talk at the Internship Academy for the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.

“’Please Don’t Take This’: Rural Gentrification, Social Dynamics, and Housing Insecurity,” as a keynote talk at 57th Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference.

“The Impacts of Moral Capital, Social Integration, and Surveillance on Rural Criminal Justice Experiences” to the Rural Boundaries and Relations panel at the 85th Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society.

“The ‘Downward Spiral Effect’: System Navigation Problems and Rural Recidivism”, with first author Jennifer Schwartz, to the Access to Justice and Legal Empowerment panel at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association.

Andrea De La Barrera Montppellier defending her dissertation.

During the fall semester, we had two successful dissertation defenses:

Andrea De La Barrera Montppellier
” A Convergent Mixed-Methods Examination of the Antecedents Of Discrimination Disputes In a Mexican Male-Dominated Scientific and Technological Academic Context.”

Morgan Montanez
“Inaccessible: How Structural Inequalities, Isolation, and Neglect Impact a Rural Minority-majority County in Northern New Mexico.”

Be REAL: Mental Resilience for College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Class

This fall, the sociology department offered a new graduate-level course: Be REAL: Mental Wellbeing and Resilience for College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Students, led by Christine Horne. The course focuses on building skills for mental wellbeing and resilience during graduate school.

Scenes from the 2023 American Sociological Association Conference.

Left to Right: Graduate Students Steven Cassidy, Caleb Cooley and Thomas Familia at the 2023 American Sociological Association Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Scenes from the 2023 Rural Sociological Society Conference.

Left to Right: Jennifer Sherman, Michelle Olson Weston, Katie Dentzman (former postdoc for Sociology Faculty Jessica Goldberger), Sam Mindes (former lecturer for Sociology), and Morgan Montanez at the 2023 Rural Sociological Society Conference in Burlington, Vermont.

Jennifer Sherman awarded the Frederic H. Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award.

Jennifer Sherman received the Frederic H. Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award at the Rural Sociological Society 2023 Conference for her book, Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream.
Left to Right: Former Faculty Member Greg Hooks and Tom Rotolo outside the steps of Wilson-Short Hall.