Sociologists@Work Speaker Series and Spring Colloquia

This spring, the department of sociology’s Graduate Studies committee launched our Sociologists@Work Speaker Series. This is an ongoing effort to include two to three speakers per semester from sociology PhDs around the country doing important, impactful, and diverse work outside of academia. The speakers provide insights to graduate students and faculty mentors on the work they do, how they got there, and what experiences and opportunities in graduate school make it possible. These speakers revealed the diversity of employment opportunities available to those with sociology graduate training.

The Department of Sociology was ecstatic to feature the following outstanding Sociologists@Work for our first Series.

Katie is pictured from the waist up and is smiling towards the camera.
Katie Bittinger

Katie Bittinger (WSU PhD) is a data analyst for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. Her responsibilities include project management, statistical analysis of administrative data, and reporting of research findings.


Juanita is pictured from the waist up and smiling.
Juanita J. Chinn

Juanita J. Chinn (University of Texas PhD) is the program director for the Population Dynamics Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Her interests include racial, ethnic, and nativity disparities in health.


Matt is pictured with his chin resting on his balled first and softly smirking.
Matt Rafalow

Matt Rafalow (UC Irvine PhD) is a senior researcher and social scientist at Google, where he leads a research program on live-streaming experiences. His interests include education, inequalities, and technology.



Spring Colloquium Series

For the department’s Spring 2021 Colloquium Series, we were honored to hear from the following scholars: Amir Asim Gilmore, assistant professor, Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education, WSU, presented “Being Against The Black: Exploring Black Social Life and Black Social Death in the Afterlife of Slavery”; Anna Zamora-Kapoor, assistant professor, Sociology and Medical Education and Clinical Sciences, WSU, presented “Anti-immigrant politics: How the state makes a difference”; and J. Tom Muller, assistant professor, Sociology, Utah State University, presented “Natural Resource Dependence in Rural America.”

Additionally, the department read sociologist Crystal Fleming’s book How to Be Less Stupid About Race as a pre-text for a department-wide discussion on the department’s anti-racism action plan. Merrianneeta Nesbitt, assistant director of the Office of Outreach and Education at WSU, provided a fantastic setup and facilitation of the conversation.