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Sociology Faculty and Staff

Chair

Xiao Xiao Professor and Department Chair, Sociology CAS | Sociology

Dr. Xiao earned his MA at University of Toledo, OH, and PhD at Washington State University. His main research interests include environmental beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and public opinion over envi

  xiao@american.edu

  (202) 885-2426

Full Time Faculty

Nicole Angotti Associate Professor CAS | Sociology

Nicole Angotti’s research sits at the nexus of population health and medical sociology. Her work addresses cultural, social, and institutional dimensions of health and wellbeing that produce differenc

  angotti@american.edu

  (202) 885-2421

Kim Blankenship Associate Dean of Research CAS | Sociology

Kim M. Blankenship, PhD, is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Sociology, Founding Director of the Center on Health, Risk and Society (housed in the department of sociology), Associate Dean

  kim.blankenship@american.edu

  (202) 885-6211

Ernesto Castaneda Director, CLALS CAS | Sociology

Ernesto Castañeda is the Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, Founding Director of the Immigration Lab, and Graduate Program Director of the MA in Sociology, Research, and Pra

  (202) 885-2412

Molly Dondero Assistant Professor CAS | Sociology

Molly Dondero is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her research focuses on how immigration, race/ethnicity, social class, and place contribute to population-level inequality in he

  dondero@american.edu

  (202) 885-1492

Sarah Iverson Assistant Professor CAS | Sociology

Sarah Iverson's work is motivated by novel and enduring questions in sociology: How do people create collective meaning in institutional settings? How do these meanings inform action? What role doe

  iverson@american.edu

Michelle Newton-Francis Adjunct Instructor CAS | Sociology

Dr. Newton-Francis has research interests in organizations, gender, and work. She has worked as an applied sociologist for numerous programs funded by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Defense. Rece

  mnewtonf@american.edu

  (202) 885-2485

Alexandra Parrs Senior Professorial Lecturer CAS | Sociology

Alexandra Parrs, PhD, is a senior professorial lecturer in the department of sociology at the American University in Washington, DC. She is a member of AU’s immigration research lab. She previously ta

  parrs@american.edu

David Reznik Senior Professorial Lecturer CAS | Sociology

David Reznik’s scholarship is at the nexus of contemporary social theory, ethnographic research methods, intersectional identity politics, and 21st-century popular culture/mass media. He has published

  reznik@american.edu

Salvador Vidal-Ortiz Assoc Professor CAS - Sociology

Dr. Vidal-Ortiz's scholarship cuts across racialization, sexuality, gender, migration and religion; his work is interdisciplinary. He coedited two award winning books:

  vidalort@american.edu

  (202) 885-2443

Tracy Weitz Professor CAS | Sociology

In July 2022, I joined AU as a Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center on Health, Risk, and Society. I am also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a non-partisan polic

  weitz@american.edu

Adjunct and Affiliate Faculty

Zephi Francis Project Director - BJA Projects SPA | Other Operations and Administration

Zephi Francis is a Project Director in the School of Public Affairs and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology at American University. Since 2017, he has been involved in research on trea

  zfrancis@american.edu

Rita Jalali Scholar in Residence

Rita Jalali, Ph.D is a sociologist and Scholar in Residence in the Department of Sociology and Center on Health, Risk, and Society (CHRS). Her research has focused on cross-national issues of race and

  jalali@american.edu

Erica Lesto Adjunct Instructor CAS | Advising

Erica is a retired Veteran of the United States Army and is an Academic Advisor for the College of Arts and Sciences. She has also been an adjunct since Fall of 2019. In the winter, Erica is a profess

  elesto@american.edu

Cynthia Miller-Idriss Professor, School of Public Affairs and School of Education SPA | Justice, Law & Criminology

Cynthia Miller-Idriss is a sociologist and professor in the School of Public Affairs and in the School of Education, and runs the Polarization and Extrem

  (202) 885-3740

Michael Murphy Adjunct Instructor CAS | Sociology

After more than thirty years spent in non-profit administration, I've returned to American where I first worked many, many years ago when I first moved to DC. When not working I'm writing, taking pict

  mmurph@american.edu

  (202) 885-2475

Shadia Siliman Adjunct Professorial Lecturer DOF | Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning

Shadia (Shed) Siliman (she/hers or they/them) is a teaching and learning specialist for the Center for Teaching, Research & Learning. Her expertise is in pedagogy which supports Diversity, Equity, Inc

  shed@american.edu

Chuck Sturtevant Professorial Lecturer CAS | Anthropology

Chuck Sturtevant is a political anthropolgist with research and teaching experience in indigenous studies, Latin American studies, and Latina/o/ studies. Filmmaking was my gateway to academic research

  sturteva@american.edu

Emerita and Emeritus Faculty

Bette Dickerson Associate Prof Emerita

Bette J. Dickerson has served as Chair of American University’s Department of Sociology, Director of AU Women’s and Gender Studies Program and Chair of its University Diversity Committee. She is past

Celine-Marie Pascale Prof Emerita

As a sociologist who studies language, Dr. Pascale's research concerns culture, knowledge and power. Her most recent book, Living on the Edge: When Hard Times Become A Way of Life was released in 2021

  (202) 885-2524

Russell Stone Prof Emeritus

Russell A. Stone has research and teaching interests that include development, public opinion, social change, Middle Eastern and Third World societies, and environmental sociology. He has published on

  rstone@american.edu

Gay Young Professor Emerita of Sociology SIS | Other Operations and Administration

(Gloria A.) Gay Young has a longstanding focus on gender and development (GAD) which has led her to study a range of issues, including the nature and consequences of women’s labor force participation

  gyoung@american.edu

  (202) 885-2254

Sociology Department Staff

Staff 

Michael Murphy Adjunct Instructor CAS | Sociology

After more than thirty years spent in non-profit administration, I've returned to American where I first worked many, many years ago when I first moved to DC. When not working I'm writing, taking pict

  mmurph@american.edu

  (202) 885-2475