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Sociology Colloquium Series

Wilson-Short 201. Light refreshments from 1:00-1:30, talks start at 1:30


August 30, 2019

Dr. Kristin Halltiner & Dr. Dilshani Sarathchandra

Talk Title: The Nature and Nuance of Climate Change Skepticism

Kristin Haltinner



Dr. Kristin Haltinner received her PhD in sociology from the University of Minnesota and is an Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of the Academic Certificate in Diversity and Stratification, and Director of the Africana Studies Program at the University of Idaho. Her research focuses on social inequality, pedagogy, and political sociology. Her current projects are on climate change skepticism and traumatic birth experiences.


Dr. Dilshani Sarathchandra is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Idaho and Faculty Fellow of the University Distinguished Scholarships Program. She received a PhD in Sociology from Michigan State University. Her research examines the production, use and perception of science, with a focus on decision-making in science and predictors of public attitudes towards science and scientists.

September 13, 2019

Dr. Stacy Hust

Talk Title: Scripting Adolescent Romance

Stacey Hust

Dr. Stacey Hust is an associate professor and chair in the Department of Strategic Communication in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She is nationally ranked by the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship for her health communication research focused on media and children, gender, conflict (sexual assault reduction), and substance abuse prevention. Her research identifies effective health communication messaging that can be used to reduce sexual assault and promote healthy sexual relationships among young people. Hust’s research has been published in the Journal of Sex Research, Journal of Health Communication, Health Communication, Mass Communication & Society, and others. Her research has been sponsored by the United States Department of Education, the Washington State Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, and the Washington State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program.


October 11, 2019

Dr. Alair MacLean

Talk Title: Educational Inequality by Place in the Late 20th & Early 21st Century



Dr. Alair MacLean earned her PhD in Sociology from University of Wisconsin, Madison  and an Associate Professor of Sociology at Washington State University, Vancouver. Her research focuses broadly on social inequality.  She is currently exploring the question of how wars affect people’s lives. In this research, she examines the life course trajectories of veterans who served in the U.S. armed forces, focusing on the effects of military service and combat exposure on work and health. In collaboration with Ryan Edwards, she is  also exploring the impact of military service on later-life mortality.

October 25, 2019 

Dr. Jodi O’Brein

Talk Title: Where is Gender? A Transcentric Biocultural Perspective

Dr. O’Brein is a Professor of Sociology at Seattle University and the Director of SU ADVANCE, a National Science Foundation program on advancing women and under-represented minority faculty in higher education. Her teaching and research focus on minoritized and marginalized identities, and practices of discrimination and inclusion in institutional settings. Her books include The Production of Reality, Social Prisms: Reflections on Everyday Myths and Paradoxes, and Everyday Inequalities. She is also the editor of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Gender and Society, the Routledge book series, Sociology Re-Wired (with Marcus Hunter) and the recent former editor of the public sociology journal, Contexts.

November 1, 2019

Dr. Robin Simon

Talk Title: Gender, Emotions and Mental Health in the U.S.: Patterns, Explanations & New Directions

Dr. Simon is a Professor  of Sociology at Wake Forest University. Her research examines the consequences of gender and other social inequalities for men’s and women’s roles and relationships, identities and emotions, and mental and physical health over the life course. Her scholarship analyzes the social determinants of emotions and health through a social psychological lens and is situated at the intersection of several substantive areas of sociology – including gender and families, culture and emotions, stress and mental health, and aging and the life course. She is involved in a few new studies that elucidate the importance of social context for adults’ well-being: One study, which is part of a larger collaborative NSF funded cross-national project of well-being in 22 economically advanced countries, investigates the extent to which supportive social welfare policies reduce marital status disparities in happiness. Another study focuses on gender and other social status variations in American’s attitudes about work-family policies. In a book on the culture of intensive parenting and middle-class mothers’ and fathers’ stress and mental health, she explores the hidden “costs” of intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status advantage for parents in the U.S. In addition to having received numerous awards for her scholarship and chairing two ASA sections (Emotions and Mental Health), her work is widely covered in the media. Read her CV here.


November 8, 2019

Clair Huang, Winner of the 2019 James. F. Short, Jr. Research Award

Talk Title: Family SES Background and Adult Health Behaviors


Xiaoqu “Clair” Huang  is a PhD student in sociology.  Her area of interests include sociology of health, the life course, and STEM.  She received her MA in sociology at WSU.  Her thesis discusses how family SES background during adolescence modifies the effects of education on adult health behaviors.