The Honorary Feminist Sociologist Distinction, established in 2021, is presented annually to honor the contributions of feminists who are not sociologists to the field of Feminist Sociology. This initiative recognizes the inherent interdisciplinary character of feminist theory and praxis and how it has been fundamental to the development of feminist sociology. The work by feminists like bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Gloria Anzaldúa, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and Maria Lugones, to name just a few, has been of great influence to our field by revealing nuances and complexities of social processes from angles that sometimes escape sociological research.
This award offers an “Honorary Feminist Sociology Distinction” to scholars and activists that have allowed Feminist Sociology to grow and foregrounds the cross-disciplinary links of Feminist Sociology.
The 2023 SWS Honorary Feminist Sociologist Distinction Awardee is Dr. Sharon Harley. Sharon Harley is a Professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Maryland. Sharon researches and teaches black women’s labor history and racial and gender politics.
Her work in this field began with the co-edited anthology with Roslyn Terborg Penn, The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images in 1978 and in 1987 another pioneering volume, Women in Africa and the African Diaspora. Sharon was later the principal investigator on two projects supported by the Ford Foundation that led to major anthologies on women and work, namely, Sister Circle: Black Women and Work (2002) and Women’s Labor in the Global Economy: Speaking in Multiple Voices (2007). In 2019, she received a major grant from the Mellon Foundation for the project, “African/Black Diasporan Studies: Academic and Public Discourse.”
Sharon has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as well as the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center, and the National Humanities Center at the Research Triangle, North Carolina. In 2010, she was awarded the Carter G. Woodson Medallion for Outstanding Scholarship.
Sharon has served as chair of the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service’s Mary McLeod Bethune Commission, and former chair of Letitia Woods Brown book/article prize committee. As an active public historian, Sharon has given lectures and served as a consultant with numerous museum projects and directed an award-winning teaching training institute in multiculturalism for the Prince George County Public School System. Sharon was selected by her students as one of the top-rated faculty in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland in 2019.
During the 2023 SWS Winter Meeting, Sharon participated on a Presidential Panel: Intersecting Identities and Communities in Migrations and Sexualities. We hope you’ll join us in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 19 from 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm for Sharon’s talk: “‘Have More Brains on the Fingers of My Hand than…’: Nannie Helen Burroughs’s Courageous Crusade for Feminist Equality and Social Justice.” Please visit: https://sws.memberclicks.net/2023summerreg.
Congratulations to the 2023 Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Winner: Michelle Gomez Parra, and Honorable Mention Recipients: Aparajita Santra and Venus Green!
Sociologists for Women in Society first established the Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship at its annual meeting in February 2007. The primary purposes of the scholarship are: (1) To offer support to women and non-binary scholars of color who are from underrepresented groups and are studying concerns that women of color face domestically and/or internationally and (2) To increase the network and participation of students and professionals of color in SWS and beyond. The award is named after Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green to acknowledge the contributions of these two SWS members who played an integral role in making SWS more inclusive of women of color. The awardee receives an $18,000 scholarship and a $500 travel stipend for the SWS 2023 Summer Meeting and SWS 2024 Winter Meeting. The Honorable Mention Awardees will each receive a $1,750 scholarship.
Special thanks to the Co-Chairs of the Sister to Sister Committee: LaToya Council and Pallavi Banerjee, the Esther Ngan-ling Chow and Mareyjoyce Green Dissertation Scholarship Award Subcommittee Members: Christobel Asiedu, Erika Busse Cardena, Lisa Covington, and Mahala Stewart and the liaison for applicants: Katherine Maldonado Fabela.
Michelle Gomez Parra (she/ella) is a first-generation Latina student born and raised by an immigrant single mother in Los Angeles, California. She is also a doctoral candidate in the Sociology Department with a designated emphasis in Latin American and Latinx Studies at The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Previous to attending UCSC, Michelle earned her B.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she conducted research as a McNair Scholar examining the sexual experiences of college women of color. Michelle continued investigating the sexual experiences of racialized college-women, with a particular emphasize on Latinas, while completing her M.A. in Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University.
Building on her previous research, her dissertation, Desiring a Better Life: Heteronormativity, Mobility, and Generational Negotiations among Latinas, is a qualitative study which uses feminist theories of color like intersectionality and transnational feminist theory to examine how heteronormativity and undergoing a substantial mobility experience of migration or higher education shapes Latinas’ own gender and sexual subjectivities and generational negotiations of these social forces amongst mother-daughter dyads. Within the national context of the US and at the regional level of Los Angeles, California, Desiring a Better Life addresses how intersecting structures of power produce discourses of heteronormativity, subsequently shaping Latinas’ mobility experiences, their gender and sexual lives, and the conversations they have about sex, girlhood, womanhood, dating, and pleasure. Overall, this project disrupts narratives that blame Latinx culture as the primary factor causing gender and sexual oppression within this community by illustrating that heteronormativity, poverty, access to (sexual) education, and sexual violence shape how Latinas negotiate their own gender and sexual subjectivities and generational teachings of these social forces.
In addition to conducting research, Michelle actively contributes to making academia a more equitable institution through her mentoring efforts. She has formally mentored marginalized high school, community college, and UC Santa Cruz undergraduate students through six programs. Moreover, Michelle has supported the academic trajectories of graduate students through her organizing role for the UCSC Women of Color Graduate Group. As a coordinator, she has secured funding and created workshops that address the marginalization racialized women face within academia.
Michelle aspires to become a faculty member at a four-year university, teaching and conducting research on mobility (migration and higher education), gender, sexualities, from an intersectional and feminist of color standpoint. Her deepest desire is to collaborate with feminist sociologists, community organizations, and community members to conduct applied research that advocates for the reproductive justice of girls and women of color in the Americas. In particular, she wishes to co-create a bi-lingual sex education curriculum that utilizes women of color feminisms theory, decolonial theory, and art-based methods to design accessible sex education resources for diverse groups of racialized girls and women. Michelle’s research can be found in Gender & Society as well as Sex Education.
Aparajita Santra is an Indian first-generation immigrant to the United States and a PhD candidate in the Department of Architecture at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Aparajita has dual graduate minors in Gender Relations in International Development and Gender and Women’s Studies. She did her undergraduate degree in Architecture and a master’s degree in Urban Design, both from India. Aparajita’s research interests are global-south urbanism, spatial justice, urban mobilities and feminist sociology. Her lived experiences and background shape her understanding of the unevenness in spatial design of cities as manifestations of structural inequalities, systemic oppression, and injustice. Her doctoral dissertation focused on studying the spatial negotiations of working-class women of lower-castes in Kolkata, India using the lenses of intersectionality and spatial justice, stems from her own life experiences as a woman from a lower-caste in India and being raised by a single mother.
Her research builds on urban sociology, feminist geography, sociology of gender and sexuality, postcolonial and transnational feminisms and explores the placemaking practices enacted by the minoritized women from the urban margins of Kolkata. She centers these women as embodied knowledge producers who engage with and attempt to overcome a wide array of structural and systemic constraints in the spatial organization of the city. By doing so, the research aims to locate the various forms of situated knowledges that are produced, experienced, and applied by the women spatially, thus, enabling them forms of spatial agency and mobilities.
In addition, Aparajita continues to work in several community-oriented projects, collaborating with local NGOs and social organizations focusing on issues related to gendered experiences of the city, barriers faced in mobility and safety by minoritized bodies in hostile environments and contested urban spaces. As a feminist with investments in the fields of urban spatial justice, one of the long-term goals of Aparajita is to extend such collaborations with other social organizations in the future and work towards extending feminist knowledge productions. She sees her research as being useful for both city planners and policy makers and additionally to the field of feminist sociology as it foregrounds the spatial agency of subaltern subjects that are rendered unintelligible due to gendered, classed, racialized, and sexualized inequalities and dispossession.
Venus Green is a Black feminist intersectional sociologist and activist whose research is located at the intersections of racialized and gendered labor regimes, care work, collective organizing, antiblack violence, histories of racial slavery, identity formations, and the ongoing project of Black emancipation.
Her dissertation examines how Black and Afro-descendent domestic workers have been central to the most progressive elements of the labor movement in the U.S. and how the gendered anti-black violence of slavery’s afterlife shapes their work experiences and tireless struggles for survival. Through semi-structured interviews, Black feminist grounded ethnography, media analysis, and oral histories of Black women domestic workers’ political organizing practices and work experiences in Boston, New York City, and D.C., this research investigates how Black and African descendent domestic workers and domestic workers organizations infuse radical care work into community building efforts to mobilize support at the grassroots and federal levels for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and other struggles for workers’ protections and dignity. This research seeks to understand how Black women’s intersectional organizing around care work strengthens Black radicalism within the mainstream labor movement and re-envisions critical paths toward Black emancipation.
In connection with this research, she is currently an intern with the Massachusetts Coalition of Domestic Workers and a volunteer with Matahari Women Workers’ Center, and was a research analyst at Social Action for Health in East London.
Venus holds an M.A. in Medicine, Health, and Society from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. in political science, African American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies from the University of California, Irvine. Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon World Studies Interdisciplinary Project, the Labor Action and Research Network, the Nichols Humanitarian Fund, the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst, the Graduate School at UMass Amherst, the Center for Global Work and Employment at Rutgers, and the Center for Employment Equity at UMass Amherst, to name a few. Her work has been published in multiple journals including Sociological Spectrum and TRAILS.
SWS will honor Michelle Gomez Parra, Aparajita Santra and Venus Green and all our 2023 Summer Award recipients during our Awards Banquet which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 20 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
Congratulations to Barbara Risman, Gender & Society Editor and to the Gender & Society Editorial Team and Editorial Board! Special thanks to the Reviewers, Readers, and All Supporters!
We are proud to share that Gender & Society’s Impact Factor has increased to 5.5, as compared to last year’s 4.314. This is the journal’s highest Impact Factor ever for the Journal!
This means that now Gender & Society is ranked 7/149 in the Sociology category and 2/44 in Women’s Studies! This moves the journal up thirteen spots in rank in Sociology and up one rank position in Women’s Studies.
About G&S: Gender & Society, the official journal of Sociologists for Women in Society, is a top-ranked journal in sociology and women’s studies and publishes less than 10% of all papers submitted to it. Articles analyze gender and gendered processes in interactions, organizations, societies, and global and transnational spaces. The journal publishes empirical articles, along with reviews of books.
“Reflecting on this first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs to overturn Roe v. Wade, I think first about the unconscionable health risks faced by pregnant people in states where abortions are now banned, when their pregnancies turn dangerous.
But the decision has also been a nightmare for physicians (mainly OB-GYNs) in those states. These doctors — not all of whom identify as “abortion providers” — are caught in the untenable position of choosing between properly caring for their patients and risking imprisonment if convicted of performing an unauthorized abortion. (In Alabama and Texas, they might face life sentences.) This situation has become so difficult for physicians and other health professional professionals that a new phrase is increasingly heard in OB-GYN circles in banned states: “moral distress.” But the story of abortion in America might have been different, if the medical profession in 1973 had taken women’s health care needs more seriously.”
The Honorary Feminist Sociologist Distinction is presented annually to a feminist who is not a sociologist by training but has contributed significantly to the development of the field of feminist sociology. Established in 2021 under the leadership of then President-Elect Roberta Villalón, this initiative recognizes how the inherent interdisciplinary character of feminist theory and praxis has been fundamental to the development of feminist sociology. The work by feminists like bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Gloria Anzaldúa, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and Maria Lugones, to name just a few, has been of great influence to our field by revealing nuances and complexities of social processes from angles that sometimes escape sociological research.
The President-Elect selects the annual recipient of the Honorary Feminist Sociologist Distinction and invites the awardee to participate at the SWS Winter Meeting to foster constructive interdisciplinary relationships among feminists who are devoted to advancing gender and sexual justice as well as dismantling intersecting systems of oppression.
The Inaugural SWS Honorary Feminist Sociologist Distinction was awarded to Dr. Ochy Curiel in 2022. Dr. Curiel is an Afro-Dominican feminist scholar activist who has been at the forefront of decolonial movements against heteropatriarchy, racism and capitalism. During her first years as a feminist, Dr. Curiel defined herself as a feminista negra lesbiana autónoma (autonomous black lesbian feminist). She has been very critical of the role that feminism emanating from the Global North as well as within Latin America has had in reproducing racial and colonial structures within the movement by silencing the voices of feministas negras. An anthropologist and singer songwriter, she teaches at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia where she leads the program on Gender Studies and the Universidad Javeriana, and is part of the Batucada Feminista de Bogotá. Dr. Curiel is one of the founders of the Grupo Latinoamericano de Estudio, Formación y Acción Feminista (GLEFAS, Latin-American group of study, formation, and feminist action) born out of the necessity to articulate feminist theory with praxis and center Latin American and Caribbean feminism against hegemonic feminist narratives.
She has numerous publications in various languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French and English, such as “Identidades esencialistas o construcción de identitdades políticas: El dilema de las feministas afrodescendientes”(Essentialist identities or the construction of political identities: The dilemma of afro descendent feminists)(2005); “Critique postcoloniale et pratiques politiques du féminisme antiraciste” (Postcolonial Critique and Political Practices of Anti Racist Feminism) (2010);La Nación Heterosexual: Análisis del discurso jurídico y al régimen heterosexual desde la antropología de la dominación (The Heterosexual Nation: Analysis of the Juridical Discourse and the Heterosexual Regime from the Anthropology of Domination) (2013); Descolonización y despatriarcalización de y desde los feminismos del Abya Yala (Decolonization and Depatriarchalization of and from the Abya Yala´s feminisms) (with Maria Galindo)(2015); “Crítica Pós-colonial a partir das práticas políticas do feminismo antiracista” (Postcolonial Critique from the political practice of antiracist feminism) (2019); “The Contributions of Afro-descendant Women to Feminist Theory and Practice: Deuniversalizing the Subject “Women”” (with Ruth Pión) (2022); and “Constructing Feminist Methodologies from Decolonial Feminism” (2022), to name just a few (for more see, for example: https://repositorio.unal.edu.co/browse?type=author&value=Curiel%20 Pichardo,%20Rosa%20Yn%C3%A9s%20Ochy).
When Dr. Curiel was awarded the Inaugural Honorary Feminist Sociology Distinction at the 2022 SWS Winter Meeting, she gave a keynote that can be viewed on the SWS YouTube channel at Inaugural Honorary Feminist Sociology Distinction-Winter 2022 (in Spanish with English subtitles).Because she had been unable to travel for the 2022 meeting due to the Covid-related schedule change, Dr. Curiel joined the 2023 SWS Winter Meeting in New Orleans. Her session, “Decolonial Feminisms: An Interview with Ochy Curiel, Inaugural SWS Honorary Feminist Sociology Distinction Recipient,” was moderated by then Past President Roberta Villalón and can also be viewed at the SWS YouTube Channel at https://youtu.be/jC8xuBUj2S0 (in Spanish with English subtitles).
SWS is honored to have been able to establish this transnational and interdisciplinary connection with Dr. Ochy Curiel, one of the most important decolonial feminists of our times.
2023 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award Winners Announced
Torisha Khonach is the 2023 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award Recipient.
Tia M. Dickerson is the 2023 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Honorable Mention Awardee.
The Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Award was established in 2005 to support first generation college students who began their academic careers in a community college, have faced significant obstacles, are committed to teaching, and mentoring other less privileged students, and exemplify Beth’s commitment to professional service and social justice work through activism. Beth B. Hess was a President of SWS and one of our mentoring award winners; she was also the President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) and Secretary Treasurer of the American Sociological Association (ASA). These organizations join SWS in supporting the Beth B. Hess Scholar each year. Advanced graduate students in sociology at the dissertation writing stage are invited to apply. In 2023, the subcommittee, Mairead Moloney (chair), Myra Marx Ferree, Nancy Naples, Gul Aldikacti Marshall, and Sarah Bruch faced the challenge of selecting the winner. When there is more than one exceptionally strong candidate, an Honorable Mention Awardee is also selected.
Learning is truly a communal experience, and Torisha has found the most encouraging and dedicated academic community. She would like to recognize her mentors, especially Drs. Dana Maher, Elizabeth Lawrence, Cassaundra Rodriguez, Barb Brents, and Fatima Suarez who have shown such earnest and passionate support.
Torisha Khonach is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with an expected defense date in Spring 2024. Her research highlights the importance of body and embodiment in sociological analysis, which is too often overlooked, focusing on how bodies are expected to present and perform in various institutions. Torisha began her academic journey as a first-generation college student at College of the Redwoods, where she earned her A.A. in Behavioral and Social Sciences. Torisha, like many it seems, thought she was going to be a psychologist, but after taking (every) sociology course taught by Dr. Dana Maher, her trajectory in academia changed forever.
Through her work at College of Redwoods, where she organized and coordinated safe sex workshops and sexualized violence prevention dialogues with fellow students, she was awarded the Student Leadership Award. She took her passion for social justice with her as she transferred to Cal Poly Humboldt, where she would earn her B.A. and M.A. in Sociology. She became a peer health educator focusing on consent education, a bystander intervention trainer, and a student Title IX advocate. She was also active in local queer and feminist organizations, Humboldt Pride and Humboldt Roller Derby. Her campus and community work at Cal Poly Humboldt was recognized by her department, where she earned the Sarah and James Turner award which is awarded to exemplary public sociology students.
Torisha did not slow down after relocating to Las Vegas for graduate school at UNLV. She quickly began teaching courses and becoming involved on campus, earning various teaching and research awards and fellowships, including first place for the UNLV Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award and the UNLV Graduate Finishing Fellowship. Her teaching hinges on ensuring students feel “seen” in the classroom, where she carefully constructs her syllabus to have not only diverse content, but also diverse authors. She wants all students to feel like they belong in academia, that their voices and experiences matter. Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, she once again began spending her time in the community, volunteering in the health clinic for the LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada, where they offer STI testing, safe sex supplies, and supplies for safer drug use.
Torisha’s work and activism has always centered on bodies, examining the ways bodies are central sites for technologies of power and control. Topics included sexualized violence and sports, and she now focuses on the embodiment of parenthood.
Her dissertation examines contemporary parents’ experiences with their bodies through 40 in-depth interviews. Her participants encapsulate a range of experiences, including biological and adoptive parents, parents of all genders, and have purposefully recruited parents of diverse body sizes. Torisha argues that parents provide a unique view into how our bodies are shaped in a health-centric society through her theorization of liminal embodiment, where the identity of “parent” allows for a relaxation of body ideals for some parents and only for brief periods of time. Torisha’s goal is to emphasize how the body is an often overlooked but important axis of social control and inequality.
The subcommittee is delighted to recognize Tia M. Dickerson as the 2023 Honorable Mention Awardee. Tia is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Howard University. Tia has balanced many personal challenges while also working on behalf of her peers at Howard University and while providing service to the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). The subcommittee was impressed by her important research on Black families and social inequality that is grounded and informed by her own experiences.
Tia’s dissertation research is on “mental health declines in Black people during the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest of 2020.” It draws on the theory of “vicarious racism” and “explores whether marital status provided a protective advantage for mental health declines in Black people during the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest of 2020.”
Tia has benefited from numerous opportunities to develop her research skills outside of the university as is evident in her Internship at the Marriage Strengthening and Research Dissemination Center and training at the Columbia Population Research Center. It is especially noteworthy that she was invited to review conference proposals on minority families for the National Council on Family Relations (NCRF) and to contribute to the National Women’s Month Series for The Today Show. She has also presented her research at diverse conferences including the annual meetings of NCRF, the American Sociological Association, SSSP, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Law Enforcement and Public Health, and the Eastern Sociological Society. In addition to these significant accomplishments, she has also been invited to speak by the National Association of Counsel for Children, the National Institute of Health, Randolph-Macon College, and Alpha Kappa Delta, Beta Chapter of D.C.
One of her presentations, posted on The Sociologist’s website, featured Howard University’s “Panels of Race Relations,” and described her talk for the first colloquium entitled “Race, Pandemics and Social Response.” Her panel addressed the key questions: “How has racism affected current and prior responses to pandemics?” “What are the particular psychological as well as physical effects of the current Covid-19 crisis on people of color?” “What cultural factors affect treatment and recovery?” “What new approaches might be tried?”
In her co-authored article on “When Crises Collide – Policing a Pandemic During Social Unrest,” she finds that differences in race, gender, and marital status impact attitudes towards “policing during periods of social unrest” offer “meaningful insights to the current discourse on police legitimacy in America.” In other papers, she addresses the important relationship between incarcerated Black mothers and the child welfare system and the ways in which race contributes to the termination of parental rights.
The subcommittee is very excited to celebrate Torisha and Tia and look forward to following their work.
The scholarship carries a stipend of $18,000 from SWS with travel assistance, $500 from SWS and $300 from SSSP, to be used to support future academic meeting travel, as well as one-year memberships in SWS and SSSP. SSSP will celebrate the awardees at their Annual Meeting. Recognizing Beth B. Hess’s significant contributions to the ASA, ASA joins SWS and SSSP in supporting and celebrating the awardee. ASA provides an annual membership, complimentary meeting registration and a $500 travel award to travel to the 2023 ASA Annual Meeting. As our Honorable Mention Awardee, Tia will receive a $3,500 scholarship from SWS in addition to a complimentary one-year membership and registration for the SSSP Annual Meeting.
SWS will honor Torisha Khonach and Tia M. Dickerson and all our 2023 Summer Award recipients during our Awards Banquet which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 20 from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.
SWS Congratulates the 2023-2024 ASA Minority Fellowship Awardees Sponsored by SWS –
Clark Brinson and Faith Deckard
Graduate Institution: Emory University
Sociologists for Women in Society MFP
Clark Brinson is a PhD candidate in sociology at Emory University where she also earned her MA. She earned her BA in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research focuses on inequality, social psychology, and the needs and experiences of queer communities and communities of color. Brinson’s dissertation, Planning Our Futures: A Qualitative Study of Family Formation Goals among Black Queer Women, examines family formation desires among Black queer-identified women living in Atlanta. Using intersectionality theory as a guiding framework, the study explores how Black queer women navigate both disadvantage and privilege during the family planning process through differences in sexual orientation, class position, and gender expression. This project applies mixed methods, using interview data with 54 Black queer women and survey data from the National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey, to examine challenges in family planning among Black queer southern women. Brinson’s work aims to advance science and support organizations advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive justice, and racial justice. She has received the James Weldon Johnson Institute Dissertation Completion Grant and has been involved with the Coalition of Graduate Sociologists and the Black Graduate Student Association at Emory University. Brinson also recently completed her tenure as a Research Fellow for Justice Work, an organization that focuses on advancing equity and justice through community interventions, research, and political advocacy. In her free time, she enjoys trying new vegan recipes, hiking, and going to the beach.
Graduate Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Sociologists for Women in Society MFP
Faith Deckard is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her BA in Biology at Trinity University and her MA in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin where she was a McNair Scholar. Her areas of interests include crime, law, and deviance, population health, support networks, and debt and poverty. Her dissertation Bonded: How Commercial Bail Entangles Families through Money and Risk examines how “kin and friends” inadvertently become involved in carceral surveillance and the punishment systems through the processes of bail and bail bonds. Deckard was a Population Research Fellow (NICHD Recipient) at the University of Texas at Austin and currently serves as a graduate research assistant in the Life HD Lab where she has been able to combine her interests in biology and sociology to look at how racial inequality impacts health disparities. She also received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Deckard continues to help support minority scholars by organizing workshops on promoting self-care and applying for external funding. When she has free time, she loves to on new adventures with friends. This has led to her picking up bouldering, short hikes, and attending comedy and improv shows.
SWS Congratulates all of the 2023 – 2024 American Sociological Association (ASA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) Fellows!