News & Events

NEWS - Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren’s service learning class project featured in Richmond Times Dispatch

December 19, 2016

Throughout the 2015-2016 academic year, VCU Sociology service-learning students collaborated with “The Green Team,” a group of students from the Oak Grove/Bellemeade Community Center, to create a video about their community.

NEWS - "Meet VCU's Authors" series to kick-off with Tressie McMillan Cottom

January 27, 2020

To begin the spring semester, the Humanities Research Center will feature VCU faculty authors as part of its “Meet VCU’s Authors” series. The first speaker in the series will be VCU Sociology's own Tressie M. Cottom, Ph.D.

NEWS: Pregnant individuals experiencing depression will have access to mindfulness activities through a VCU study

October 11, 2021

The newly funded study will focus on serving Richmond’s minority, low-income or low-education community members and, if effective, could be replicated elsewhere.

VCU Sociology Student and Faculty Honored With 2020 Black History in the Making Awards

February 25, 2020

On Monday, February 24th two members of the VCU Sociology family were honored with recognition at this year's Black History in the Making award ceremony. The ceremony is put on by the VCU Department of African American Studies each year. This year, master’s candidate Sasha Pierre-Louis and faculty member Dr. Travis Williams were recognized for their outstanding academic work and commitment to community-engaged work. We are immensely proud of Sasha and Travis! We know that their work and contributions will continue to stand-out into the future. Read more about the Black History in the Making Award and Sasha and Travis’ work, below.

Who gets to ask the questions? Media, academics and NGOs at risk in the Near East

March 10, 2021

In this Mar. 11 panel discussion moderated by Volkan Aytar, Ph.D., we will address how the media, the universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being threatened in the Near East countries.

Sociology jumps off the page

March 5, 2021

Four faculty members in the Department of Sociology share creative ways their students engage with their course material.

The Economic and Social Turmoil of COVID-19 with Victor Tan Chen

May 13, 2020

In spite of the chaos caused by COVID-19, it has been an impressively productive semester for Victor Tan Chen, Ph.D. In addition to transitioning his courses online and advising a total of six graduate thesis students, Dr. Chen co-authored a piece in The Atlantic and voiced his expertise on Katie Couric’s acclaimed podcast, Next Question. An expert on labor markets, unemployment, and social inequality, Victor’s research is more salient now than ever. Prior to COVID-19, Dr. Chen has been a prolific contributor to myriad academic fields including unemployment, poverty, and meritocracy. As this global pandemic causes these trends to escalate, his latest contributions voice scholarly analysis of the current situation.

SOCY@VCU’s Meredith Katz weighing in on raising the minimum wage

August 16, 2016

Professor Meredith Katz was featured in WalletHub’s recent debate about raising the minimum wage. You can find the piece here:

Proud of these Sociology Activists!

April 28, 2016

Student activists from the VCU chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops marched to the doorstep of the office of VCU President Michael Rao to deliver a letter of intent on April 21.

Students help clean up a long-neglected African-American cemetery — and uncover the past

April 14, 2016

Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, looks on as senior international studies major Josselinne Robles washes off a grave marker found by Bodnar-Deren’s Sociology of Aging and the Life Course class.

Two sociology students; Sameen Meshkin and Marwa Eltiab awarded Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship 2016 Summer Fellowships

April 13, 2016

Two Medical Sociology students, Sameen Meshkin and Marwa Eltiab were awarded VCU Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship 2016 Summer Fellowships (UROPs). Susan Bodnar-Deren serves proudly as their faculty mentor.

Congratulations Dr. Chen!

April 13, 2016

Dr. Victor Chen, Assistant Professor of Sociology has been awarded the College of Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award.  This award recognizes exemplary scholarship by a junior faculty member. 

Sociology Alumni & Friends Reception

April 6, 2016

You are invited to a special reception for alumni and friends of the Department of Sociology



March 22, 2016

The Learning Academic Commons 

TMC is Indispensable on Twitter!!

March 22, 2016


Dr. Tressie M. Cottom featured on The Daily Show!

March 9, 2017

Tressie McMillan Cottom explains the business model of for-profit colleges and talks about how the schools prey on already-disadvantaged students in her book “Lower Ed.”

Dr. Tressie M. Cottom featured in Richmond Mag!

March 13, 2017

Dr. Tressie M. Cottom’s work on the rise of for profit colleges and the problems associated with this trend is highlighted in Richmond Magazine!

Richmond Times-Dispatch features Dr. Tressie M. Cottom’s book ‘Lower Ed’

March 13, 2017

SOCY’s own Dr. Tressie M. Cottom was featured on the front page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch for her book “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy.”


March 10, 2017

Victor Chen will be talking about his new book, Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy (University of California Press, 2015).

Dr. Tressie M. Cottom on NPR

February 20, 2016

Listen to our very own Dr. TMC on NPR discussing Bernie Sander’s Free College Promise!

Dr. Chen in The Atlantic, January 2016

January 19, 2016

Social scientists have been debating the striking findings of a study by the economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton.

Dr. Chen in The Atlantic, October 2015

October 21, 2015

Please join me in recognizing, congratulating and high fiving another SOCY faculty–Victor Tan Chen– for his piece in The Atlantic discussing the relevance of social policy and lifting from the bottom in the alleviation of inequality and economic distress!

Dr. Cottom on the cover of The Atlantic

September 17, 2015

Please join me in recognizing, congratulating and high fiving our very own Tressie McMillan Cottom for gracing the cover of The Atlantic discussing Race in America, the #blacklivesmatter movement and the continuing relevance of race in our culture!


Dr. Tressie M. Cottom, Faculty Associate with the Berkman Center @ Harvard

July 16, 2015

#VCUSOCY on the rise!! Our newest faculty, Dr. Tressie M. Cottom, will be a Faculty Associate with the prestigious Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Susan Bodnar-Deren in the News

May 14, 2015

Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D., will be piloting an evaluation project of a targeted intervention titled  "Mommies, Babies, Bellies & Daddies – The ABCs of Breastfeeding" designed to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration. SOCY is so very proud of all the community engaged work of our faculty!

Is Rising Inequality Slowly Poisoning Our Democracy?

April 22, 2015

Dr. Victor Chen has a new op-ed out addressing this question! Check it out!!    

Susan Bodnar Deren Receives TWO Grants!!

April 15, 2015

Sociology faculty, Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren was just awarded two grants.  The first is a $19,149 award from the VCU Council on Community Engagement for the project entitled “A CBPR Evaluation of the ‘Mommies, Babies, Bellies & Daddies – The ABCs of Breastfeeding’ – a targeted intervention to encourage inform, and empower mothers to care for…


SOCY @ VCU Welcomes Dr. Tara Stamm to our faculty!!

April 7, 2015

Tara Stamm will receive her PhD in Sociology from Florida State University in May 2015!  She also holds a BA in Literature, an MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics and an MS in Sociology.  Her dissertation spotlights the experiences and depictions of young mothers, the importance of emerging mixed-methodological techniques, and intersections between gender, education,…

Sociology Welcomes New Faculty Member - Tressie McMillan Cottom

January 13, 2015

Tressie McMillan Cottom studies race, class and gender inequality through education, work, and media. She arrives via Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her forthcoming book on the rapid expansion of for-profit colleges like The University of Phoenix documents the social inequalities in the high cost, low prestige for-profit college credential market. Tressie has published on academic…

Cut Loose: Jobless & Hopeless in an Unfair Economy

January 13, 2015

Forthcoming from DR. VICTOR TAN CHEN, Assistant Professor of Sociology at VCU!! Years after the Great Recession, the economy is still weak, and an unprecedented number of workers have sunk into long spells of unemployment. Cut Loose provides a vivid and moving account of the experiences of some of these men and women, through the…

Johnson’s Research in the News

December 20, 2014

Dr. Jennifer A. Johnson’ s recent article is in the news: Pornography and Men’s Sexual Health Pornography and Men’s Intimate Relationships Access the full article here.  

New H&S Scholarship Website

December 19, 2014

The College of Humanities and Sciences has introduced a new website,, with information and an online application process for the over 100 scholarship opportunities we offer to currently enrolled students. The system features a searchable database of opportunities and details the requirements for each. This system will offer a more student-centric experience, streamlines our administrative…

VCU Study Abroad in South Africa

December 8, 2014

Sociology will be supporting a study abroad opportunity for both graduate and undergraduate students in the Summer of 2015. Come study contemporary social challenges in rural South Africa with Susan Bodnar Deren, Ph.D. Students can earn course credit! See here for more information!

Students for Social Action organize art show in solidarity with Ferguson!

December 8, 2014

Sociology gives a huge shout out to Students for Social Action for organizing an important and successful art show to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson and to support the family of Michael Brown.   Thank you to Rachel Stacks for sharing her photos of the event! And thank-you to Professor Goldstein for supporting…

Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D., awarded the Building Interdisciplinary Bridges in Women's Health Research Award.

April 5, 2017

Congratulations to Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D., who was awarded the Building Interdisciplinary Bridges in Women’s Health Research Award. She was selected for the award based on her research presented at the 13th Annual Women's Health Research Day, through the VCU Institute for Women's Health.

Dr. Tressie M. Cottom receives 2017 College of H&S Distinguished Faculty Award!

April 13, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Tressie M. Cottom! The 2017 College of Humanities & Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes Dr. Cottom for Excellence in Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences! 

Dr. Victor T. Chen named the LERA 2017 John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar!

April 17, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Victor T. Chen! He was named the LERA 2017 John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar for his work on industrial relations and employment. This award recognizes outstanding academic research by recent entrants to the field.

Dr. Perry Threlfall's 'Students Can Be Parents, Too' published in The Chronicle of Higher Education

April 18, 2017

Dr. Threlfall's piece on the academic needs of students who are also parents appears in the April 21st edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. Silvia Federici - April 27th at 3pm

April 21, 2017

The Sociology Department is sponsoring a talk by Dr. Silvia Federici of Hofstra University, a world-famous scholar and activist, on Thursday, April 27, at 3:00 p.m. in The Depot (814 W. Broad St.).

Dr. Silvia Federici Speaks to AKD Inductees!

April 28, 2017

Yesterday, SOCY inducted several of our majors into Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society! Congratulations to all of our inductees!


Dr. Victor Chen discusses misconceptions of welfare fraud on 8 News

May 1, 2017

Dr. Victor Chen discusses some common misconceptions about welfare and welfare fraud with 8 News.

Dr. Tressie M. Cottom's latest NY Times Op-Ed inspired by SOCY 322 Honors Course!

May 4, 2017

Dr. Cottom personally credits her latest New York Times Op-Ed piece to a discussion from her SOCY 322 Honors Course. Thanks Jordan, Justin, Erin, Abbie, Mazer and Rebecca for your inspiration! Hopefully we'll see more from each of you soon!


Livestream of “Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans” with Dr. Tressie M. Cottom

May 9, 2017

Dr. Cottom will serve on a panel with several other scholars for the launch of the AAUW's new research report, “Deeper in Debt: Women and Student Loans.”

Dr. Victor Chen on how the economy has impacted marriage

August 29, 2017

Dr. Victor Chen's recent article in The Atlantic explores how changes in the economy have impacted marriage in the US. Dr. Chen was also invited to discuss the broader impacts of this social shift on NPR and on KERA's program, think.

AKD and SOCY to host Dr. Richard Ocejo

November 30, 2017

AKD@VCU and the Sociology Department are presenting Dr. Richard Ocejo, an Associate Professor of Sociology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. He will be discussing his new book, Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy. The event will take place November 30 at 6:30pm in the VCU Arts Depot. This is a free event and is open to everyone to attend.

Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren discusses partnering with local community organizations to improve rates of breastfeeding through the "ABC's of Breastfeeding" project.

December 14, 2017

Dr. Bodnar-Deren discusses partnering with local community organizations to improve rates of breastfeeding through the "ABC's of Breastfeeding" project.

SOCY welcomes two new faculty members!

February 9, 2018

SOCY@ VCU is pleased to announce that Gabriela León-Pérez and Ying-Chao Kao will be joining the faculty in the Fall of 2018!

Study Abroad in South Africa with Sociology

March 16, 2018

Learn more about sociology's summer study abroad in South Africa.

"Thick: And Other Essays" honored in longlist for 2019 National Book Award in Nonfiction

September 20, 2019

VCU Sociology offers a huge congratulations to Tressie Cottom, Ph.D, as her latest book is honored in the longlist for the 2019 National Book Award in Nonfiction.

Cottom earns top honor from American Sociological Association

February 7, 2020

The American Sociological Association has awarded Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D., the 2020 Public Understanding of Sociology Award. The award is given annually to someone who has made exemplary contributions to advance the understanding of sociology, sociological research and scholarship among the general public.

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