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June 16, 2020

Department Head Michael Dreiling congratulates graduates, reminds us of the sociological tools for uncovering racial injustice

Dear Sociology Class of 2020:

As you complete you complete your degree at the UO, I offer my warmest congratulations and thanks! As a graduate of our program, you enter the ranks of an outstanding group of human beings – UO Sociology Alumni. Our alumni are active in hundreds of careers and professions. Their work collectively involves the founding of businesses and nonprofits, writing novels and making films, and working in professions from education and law to marketing and research. In these incredibly challenging times, I trust that even as you exit the university to a world in flux, you carry some powerful tools from your studies in Sociology at the University of Oregon.

As a department, we began the year celebrating our 125th year of teaching sociology at the University of Oregon – the oldest sociology program west of the Rocky Mountains – and concluded in the midst of a global pandemic, a deepening economic crisis, and a mass social movement for racial justice. A critical and intersectional analysis of social inequalities helps make sense of all of it, and more. I am sure you have been using your sociological tools to better understand and engage what is happening in the world.

Sociology brings to the fore what is hidden beneath the seams of social life. This perspective, so unique to our discipline conveys an eye of empathy and critical analysis to all forms of oppression and suffering, to the struggles and the cries for justice, to the yearnings rooted in a vision that a better world is possible, and to the celebrations of social and human progress. When George Floyd announced I can’t breathe, he spoke of a violence that already echoed too many times across America, conveying again not just the physical weight of police coercively pressing into the neck and back of an unarmed black man, but to the power structures of white supremacy that profit politically, economically and social-psychologically by systemic racism. The hard and cold truth of his words resonate with the oppressions confronting black people across America. His words also spoke to the inequalities in America’s health care system that result in wildly disproportionate deaths from the Coronavirus pandemic on communities of color. In struggle, I can’t breathe became a radical idiom representing voices of the oppressed.

You know this. A critical sociological perspective renders visible what so much social and political inertia would hide: the recent role of deaths of despair in the drop in overall American life expectancy; or the fact that over 40% of all COVID-19 deaths in the US have occurred among a group that represents just 0.6% of the US population – those living in long-term care facilities. It is because the sociological perspective uncovers what is often made invisible that the tools of our trade are so valuable and important to our future. Use them in good stead.

In the last four months at UO Sociology, you all demonstrated considerable resilience and weathered a difficult change as we collectively – faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduate students – sustained studies and pursued a critical analysis of the larger issues facing our world. The Zoom and Canvas fatigue, I have no doubt, are real. It has been challenging and I thank you for enduring these steps. On behalf of our department, we celebrate the richness that you, as recent graduates, bring to our alumnus; it is you who bring sociology to life. As a department, we will strive to continue producing the kind of work done here for 125 years and counting. Please read a bit about our 125 years at Around the O:

On behalf of all current faculty, staff and students, I extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to you.

Respectfully yours,

Michael Dreiling, Professor & Department Head
Department of Sociology
University of Oregon

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin


PS: Want to see the Class of 2020 commencement ceremony? Check out the video here:

June 8, 2020

Sociology Snippets – June 8, 2020

Dear Sociology Majors,

I send you this last Sociology Snippets of the 2019-2020 school year amid a cacophony of emotions. We are now witnessing some of the largest scale collective action ever undertaken in this country, amidst an ongoing global pandemic that underscores the seriousness of this moment. We are seeing and (for many of us, participating in) visible and dramatic resistance to racism, white supremacy and racial inequality. As sociologists, you have the tools to understand both the inequality these protests are addressing as well as the varied forms of activism themselves. That said, all the sociological analysis in the world falls short of capturing the range of emotions many of us feel at this current moment – sorrow, rage, sadness, grief, overwhelm and, indeed, empowerment, optimism, and a zeal for change. So, while I am writing to say goodbye for the school year, I am also writing to say that we, as sociologists at the University of Oregon, are deeply dedicated to using sociological analysis to understand the root causes, consequences, experiences of and solutions to racial inequality, white supremacy and the intersections of those with other inequalities. We hope that we have helped to convey those questions, lessons and analytic tools in our classes.

We see you, we stand with you and we are here for you.

As always,
Professor Pascoe

Associate Professor | Undergraduate Program Director
Co-editor, Socius
Department of Sociology | University of Oregon

May 21, 2020

OPEN NOW: Applications for the Sociology Peer Leadership Program!

Hello Sociology Majors!

Do you want to develop leadership skills? Just can’t get enough sociology? Want to earn credit doing both? Take a look at the Sociology Peer Leadership Program (Soc 406).  Participants in the Peer Leadership Program are tasked with communication, advising, event planning and tutoring in the Sociology Department. Students in this program plan events of interest for undergraduates, put together quarterly newsletters, tutor in their areas of expertise and come up with innovative ways to meet the needs of sociology majors and minors. You can see more information about the program and apply here:

Here is a more extensive description of the program:

Sociology Peer Leaders serve as leaders in the undergraduate program. They aid the department in communication, advising, event planning and tutoring. Peer leaders help students plan their academic schedules, developing quarterly undergraduate newsletters, planning and  putting on quarterly events for undergraduates, tutoring, and aiding in various curricular and programmatic projects to support the undergraduate program.

Applicants must be
-in good academic standing, with at least a 3.0 grade point average
-a declared Sociology major,
-recommended by one faculty member/sociology instructor recommend

-Attend weekly team meetings
-Provide tutoring (in select subject areas) as needed by students
-Assist in developing and distributing a quarterly undergraduate newsletter
-Plan and hold one event each term for students
-Provide basic academic, career and internship advising as needed by students
-Meet with the representatives from the Career Center and Tykeson Advising
-Assist the sociology department with various tasks regarding event planning and communication
-Present opportunities in sociology to undergraduate classes
-Conduct a project of your choosing each year
-Commit to a minimum of 2 terms (not including summer)

As a Peer Leader, you will have the opportunity to strengthen both your problem solving
and communication skills. You will also gain marketable on-the-job experience in time
management, organization, and leadership.

In your first term as a Peer Leader you will earn one credit (P/NP) in Sociology 406. In your second term as Peer Leader you earn one graded credit (ABCDF) of Sociology 406 .

PLEASE NOTE: Sociology 406 does not satisfy the 400 level Sociology requirements,
but does count as elective Sociology credit.

April 30, 2020

Sociology Summer Courses! Registration opens May 4th!

Download full resolution PDF here.

April 15, 2020

Sociology Snippets – April 15, 2020

Hello All,

Hopefully by now the move to online college is a bit calmer and more routine. I for one am holding out hope that we will be learning together in person sooner rather than later – and from what I’m hearing from many of you, I’m not alone in that hope!  For some of us thinking sociologically about all of these changes can feel comforting. If that is true for you, you might find this set of articles compiled by sociologists about disasters and related social issues interesting:  If it is not true for you, please skip this and do what feels good for you in this time – baking, Netflix binges or just breathing.

This week in Soc Snippets we have information about applying for the honors program, applications for Wayne Morse Center Scholars, a webinar about how to manage as a student during this pandemic and some resources to support you in taking classes online.  As always feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Have a great day and Go Ducks,

Prof Pascoe

C.J. Pascoe
Associate Professor | Undergraduate Program Director
Department of Sociology | University of Oregon

Sociology Honors Program Application Deadline – May 1, 2020
This small, selective year-long class for highly motivated sociology majors walks you through all aspects of the research process from coming up with a research question, to putting together a research proposal, to conducting your research, to actually writing an honors thesis. Participants in this program have had their research covered by Cascade Magazine (such as Daniel Silberman’s research on racism and punishment in Oregon),  have presented their research at academic conferences, such as the Annual Pacific Sociological Association Conference and have used their theses as writing samples for successful graduate school applications.

You can apply for the program online here or using the attached form (and email it to me).

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at with any questions about the program or your eligibility for it.

Wayne Mores Scholars Program
Application Deadline – May 29, 2020

The Wayne Morse Scholars program serves UO undergrads from diverse backgrounds and majors, providing skills building, service learning, and leadership training to students interested in public affairs and community engagement.

Learn more about the program and apply here:

Sociology Student Town Hall: Navigating Covid-19
The American Sociological Association’s Student Forum Advisory Board invites sociology graduate and undergraduate students to a town hall to discuss how to navigate the challenges of being a student during this difficult time. Whether you are taking courses or in the final stages of writing your dissertation, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted students in unique ways. We invite students at all stages to join us for a conversation to share resources, discuss coping strategies, and commiserate. You can register here.

Managing Online Classes
For some of us, the pacing, lack of structure and lack of in person contact in online class can make them a little challenging.  Here is a list of suggestions about how to manage online classes from UO’s Tutoring and Academic Engagement Center:  and from Northeastern University:

March 31, 2020

Sociology Snippets – March 31, 2020

Hi all,

Welcome to the first day of Spring term. I hope that everyone is able to settle in to this new normal as smoothly as possible. It’s a time of adjustment for all of us. If you are needing resources, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, to medical health services ( or mental health services ( at U of O.

This week I’ve included some information about  a variety of funding opportunities and information about applying to the Sociology Honors Program.

As always, have a great day and Go Ducks,

Prof Pascoe


CURE Funding DeadlinesCURE


Honors Thesis Research Awards
Thanks to generous support from a Mellon Foundation grant, the University of Oregon’s Center for Environmental Futures. plans to award 5 awards of $1,000 each to UO undergraduates for honors thesis research projects in any area of the environmental humanities. The field of environmental humanities contextualizes and complements environmental science and policy by pursuing research on narrative, critical thinking, history, cultural analysis, aesthetics, and ethics of diverse environmental topics and issues, such as land use, animals, resource allocation, agriculture, species conservation, climate change, water, and other related issues. Research in environmental justice is also an integral part of the environmental humanities at the UO.

UO undergraduate students from any major pursuing an honors thesis in the environmental humanities and related fields, including environmental justice, are eligible to apply for these awards. All Clark Honors College students and others pursuing an honors thesis within a specific department are eligible. Students in all colleges and departments can apply. Thesis projects could include traditional honors theses as well as work in creative arts, service projects, or outreach. Students can be at any stage of the research or writing process during the 2019-2020 academic year, and awards can support any aspect of the thesis process — from the research stage to the writing of the thesis, dissemination of the results, or as a prize recognizing exemplary thesis work recently completed or nearly completed in the environmental humanities.

* Deadline: Friday, April 3, 2020

Click here. to apply:


Sociology Honors Program

Have you ever found yourself in a sociology class thinking “Gosh, this study is great! I’d love to do a study like this!” Or have the research posters on the walls of the Sociology Department hallway piqued your interested? If so, the Sociology Honors Program is for you. This small, selective year-long class for highly motivated sociology majors walks you through all aspects of the research process from coming up with a research question, to putting together a research proposal, to conducting your research, to actually writing an honors thesis. Participants in this program have had their research covered by Cascade Magazine (such as Daniel Silberman’s research on racism and punishment in Oregon:, have presented their research at academic conferences, such as the Annual Pacific Sociological Association Conference and have used their theses as writing samples for successful graduate school applications.

You can the application for the program here:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at with any questions about the program or your eligibility for it.

March 24, 2020

Commencement 2020 Update

Dear students,

There is no doubt that these are unprecedented and confusing times for all of us. For perhaps the first time in history, the University of Oregon has made the decision to close its campus for the spring quarter and cancel all in-person commencement activities scheduled for this June. While of course we were saddened to hear this news, we recognize that extraordinary measures are required in extraordinary circumstances. This difficult decision was the best for the greater safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the many friends, family and guests that come to campus each year for commencement activities.

Many of our graduating students look forward to their commencement day and are devastated at this development. We have received dozens of questions about what will happen for Sociology students to recognize their degree completion this June, and we have started to ponder this question ourselves. We are brainstorming possibilities using remote technology and are awaiting further guidance from UO commencement planners.

Unfortunately, at this time we do not have a clear answer to offer. We understand your disappointment and frustration, and we hope to have a clearer idea of how we might celebrate our students’ many accomplishments in the coming weeks once spring term is underway. We will communicate our plans via this website and Canvas and will update our commencement pages with new information as soon as it is available.

If you have questions, concerns, or suggestion, please feel free to reach out via email to and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for your flexibility, determination, and integrity during this period of interruption. We hope to see you all again (in person!) very soon.

Stay healthy and best wishes,

Your Sociology commencement planners

March 20, 2020

Sociology Snippets – March 20, 2020

Hello Sociology Majors,

I wanted to touch base with all of you on the eve of what is likely the strangest start to a spring break you have experienced during your college career. I know you are receiving a lot of messages from UO as leadership tries to make the best decisions to keep students, faculty and staff safe during the upcoming months. Many of these changes are disappointing – moving classes online and changing what graduation will look like. I know many of you may have a lot of questions and I am happy to answer them or endeavor to find out the answers for you, so do not hesitate to contact me. In the meantime, I have been in contact with the career center about ways to support graduating seniors, have been brainstorming ways to celebrate graduating seniors even if from far and will be in touch early next term about things like the honors program, the transformation of the Peer Advising program into a Peer Leadership program and hopefully a new date for an alumni dinner.

In the mean time, please take care of yourselves and please contact me if you are in need of resources or have questions.


Prof Pascoe

C.J. Pascoe
Associate Professor |Undergraduate Program Director
Co-editor, Socius:  Sociological Research for a Dynamic World
Department of Sociology | University of Oregon
(458) 215-1901 |
March 16, 2020

March 11, 2020 – Soc Snippets

Hello Sociology Majors,

Well, I think I am safe in saying that the term is ending in a way that many of us did not anticipate. I realize that the information you are receiving right now may feel unsettling and a bit surreal at times. You may find some of the answers to your questions here: As you process this information please let me know if I, in my role as the Undergraduate Program Director can support you in any way.

In taking steps to reduce the spread and the speed of the spread of the virus, the  Pacific Sociological Association Conference, some of you had planned to attend, that was supposed to occur over Spring Break here in Eugene has been cancelled. There may be an online version of the event and I will provide those details when they become available.  The department will also provide updates on the alumni dinner planned for the 29th in the coming days.

As always, take care of yourselves and each other and Go Ducks.

Professor Pascoe

C.J. Pascoe
Associate Professor | Undergraduate Program Director
Co-editor, Socius
Department of Sociology | University of Oregon

February 24, 2020

Sociology Snippets – February 20, 2020

Hello Sociology Majors!

Does it ever feel like sociology is a bit of a downer? Well, this week we have some good Valentine’s Day themed good news for you. According to Sociology professor Philip Cohen divorce is on the decline – you can see his research here: It’s not all bad news!

This week in Soc Snippets we have some publication and job opportunities.

As always have a great day and Go Ducks!

Prof Pascoe

Associate Professor |Undergraduate Program Director Co-editor, Socius:  Sociological Research for a Dynamic World Department of Sociology | University of Oregon (458) 215-1901 |


Submit Your Research!
We are honored to invite you and your students to participate in the 10th Anniversary Undergraduate Research Symposium on Thursday, May 21 in the EMU. Students may submit abstracts through April 6.

Since 2011, the Undergraduate Research Symposium has hosted more than 2,000 students and served as a signature moment for undergraduates to present their original research and creative work to the campus and local community.  The 2019 Symposium welcomed 513 presenters and 290 faculty mentors representing 75 majors from every UO school and college.

This year we will also be joined by local high school students and teachers in collaboration with the Summer Academy to Inspire Leadership (SAIL); Lane Community College (LLC) students and faculty (including a transfer student panel); and McNair Scholars students from the UO and programs across the Pacific Northwest.


Would you like to see your research project, term paper, thesis, or creative
work published? The Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal is a student-run,
peer-reviewed, open access academic journal that showcases high-quality
undergraduate work in the sciences, humanities, and arts at the University
of Oregon. OURJ recently published its Winter 2020 issue, which you can read

We are currently looking for undergraduate research and cover art to publish
in Spring 2020. We are dedicated to featuring research papers from all
academic disciplines and would love to see submissions from your department!

Upcoming deadline for manuscript submissions: Sunday, March 22, 2019.

Please follow guidelines here: and send submissions to

For more information, feel free to contact us at


Work with SAIL this Summer
The Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) program is hiring counselors and residential assistants for summer 2020! We are looking for positive, can-do folks who are excited to work with students in a fun, educational environment.  Sound like you? Email for more information

Summer staff work full time during our training week July 13-16 and our two program weeks July 20-24 & July 27-31.

The University of Oregon’s Summer Academy to Inspire Learning (SAIL) program is an innovative pre-college program hosted on the University of Oregon campus. Serving middle and high school students from underrepresented backgrounds, including lower income and/or first-generation college students, SAIL empowers students to enroll and succeed in college through early exposure and exploration.

SAIL offers free, one-week summer programs on the University of Oregon campus, where students can choose from a wide variety of subject areas like Biology, Performing Arts, World Languages and more, all taught by distinguished University of Oregon faculty volunteers through fun social and interactive activities. SAIL programs also include sessions on college admissions, the financial aid process, and scholarships, as well as opportunities to bond with like-minded peers through team-building and leadership activities.SAIL Hiring Slide.pdf


Internship Opportunity
PAID Undergraduate/Graduate Internship Opportunity – Postsecondary National Policy Institute (PNPI) 2020 Summer Scholars Program: The Summer Scholars Program which runs from May 24- August 1, 2020 provides a unique opportunity for highly-motivated undergraduate and graduate students with demonstrated financial need to learn about federal higher education policy in the nation’s capital.  Fully funded, the program provides scholars with accommodations, a metro card, a move-in stipend, an hourly wage, and transportation to and from Washington D.C. at the start and end of the program.

While in D.C., scholars work with the larger PNPI team to create high-quality learning experiences for current and prospective federal higher education policymakers, draft content for the PNPI website, engage in research on postsecondary issues, and attend D.C. based policy events.  The goal of the program is to provide scholars with an opportunity to build their knowledge base and their network in federal higher education policy.  In their final evaluations of the program, all of our scholars have credited PNPI with expanding their understanding of federal higher education policy, exposing them to new career paths, and impacting their long-range career goals. They also credited us with instilling in them greater confidence and a higher level of comfort in professional circles.

Summer Scholars Eligibility:

  • Must be enrolled in an accredited college or university as a rising or current senior undergraduate or graduate student (full or part time status). Proof of enrollment required (recent transcript).
  • Must demonstrate financial need. Undergraduate students must have received a Pell grant in the most recent academic year. Graduate students must have received a Pell grant in the final semester of their senior year AND must demonstrate Pell-eligibility for the most recent academic year per the estimated family contribution listed on their Federal Student Aid Report (2019-2020 EFC must be $5,576 or less).
  • All majors/fields of study accepted, but candidates must indicate an interest in postsecondary education policy.
  • If currently living outside of D.C., must be able and willing to relocate to Washington, D.C. from May 24 to August 1, 2020.
  • If selected for an interview, must have access to Zoom or Google Hangouts.
  • Must be able to work 35 hours/week in Washington, D.C. for the duration of the internship.
  • Must be able to travel with PNPI staff to Congressional events and seminars both on Capitol Hill and in the contiguous United States (all travel expenses covered by PNPI).
  • Must have excellent communication, writing, and interpersonal skills.
  • Must be a self-driven and highly-motivated independent worker.
  • Priority will be given to applicants who currently live or attend school outside of Washington, D.C. and who have never previously interned in Washington D.C.
  • Must submit application and all required materials no later than 5pm ET on Monday, March 2, 2020. No late applications will be reviewed or accepted.


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