Collage of sociology department faculty


Welcome to the Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology has a long track-record of training undergraduate students for post-college opportunities and graduate students for academic and research careers. Our faculty have national reputations and records of award-winning publications, research grants, and leadership of national and regional sociological associations.

We specialize in the study of social inequality. More specifically, our faculty focus on community and urbanhealth and medicalrace and ethnicity, and gender and family. We encourage prospective graduate students interested in these issues to join us! Our urban location and proximity to six major hospitals make UC an ideal place to study urban and health issues, and Sociologists for Women in Society have consistently awarded us their seal of approval for gender scholarship.

The intellectual hub of the department is the Kunz Center for Social Researchan endowed center located within and designated to support the research mission of the department. It provides research funding for faculty and graduate students, and provides an intellectual commons for faculty and students across the university. Sociology founded The Cincinnati Project, which provides grants to faculty and graduate students to conduct research benefitting disadvantaged Cincinnati communtiies and the agencies that serve them. Sociology also co-founded the Ohio Policy Evaluation Network (OPEN).  OPEN is an interdisciplinary research network that assesses reproductive health equity, access and autonomy in the context of federal and state laws, regulations and policies.

Finally, Sociology is one of 14 departments affiliated with the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, which provides dissertation fellowships, summer funding, and money for research expenses.

Click here to apply to our graduate programs!
We also have a new PhD brochure. You can check it out here!

Summer Research Program

What did YOU do to kick off the summer?

During the week between spring semester final exams and the start of summer classes, Sociology brought together 25 undergrad students from around the Cincinnati area for our Summer Research Opportunity Program, “Social Science in the Real World.” Students participated in a full week of hands-on research methods workshops delivered by UC Sociology and other faculty and grad students as well as alumni of our program who use research in their jobs. Workshop topics included: community-engaged research, coding qualitative data, using Census data to understand neighborhoods, and conducting focus groups. Each student received a voice recorder and microphone so they can conduct their own future research, and we provided lunch each day of the program.

Our keynote speaker on the final day was Dr. Lauren Jade Martin, previously a tenured sociology professor, who now works as a Senior UX Researcher at JPMorgan Chase in New York City. She spoke about the many varied and exciting career paths for social science majors and minors and her experience conducting research in the academic world and the corporate world.

Student participants represented several area colleges and universities and a wide range of majors, from neurobiology to international affairs to fine arts. Participants say they appreciated the chance to learn from faculty and applied researchers about how social science methods can be used beyond the classroom. One participant said, “I enjoyed how hands-on the program was. It's one thing to learn these concepts, but to get to practice them too is a real benefit.”

Thank you to all our program sponsors and supporters: The P&G Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, UC’s College of Arts & Sciences, The Cincinnati Project, and Langsam Library!

Collage of students participating in the summer research program
Collage of students and faculty at the end of year celebration

Students and faculty members celebrate the end of another academic year at the department's award ceremony.

Welcome New Fall 2022 Faculty!

Photo of Oneya Okuwobi

Oneya Fennell Okuwobi is an incoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her work incorporates the sociology of religion, race, and organizations to interrogate how diversity initiatives in religious and secular organizations affect racial inequality. Her research finds that activities around diversity often become constitutive of experiences of marginalization rather than ameliorative for people of color. Her work has been supported by the Louisville Foundation and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and has appeared in American Sociological Review, Sociology of Religion, and Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, among other outlets. Oneya graduated with a Ph.D. in Sociology from The Ohio State University, an M.Div. in Practical Theology from Regent University, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia. 

Photo of Letisha Brown

Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown is an incoming Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology.  She is a Black feminist sociologist with a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of Northern Colorado where she was a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholar. She also holds a M.A. and PhD. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin where she developed an interest in the study of race, sport, and society. She is currently working on her first book under advanced contract with Rutgers University Press, Say Her Name: Centering Black Feminism and Black Women in Sports. Her public facing work can be found in the digital publication First and Pen. In addition to race, sport, and society, Dr. Brown also studies Black women and girls in education and food studies. She teaches courses on the subjects of social inequality, race and racism, and the sociology of sports. 

Editorship of Social Problems Journal

The Department of Sociology is excited to begin our second term as editors for Social Problemsthe official publication of The Society for the Study of Social Problems. The journal is co-edited by Drs. Annulla Linders, Derrick R. Brooms, and Earl Wright II (Rhodes College).

UC Sociology in the Media


WVXU: Companies are losing ground on DEI efforts

June 2, 2023

Littisha Bates is a featured guest on WVXU's Cincinnati Edition to discuss the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Bates is UC's associate dean for inclusive excellence and community partnerships.


What is Sociology?

April 26, 2023

Sociology is a field of study that offers much more than just an understanding of the social world we live in. It provides a comprehensive insight into human behavior, social structures, and social change in a constantly evolving world. Katherine Castiello Jones, the undergraduate program director of the sociology department within UC’s College of Arts and Sciences, attests to its everyday significance. “Sociology is everywhere,” she says. “It can help us understand all different facets of our everyday lives. Sociology is very useful because it helps us make connections between our own individual experiences and the larger social forces that are having impacts on our lives.”


UC’s Miss Kuamka recognized for anti-discrimination platform

February 17, 2023

At a formal-dress celebration in early February, fourth-year UC sociology student Karrington Rainey passed the title of Miss Kuamka to her successor, Jaela Kennedy at the 24th Annual Kuamka Ball. Kennedy, a second-year law and society major in the College of Arts and Sciences, was selected from a field of candidates for her platform centered around The Crown Act. Since 1999, the African American Cultural and Resource Center (AACRC) has sponsored this staple event that marks the celebration of Black students at UC. Each year, the AACRC receives entries from candidates who participate in five rounds of competition: essay, interview, platform, question-and-answer and talent. This is the second consecutive year that A&S students have been recognized with the Miss Kuamka title. “Interested students fill out an application answering why they want to become a candidate. Through the process, you get to decide what the university needs to see more of and create a platform around it,” said Kennedy of her candidacy experience. Kennedy chose The Crown Act, created in 2019 in California to advance protections against discrimination based on natural hairstyles such as braids, locs, twists and knots in housing, the workplace and public schools. The initiative was co-founded by the Crown Coalition and Dove, a company that has been active in campaigns celebrating natural beauty and self-acceptance. “The Crown Act is a set of initiatives and laws that prevent race-based hair discrimination,” Kennedy says. Though Cincinnati City Council passed the legislation in 2019, the topic is important to Kennedy because the laws are not yet recognized state-wide.

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