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Stony Brook University College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Sociology

Dear Alumni and Friends ,

I hope this finds you well during this very difficult time for so many of us. 

At this time of year, we’re typically in the midst of preparations for year-end events and activities to celebrate the achievements of our students, faculty and staff. In a short time, so much has changed due to the coronavirus situation affecting our world. Yet I’d be remiss if I did not share some of the great things that have happened in our Department. I hope you will see this as a positive, uplifting message of celebration at a time when we so greatly need to hear good news.  

In our last newsletter, we featured one of our graduate students, Aarushi Bhandari, who was on the job market. We are happy to report that she received a position at Davidson College in North Carolina! She will be beginning in August of this year, and we are excited for her to begin her new position.

Additionally, we have also had many other reasons to celebrate as a Department. One of our Emeritus faculty members, Michael Schwartz, received the 2020 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award bestowed by the American Sociological Association. This award is not only extremely prestigious and highly selective, but it demonstrates his commitment to teaching and mentorship to students in our Department.

This award is not only extremely prestigious and highly selective, but it demonstrates his commitment to teaching and mentorship to students in our Department. Similarly, one of our former graduate students, the esteemed Aldon Morris, is not only the incoming ASA President, but also the recipient of the 2020 W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award! This award is considered the highest award for scholarship within the association. 

Please read more about both Michael Schwartz and Aldon Morris below. Additionally, if you have any updates for us, please let us know. We are  always happy to share great news with our alumni and friends.

Wishing you all the best,

Katy Fallon
Professor and Chair
Department of Sociology

P.S. Many alumni and friends have asked how they can help our many at-risk students during this crisis. Please consider a donation to the  Emergency Student Support crowdfunding effort and share the link with your family and friends. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000 thanks to the Stony Brook Foundation.  If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to contact Christopher Scarpati, Director of Development, at 631.632.1202, or give directly to our Department here. Any amount is useful. Thank you.  

Michael Schwartz

Michael ScwhartzMichael Schwartz is a Distinguished Teaching Professor, Emeritus at Stony Brook University who began his 45 year sojourn career in 1970. His first book, Radical Protest and Social Structure, was short-listed for the Sorokin Award and became a foundational text for social movement scholars and activists. Michael led a team of researchers in developing the Mathematical Analysis of Corporate Networks (MacNet) project, which introduced network analysis into the study of business structure. His book (with Beth Mintz), The Power Structure of American Business was a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Award, and established Michael and his many students as leading scholars in the fields of organizational and economic sociology. 

Michael received the American Sociological Association’s 2020 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award. His qualifications for this award include mentorship of more than 100 doctoral students, including dozens whose dissertations were published as books; his training of generations of teachers; his development of new methods for graduate training; and his support for students who challenged methodological or theoretical orthodoxy in research and teaching.

Michael’s current work includes working collaboratively with colleagues, including many of his former students. Recent publications include Wrecked: How the American Automobile Industry Destroyed its Capacity to Compete (with Joshua Murray) and Levers of Power: How the 1% Rules and What the 99% Can Do About It  (with Kevin Young and Tarun Banerjee).

Aldon Morris

Aldon MorrisAldon Morris earned his PhD in sociology in 1980 from Stony Brook University. Morris is currently the Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University.  He is a former Chair of Sociology, Director of Asian American Studies and Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University. In 2019, Morris was elected   the 112th President of The American Sociological Association. He was a consultant for the award winning film, “Eyes on the Prize,” and is the author of the award winning and paradigm setting book, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement. Morris’s recent book, The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology, received a dozen awards and rewrites the historical account of sociology as a discipline. In 2018, the award winning film, “The Scholar Affirmed,” on Morris’s work and life was released. Morris is the 2020 winner of the American Sociological Association’s highest award, the “W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award.”  He has lectured widely nationally and internationally and continues his scholarship on race and social inequality.