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Stephanie J. Nawyn
  • Sociology

Stephanie J. Nawyn

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University


I entered the Department of Sociology’s doctoral program in 2000, choosing USC’s program over others because of the reputation of the faculty and their strength in gender and sexuality. During my first year I took a seminar in the Sociology of Immigration with Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, and after that I was hooked! The expertise that the Department of Sociology has in gender, migration, and research methods are top-notch, and I could not be more pleased with the scholarly training I received. But perhaps just as important, I learned how to engage in what is now called “public sociology,” translating our work for general audiences and putting our scholarly ideas into action for the public good.

I also benefited tremendously from the interdisciplinary work conducted at USC. I was awarded a dissertation research grant through the Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC), a Pew-funded interdisciplinary research center. Through that award I was able to join the Religion and Immigration working group at CRCC, which provided a wonderful intellectual space for both graduate students and faculty to discuss and present our work. Through the many conversations I had with faculty from all over the university, I learned much about how to master the craft of writing, to work collaboratively, and even how to manage university governance.

I am now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and a core faculty member of the Center for Gender in Global Context at Michigan State University. Globalization is a central theme to my current department’s work, and my training at USC prepared me well to contribute to that emphasis. I am also well-equipped to work in interdisciplinary research teams, and am engaged in research collaborations with economists, anthropologists, and even natural and medical scientists. And as a faculty member at the oldest land grant university in the United States, I have many opportunities to put my public sociology training to work, collaborating with local and state-wide refugee and immigrant organizations to produce research outcomes that benefit the immigrants in Michigan as well as producing published journal articles.