Department of Sociology

  • UAB’s Verna Keith receives the 2019 James R. Greenley Award

    Keith was recognized for her commitment and work ethic in the field of social inequalities and health.

  • Study: Violent victimization among youths is linked to risky sexual behavior

    For young people, being the victim of violence can lead to risky sexual behavior.

  • Lecture series bring CAS faculty research into the spotlight

    The monthly Haddin Forum provides a venue for arts and sciences faculty a venue to talk about their research.

  • New book by UAB’s Drentea examines the future of families

    A UAB professor has published a first-of-its-kind book on millennials and aging.

  • 3 researchers build interdisciplinary teams to tackle big issues in their field

    The College of Arts and Sciences awarded $30,000 each to Jeff Morris, Magda Szaflarski and Zina Trost to fund projects that foster connections, ask big questions and find big solutions.

  • Faculty save students $1.1 million on course materials

    By creating online assets in Canvas, using rental textbooks or older editions and seeking out free online resources, 17 UAB faculty, powered by AIM grants, have saved students more than $1.1 million on instructional materials.

  • Dr. Mike Wilson and Professor Becky Trigg Endowed Award

    Friends, family, colleagues, and admirers of Dr. Michele “Mike” Wilson and Professor Becky Trigg have made generous gifts to create an endowed award in the Department of Sociology.

    Friends, family, colleagues, and admirers of Dr. Michele “Mike” Wilson and Professor Becky Trigg have made generous gifts to create an endowed award in the Department of Sociology. The scholarship will be used to provide financial assistance to students in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. The endowment honors Dr. Mike Wilson and commemorates Professor Becky Trigg for their dedication and commitment to improve the lives of women.

    Dr. Wilson was born in Puerto Rico in 1942 and earned her doctoral degree from the University of Connecticut in 1978. Ms. Trigg was born in Hueytown, Alabama in 1955, and received her master’s degree from The University of Alabama in 1983. Both women were members of the Southern Sociological Society and were dedicated and committed in working toward women's equality.

    Dr. Wilson and Professor Trigg have received various honors and awards throughout their careers including the 2006 President’s Diversity Award from the UAB Women’s Studies Program, given to Dr. Wilson, and the 2007 IMPACT award from Sociology students honoring her for her teaching and mentoring activities, given to Professor Trigg.

    Trigg passed away November 2, 2010, and is remembered for the courage of her convictions and her integrity, empathy, fairness, and motivation of others to be their best. This scholarship memorializes her contributions and will support the Women’s and Gender Studies Program as it continues to mentor undergraduate and graduate students, and inspire students to apply their knowledge to improve the lives of others.

  • New book examines what happens when modern families meet old age

    Sociologist Patricia Drentea considers the ramifications of social patterns in the United States and shares six intriguing trends that will shape the next 50 years.

  • Educated children help women live longer, study says

    The socioeconomic resources of parents and adult children are related to women’s mortality risk in old age.

  • Online master’s in sociology program receives top ranking by

    The fully online program has been ranked No. 1 for academic quality and affordability.

  • Record number of UAB students, alumni selected for prestigious Fulbright Student Program

    Six students will travel abroad to study, teach or conduct research for the 2018-2019 academic year.

  • Department recognizes honors award recipients

    The Department of Sociology recognizes our 2018 honors award recipients.

    The Department of Sociology recognizes the 2018 honors award recipients. They are:

    • Outstanding Graduate Recipient: Soumya Niranjan
    • Outstanding Online MA Graduate Recipient: Stacey Benson
    • The William Cockerham Graduate Paper Award: Fabrice Julien
    • Outstanding Undergraduate Recipient: Madison Allen
    • The Annie P. and Ferris S. Ritchey, Sr. Endowed Scholarship Honor Recipient (2017-2018): Alex Odom
    • 2017-2018 Honor Students: Sharlese Gray and Nadia Hollings

    You can see more pictures of these talented students on the department's Facebook page.

    Nadia Hollings. Madison Allen. Alex Odom.

  • Step by step, this student is mapping a sustainable future

    Senior Nina Morgan's UAB Sustainability Asset Map offers an interactive look at dozens of green initiatives across campus and in the surrounding community.

  • The search for solutions in America's opioid crisis

    Headlines and statistics paint a grim picture of opioid abuse. But there is hope, says Anna Alford, a social work major who speaks openly about her journey of recovery to encourage others. Meet her and other UAB faculty, staff and students exploring the complex crisis and finding answers that could save lives.

  • Dr. Magdalena Szaflarski featured in publication of American Academy for HIV Medicine

    Dr. Magdalena Szaflarski has written the cover story in the December issue of HIV Specialist.

    Dr. Magdalena Szaflarski, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology, has written the cover story in the December issue of HIV Specialist, a publication of the American Academy for HIV Medicine. Dr. Szaflarski, who is also a member of the UAB Center for AIDS Research, studies religion and HIV/AIDS, Health Inequalities, and Mental and Behavioral Health, among other topics.

    The American Academy of HIV Medicine is a professional organization that supports the HIV practitioner and promotes accessible, quality care for all Americans living with HIV disease. You can read Dr. Szaflarski’s article, “Spirituality, Religion and HIV,” online (pdf)

  • Graduate students win department paper award

    Sociology graduate students Jalal Uddin and Haley Kendrick have been awarded best graduate student paper and honorable mention.

    Jalal Uddin.Jalal Uddin has been awarded the first ever William Cockerham Award for Best Graduate Student Paper in Medical Sociology for his article “Couple’s Participation in Household Decision-Making, Marital Power, and their Influence on Contraceptive Use: Empirical Evidence from South Asia.”

    Haley Kendrick has been awarded honorable mention for her article “Are Religion and Spirituality Barriers or Facilitators to Treatment for HIV: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” published in 2016 in AIDS Care.

  • UAB to host 2017 peace and justice studies conference

    The 2017 Peace and Justice Studies Association conference will bring activists, scholars and educators from around the world to UAB.

  • New Degrees, New Department Names

    At recent Board of Trustees meetings, two new degrees and two new department names were approved.

    The College now offers two new degrees to undergraduate and graduate students, both of which were approved at recent Board of Trustees meetings.

    The new Bachelor of Science in Medical Sociology will be a part of the slate of degrees currently offered by the Department of Sociology, including the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (Social Psychology concentration), the Master of Arts in Applied Sociology, and the Doctorate in Medical Sociology.

    The new Master of Arts in Anthropology of Peace and Human Rights is a new graduate degree in the Department of Anthropology. The program focuses on peace as behavioral process among individuals, families, groups, communities, cultures and nations. The new degree complements the educational and outreach activities of the recently established UAB Institute for Human Rights.

    Also approved at recent Board of Trustees meetings are the new names for two departments: Criminal Justice (formerly Justice Sciences) and Computer Science (formerly Computer and Information Sciences).

    For more information on our programs and departments, visit

  • Nine Departments Welcome New Faculty Members

    This fall, new faculty members join the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Criminal Justice, the Department of English, the Department of Music, the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Social Work, the Department of Sociology, and the Department of Theatre.

    Communication Studies

    Computer Science

    Criminal Justice




    Social Work



    • Dr. Roy Lightner, Assistant Professor

  • New Chairs, New Faculty Join the College

    This fall, we welcomed several new faculty members, a new chair for the Department of Sociology, and three interim chairs. We are proud to have all of them in leadership and academic positions and are excited to see what they accomplish at UAB.

    This fall, we welcomed several new faculty members, a new chair for the Department of Sociology, and three interim chairs. We are proud to have all of them in leadership and academic positions and are excited to see what they accomplish at UAB.

    Verna Keith Named Chair of Sociology

    Dr. Verna Keith will begin her new position as chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Sociology on January 1, 2018. Dr. Keith comes to UAB from the Department of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University, where she has been a professor and director of the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute (RESI). She received her B.S. in sociology in 1974 from the State College of Arkansas, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Kentucky in 1979 and 1982.

    Dr. Keith has held an affiliated faculty position in the School of Public Health at the Texas A&M Health Science Center and was associate head of the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M. Prior to that, she was professor in the Department of Sociology and Center for Demography and Population Health at Florida State University; chair of the Department of Sociology at Arizona State University, and a research fellow in the Institute of Gerontology and in the School of Public Health, both at the University of Michigan.

    Dr. Keith’s research interests include the social demography of health, particularly gender, race, and class disparities. In the interim, the department will be led by associate professor Dr. Patricia Drentea.

    Jessica Dallow Named Interim Chair of Art and Art History

    Dr. Jessica Dallow, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History, has been named interim chair of the department for a two-year period.

    Dr. Dallow received her B.A. in art history and criticism from the University of California, San Diego and then her M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She joined the UAB Department of Art and Art History faculty as an assistant professor in 2002 and was promoted to associate professor in 2008. She has served as associate chair from 2007-2011 and again in 2015. She was also acting chair of the department in 2012, and directed the master’s program in art history from 2013-2015.

    Dr. Dallow’s specializations are Modern and Contemporary American Art, African American Art, Animals in Art, and Human-Animal Relations. She teaches contemporary art history, modern architecture, art criticism and theory, race and representation, and American art to 1900, among other courses. In recent years, she has worked closely with her students to develop a digital archive documenting the history of Birmingham artists and arts workers.

    Dr. Sylvie Mrug Named Interim Chair of Psychology

    Dr. Sylvie Mrug, professor in the Department of Psychology, has been named interim chair of the department.

    Dr. Mrug has been at UAB since 2004, when she began a year-long internship in Child Clinical/Pediatric Psychology. Following that internship, she was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. She was named associate professor in 2010 and full professor in 2015. In addition, she serves as a center scientist in the Center for the Study of Community Health in the School of Public Health, a position she has held since 2008. She’s also affiliated with the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), the UAB Center for Educational Accountability and the UAB Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center.

    Dr. Mrug is a native of the Czech Republic and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Charles University in Prague. She received additional master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology and Applied Statistics at Purdue University, before completing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Purdue in 2005.

    Dr. Mrug’s work focuses on behavioral and emotional problems in adolescents and how young people’s exposure to violence and their relationship to their peers can influence the development of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and anti-social behavior.