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Our faculty are well-established experts, leading cutting-edge research, creating highly collaborative outreach opportunities and building a strong foundation of scholarship. 


The Sociology Ph.D. program prepares students for teaching 
and research positions in the academic environment or professional industry. 

Social Science Café


The Social Science Cafe is a place where people come together, relax with a cup of coffee or a mug of beer, and talk about society. 

Sessions last roughly an hour and usually involve one person giving a brief discussion on a social issue or academic topic, followed by plenty of time for questions and open conversation. 

All events are free and open to the public. Our goals are to promote intellectual curiosity, encourage vigorous discussion of social issues, and build a sense of community among the diverse scholars, students and people of Morgantown, West Virginia.

Dr. Kristi Fondren (Ph.D. Mississippi State University) is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Marshall University. Her research and teaching interests focus on gender, culture, the environment, social inequality, social psychology and sports/leisure/recreation. She recently published the book Walking on the Wild Side: Long-Distance Hiking on the Appalachian Trail (2016 Rutgers University Press). 

Dr. Deborah Harris (Ph.D. Mississippi State University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Texas State University. Her research has addressed the impacts of welfare reform on low-income women and their families, as well as how the closing of military facilities affects local communities. She recently published a book with Dr. Patti Giuffre entitled Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen (2015, Rutgers University Press) 


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Research Center on Violence

The Research Center on Violence is a grant-funded organization that  researches some of the biggest issues affecting communities across the nation, including rape, robbery, and crimes against the environment. With the help of government grants and nonprofit projects, experts try to learn everything they can about violence in order to assist with prevention, awareness, and education efforts.

Learn about the center