Letter from the Chair

August 20, 2019

Dear Friends of Yale Sociology,

I have just returned from the Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association (ASA) in New York City. I served as Vice President of the association this past year, so I was especially busy at this meeting. I was excited, in my role as chair, to co-host (along with Yale Sociology Alumnus Adam R. Rose), our first Yale Sociology reception in a very long time! We were in The Reading Room at the Whitby Hotel on Sunday night, and I am certain that we had one of the most elegant and festive receptions among the many parties at ASA. So many people told me during and after the reception how delighted they were to see old friends and to meet current Yale Sociology students and faculty! Even one or two undergraduates who were interested in applying to Yale Sociology joined us. I was happy to see our faculty and students, but also thrilled to meet many alumni and other friends of the department. We also held a raffle, and the winners received Yale Sociology swag (thanks again to Adam!).

Next year, the ASA will be held in San Francisco. I am hoping to hold another reception at this meeting. Alumni – please be sure to contact our department registrar, Nancy Hopkins, nancy.hopkins@yale.edu, to update your records. I sent out a letter this summer to all of our alumni, so if you did not receive it, you are not on our mailing list!

Following our very successful recruitment efforts last year, which yielded new faculty members Rourke O’Brien and Emma Zang, we have two junior (untenured assistant professor) searches. One is in race and ethnicity, and the other in computational sociology. Please help us spread the word.

Our many centers and workshops offer talks throughout the year – you can find the schedule on our website, and you are always welcome to our talks. We are also looking for alumni volunteers to organize a “Friends of Yale Sociology” group to work on new initiatives to promote and support the department. As Chair, I am especially interested in raising funds for conference travel for our graduate students. The academic job market is increasingly difficult, and presenting their work at conferences is essential to the careers of our graduate students. Not only do they have to share their work with other sociologists, they have to attend meetings to meet other experts outside of Yale, and eventually interview for jobs at ASA and other academic conferences.

Thank you and enjoy the last days of summer!

Grace Kao

Chair and IBM Professor of Sociology