Rourke O’Brien and Emma Zang to Join the Yale Sociology Department

Department News
February 14, 2019

We are excited to announce that Rourke O’Brien and Emma Zang will be joining the Yale Sociology Department in Fall 2019. 

Rourke is currently Assistant Professor of Public Affairs (with a courtesy appointment in Sociology) at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was formerly a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University and a Senior Policy Advisor at the US Department of the Treasury. He received his PhD in 2014 in Sociology & Social Policy from Princeton University and his AB in Social Studies from Harvard University. His research areas include inequality and economic sociology, with substantive interests in taxation, household finance, population health and public policy. His publications have appeared in American Journal of Sociology, Demography, Social Forces, and many others. 

Emma is finishing her PhD in Public Policy (concentration: Sociology) at Duke University. She has a MA in Economics from Duke and an MPhil in Social Science from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She received her BA in Sociology from Tongji University. As a demographer, her research interests lie at the intersection of health and aging, marriage and family, and inequality. Zang’s work aims to improve the understanding of 1) how household contexts and marriage market conditions affect individual health in the long run; 2) the demographic and socioeconomic disparities in population health; 3) the pattern of inequality of opportunities; 4) how public policies affect household members’ behaviors and well-being. She is also interested in developing and evaluating methods to model trajectories and life transitions. Her publications have appeared in American Journal of Sociology, Demography, Social Science and Medicine, and others. 

When asked to comment on their appointments – 

Rourke: “I’m thrilled to join this outstanding group of scholars and look forward to contributing to the rich legacy and unique community that is Yale Sociology.”

Emma: “I am super excited to join the department!”