Economic Sociology

Rene Almeling (ext. site) Ph.D.

Cohort 15 — Berkeley/UCSF
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Public Health
Yale University, New Haven, CT

Dr. Almeling received her PhD in sociology from UCLA in 2008. Her research interests are in gender, markets, medicine, and genetics. She recently completed a book, Sex Cells: The Medical Market in Eggs and Sperm, which compares how reproductive cells, and the women and men who donate them, are culturally and economically valued (University of California Press). This project received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. As a Scholar, she interviewed genetic counselors for a new research project on how gendered ideas about bodies shape the presentation of genetic knowledge. She also initiated a survey research project on women's experiences of in vitro fertilization. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University.

Discipline: Sociology

Damon Centola (ext. site) Ph.D.

Cohort 13 — Harvard
Associate Professor of Communications, and Director, Network Dynamics Group
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Centola received his PhD in Sociology from Cornell University. He was an NSF IGERT Fellow in Non-linear Dynamics and Complex Systems.  He is currently a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Centola's work addresses the theory of how behaviors spread through social networks. His research uses computational models and online experiments to study innovation diffusion, social epidemiology and cultural evolution.  His papers have been published across several disciplines, including sociology, physics and public health, appearing in journals such as Science, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, and the American Journal of Sociology. His work received the American Sociological Association’s Award for Outstanding Article in Mathematical Sociology in 2006, 2009, and 2011, and has garnered the ASA's Goodman Award for Outstanding Contributions to Sociological Methodology. He has developed new computational and experimental technologies, including the NetLogo Agent Based Modeling environment, and was awarded a U.S. Patent for inventing a method for building online networks to promote diffusion.  Recent popular accounts of Damon’s work have appeared in The New York Times, Wired, and CNN.  His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation.

Discipline: Sociology

Jacob E. Cheadle (ext. site) Ph.D.

Cohort 12 — Michigan
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

Dr. Cheadle received his PhD in Sociology and Demography from Pennsylvania State University. He is also co-director of the Bio-sociology of Minority Health Disparities Research Lab with his colleague, Dr. Bridget Goosby. His research focuses on how social processes intersect with biological processes to create individual variation in social functioning and health from late childhood and into adulthood. For example, they are currently studying how experiencing racial discrimination interacts with stress physiology to shape health disparities in a community sample. In the laboratory, they are interested in how peer pressure can bias adolescent and college students’ decision-making towards risky behaviors. The different projects he is involved in seeks to integrate measures at multiple levels of analysis including social networks, physiology, neurobiology, and genetics. They are also interested in social experiences and health over daily to long-term time scales, and using survey and experimental methods.

Discipline: Sociology

Nicole Esparza (ext. site) Ph.D.

Cohort 14 — Harvard
Associate Professor of Public Affairs, Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Esparza received her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University in 2007. Her research interests include organizational dynamics, urban inequality, and economic sociology.  Dr. Esparza's dissertation used a multi-method approach to examine nonprofit organizations in twenty-six U.S. metropolitan areas.  This research explored how inter-organizational dynamics and social and political context affect the distribution of homeless services.  As a Scholar, she studied hospital patient “dumping,” a practice in which hospitals avoid high-cost patients by refusing to admit, transferring, and/or releasing patients in unstable conditions.

Discipline: Sociology

Mark C. Suchman (ext. site) Ph.D.

Cohort 6 —
Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology
Brown University, Providence, RI

Dr. Suchman received his PhD from Stanford University and his JD from Yale University. His interests are Sociology of Organizations; Sociology of Law; Economic Sociology; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Professions; Healthcare. He is currently writing a book on the role of law firms in Silicon Valley, and he is midway through a multi-year project on the organizational, professional, and legal challenges surrounding new information technologies in health care. He has also written on organizational legitimacy, on inter-organizational disputing practices, on the "internalization" of law within corporate bureaucracies, and on social science approaches to the study of contracts.

Discipline: Sociology

Edward T. Walker (ext. site) Ph.D.

Cohort 16 — Michigan
Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Sociology
Director of Undergraduate Education
University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Walker received a PhD in sociology from Pennsylvania State University in 2007. Formerly on the faculty of the University of Vermont, he joined the Department of Sociology at UCLA following his time as an RWJF Scholar. Dr. Walker’s scholarly interests include civil society, political participation, organizations, social movements, and the non-profit sector. His work appears in such venues as the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Problems, andPublic Opinion Quarterly. His current projects include a longitudinal study of community organizations across the U.S., research on how business contexts shape protest, and an NSF-supported examination of the influence of professional public affairs campaigns on political participation and policy.  His book on the latter topic, Grassroots for Hire, is under contract with Cambridge University Press. As an RWJF Scholar, he examined the role of inter-organizational networks in shaping the philanthropic activity of pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, device manufacturers, providers, medical sales companies, and medical research firms.

Discipline: Sociology