Sociology Faculty


Lucia Cantero

Assistant Professor

Lucia E. Cantero is a scholar interested in the politics of visual culture, race and consumerism in urban Brazil, especially on the cusp of mega-events. She is currently finishing her doctoral work in the Department of Anthropology and African American Studies at Yale University. Prior to that she received her Bachelors and Masters in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Her work has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. She just completed a year-long lectureship at the University of Chicago.


Howard De Nike

Adjunct Professor

Howard J. De Nike graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1964 with a degree in philosophy, and USF School of Law in 1967 with a Juris Doctorate. Following 23 years of law practice with an emphasis in military matters, De Nike obtained a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of New Mexico, with a dissertation on the fate of the jurists of East Germany after German unification. Professor De Nike has taught at San Francisco State University, University of New Mexico, and the Fromm Institute. He has also worked and taught in Cambodia, Ukraine, Armenia, West Bank/Gaza, Guyana, and Afghanistan.

Tel:(415) 422-5217

Joshua Gamson


Joshua Gamson received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and taught for nine years at Yale University before joining the USF faculty. Among his publications are the books Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America; Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity; and The Fabulous Sylvester.  

Tel:(415) 422-4132

Danny Gascón

Assistant Professor

Danny Gascón received his MA and BA in Criminal Justice at California State University, San Bernardino, and earned his Ph.D. in Criminology, Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests lie at the intersection of urban criminology, law and society, and race and ethnic relations, and is principally concerned with critical approaches to the study of urban policing, punishment and inequality, and gang and youth culture. Danny currently teaches Criminology, Juvenile Justice, Policing, and the Sociology of Law. 


Lindsay Gifford

Assistant Professor

Lindsay Gifford holds a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Anthropology through UCLA. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Boston University in 2009. Her research focuses broadly on the public sphere in the Middle East, with her current project looking into spatio-temporal patterns of violence in Baghdad since the inception of the 2003 US-led war and Iraqi refugee perceptions of and strategies toward those patterns internationally.


George Gmelch


Dr. Gmelch is Professor of Anthropology at the University of San Francisco. He is a cultural anthropologist who studies tourism, sport, migration, and environmental anthropology with most of his fieldwork concentrated in Ireland, the Caribbean, and Alaska.

Tel:(415) 422-4453

Sharon Gmelch


Sharon Bohn Gmelch earned her Ph.D in cultural anthropology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Her interests include visual anthropology, gender, ethnicity, and tourism.  She is the author of eight books, most recently Tasting the Good Life: Wine Tourism in the Napa Valley.


Rabia Kamal

Adjunct Professor

Rabia Kamal received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her areas of expertise include cultural and visual anthropology, religious and racial politics in the U.S., and the use of social media and new technologies for identity formation and political engagement. Her dissertation focuses on the cultural politics of belonging and identity among Asian American and African American Muslim artists and activists in post-9/11 America. She has also worked and lived in Germany, the Middle East, Pakistan, and Singapore.

Tel:(415) 422-6914

Christopher Loperena

Assistant Professor and Co-Director

Christopher Loperena is an assistant professor of International Studies. He received his Ph.D. in the African Diaspora Program in Social Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also earned an M.A. in Latin American Studies. His teaching and research interests include black and indigenous social movements in Latin America, race and gender, citizenship, environment and development, and anthropological research methods. Specifically, Dr. Loperena's scholarship examines Garifuna struggles over land and cultural resources against the backdrop of neoliberal tourism development on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. He has collaborated on numerous studies with the Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH) and the Caribbean and Central America Research Council (CCARC). He was the Cesar Chávez Fellow in Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies (2011-12) at Dartmouth College before assuming his position at the University of San Francisco. Dr. Loperena has also received fellowships and research support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Inter-American Foundation. He is currently preparing a book manuscript based on his dissertation field research.   Chris also serves as the Co-Director of the Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) Program.

Tel:(415) 422-5173

Noriko Milman

Assistant Professor

Noriko Milman received her B.A. in Women's Studies and Sociology, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology, all from UCLA. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst before joining the faculty at USF in 2012. She currently teaches several courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Research Methods, Sociology of Education, and Urban Education.

Tel:(415) 422-4155

Dan Morgan

Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Daniel Morgan has published articles in the fields of education and sociology, and is coauthor of an Introductory Sociology textbook, Welcome to Sociology, currently in its fourth edition. Much of his work has been with Hawai`i's mahuwahine population, in the context of school violence and social outcomes. Dan earned a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Miami, and a Doctorate degree in Education from the University of Southern California. He teaches Introduction to Sociology and Writing in Sociology. Dr. Morgan is also an editorial board member for a sociology journal, and an adviser for the International Foundation for Comprehensive Sexual Health and Education:


Monique Morris

Adjunct Faculty

Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. is an author and social justice scholar with more than 20 years of professional and volunteer experience in the areas of education, civil rights, juvenile and social justice. Dr. Morris is Co-Founder of The National Black Women’s Justice Institute and a consultant for a number of national social justice and civil rights organizations. She is a 2012 Soros Justice Fellow, the former Vice President for Economic Programs, Advocacy and Research at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the former Director of Research for the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the UC Berkeley Law School. Dr. Morris’ research intersects race, gender, education and justice to explore the ways in which Black communities are uniquely affected by social policies. Dr. Morris is the author of the book, Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century (The New Press, 2014), the novel, Too Beautiful for Words (MWM Books, 2012); and a forthcoming book on the criminalization of Black girls in schools (The New Press, 2015).


Elizabeth Peña

Adjunct Faculty

Elizabeth S. Peña is Interim Director of the Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She has held leadership positions in archaeology, art conservation, and museum studies. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in Archaeology from Boston University. 

Tel:(415) 422-5760

Nicole Raeburn

Associate Professor

Nikki earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Ohio State University. She teaches sociology classes on Youth and Activism; Diversity of American Families; U.S. Inequalities and Social Justice; Feminism, Gender, and the Body; and Sex and Sexualities, an earlier version of which she prepared as the Sociology Department's first LGBTQ studies course back in 1998. Her research has mostly focused on the mobilization, strategies, and outcomes of the workplace movement for lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights in corporate America, universities, and government-sector employment.

Tel:(415) 422-5414

Kimberly Richman

Associate Professor

Kimberly Richman received her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include law and society, crime and deviance, family law, gender and sexuality, and reintegrative programming for prison inmates. She is the author of the book Courting Change (NYU Press) and multiple articles and book chapters. She is also President of the non-profit Alliance for C.H.A.N.G.E.

Tel:(415) 422-6112

Evelyn Rodriguez

Associate Professor

Professor Rodriguez graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from UC San Diego as a Sociology major/Ethnic Studies minor; and received her M.A. and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley's Sociology program. She has taught Sociological Methods, Asian and Pacific Islanders in U.S. Society, People of Mixed Descent, U.S. Immigration and Settlement, and Community Organizing.

Tel:(415) 422-5624

Cecília Santos

Associate Professor

Cecília MacDowell Santos received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She teaches courses on gender and development, globalization, sociology of law, and Brazilian culture and society. Her research focuses on legal mobilization within and across national borders, violence, memory, and women's and human rights. She is interested in investigating how legal mobilization relates to politics and shapes the recognition of violence and subjects of rights on the basis of gender, race, class, and/or sexual orientation. This was examined in her book, Women's Police Stations: Gender, Violence, and Justice in São Paulo, and guides her current projects on transnational legal mobilization and human rights in Brazil and in Portugal.

Tel:(415) 422-5482

Stephanie Sears

Associate Professor

Stephanie Sears is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of the African American Studies Program at USF. Professor Sears received her Ph.D. from Yale University's joint program in African American Studies and Sociology. Her research interests include gender, race and ethnicity, youth cultures, and dance. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her research examines the ways race, class, gender, sexuality, and generation intersect and interact in complex and contradictory ways often simultaneously reproducing oppression and facilitating empowerment. These theoretical concerns and interdisciplinary approach formed the basis of her book, Imagining Black Womanhood, and drive her current research project on girlhood, identity, and dance.

Tel:(415) 422-4375

Hwaji Shin

Associate Professor

Hwaji Shin joined the Sociology Department at the University of San Francisco as a full-time Assistant Professor in 2007 after completing her Ph.D. in Sociology at SUNY Stony Brook. Between 2008 and 2010, she was a visiting assistant professor and Japan fund fellow at Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies at Stanford University where she researched and lectured on race and ethnic relations in modern Japan.


John Stover

Assistant Professor

John Stover, PhD has served as both an Assistant Professor (term, 2013-14 & 2015-16) and Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco since 2008. John's original Master's-level research earned Loyola University Chicago's very first award for excellence in graduate student research and was published in a special edition of Nova Religio (2008). John's dissertation research (2012, 2013) highlights the artistic and political intersections of documentary filmmaking and social activism, and; he articulates how filmmakers engage in a process of socially constructing realities that are aligned, and sometimes misaligned, with the movements and issues they seek to advance.

Tel:(415) 422-6136

Jennifer Turpin


Jennifer Turpin became Academic Vice President and Provost on June 1, 2010. She previously served as Dean of USF's College of Arts and Sciences from 2003-2010, having previously served as Associate Dean for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. She joined USF's faculty in 1991 after receiving her doctorate in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. During her years on the USF faculty, she received USF's Distinguished Teaching Award and the College Service Award. She founded USF's Women's Studies Program and served as Chair of the Sociology Department.

Tel:(415) 422-2648

Michael Webber

Professor / Vice Provost

Professor Webber has an extensive background in Sociology and his research concentrates on how business is connected to political processes in the United States. He is an expert on the New Deal era, having authored two books and countless research articles on the subject. He served as the Dean of the School of Management from 2011 to 2014. Under his leadership, the school was re-accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the premier business accreditation and management thought-leadership organization in the world.

Tel:(415) 422-5485

Stephen Zavestoski


Stephen Zavestoski received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington State University. He teaches courses in the area of Environmental Sociology. Dr. Zavestoski's research areas include environmental sociology, social movements, sociology of health and illness, and urban sustainability. He has published more than 40 articles and book chapters and co-edited Social Movements in Health (2005, Blackwell) and Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science, and Health Social Movements (2012, UC Press). 

Tel:(415) 422-4643

Rue Ziegler

Adjunct Professor

Rue Ziegler received her M. Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University in the UK.  Before coming to USF she taught at Cambridge and at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Her previous training and professional experience is in architecture and urban studies. At USF Ziegler teaches the Anthropology of Food and Anthropology and Global Health. In addition to teaching, she manages a research firm specializing in the history of land use in northern California.