Skip to main content
Painting by Paul Gaugin

About Us

Sociology and Anthropology at URI is unique in a number of ways:

  • a close community of faculty with a broad spectrum of interests
  • three different degree programs each with the flexibility to meet individual interests
  • nationally and internationally known faculty who teach courses at all levels of the curriculum, from introductions to the field to senior seminars and independent study
  • exciting opportunities for experiential learning in criminal justice, archaeology, sustainable indigenous agriculture, coastal cultures and fisheries, human services, and more
  • supporting students through the provision of individual attention and personalized advising


What's Happening Now


Kris Bovy and her work with what she calls "bird bones" will receive international recognition in Winter 2011. Kris is publishing "Archaeological Evidence for a Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) Colony in the Pacific Northwest, USA" in Waterbirds, an international journal on waterbird ecology and conservation. The double-crested cormorant is, as you can see, one cool-looking bird.


Carlos Garcia-Quijano (along with Tomas A. Carlo-Joglar, and Javier Arce-Nazario) will be publishing "Human Ecology of an 'Invasion': Interactions Between Humans and Introduced Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana) in a Puerto Rican Estuary" in the prestigious journal, Human Organization in Spring 2011. That's the green iguana to the left, not Carlos.


Helen Mederer

Helen Mederer, Professor of Sociology, and Barbara Silver, Director of the University's NSF Advance Project have become nationally-known advocates for family-friendly policies in America's colleges and universities. The pair presented their findings at the national conference of College and University Work/Family Association held at Harvard University. Mederer and Silver urged institutions to take a distinctly sociological view of interactions between colleagues and between colleagues and supervisors (chairs, deans, etc.).

Barbara Silver In addition, they urged close attention be paid to the underlying cultural imagery of the "ideal worker" whose career is his overriding concern while domestic concerns, including children, are left as the primary responsibility of a "stay-at-home wife." A fuller discussion of this important work can be found here.

What Students Are Saying

Professor Leo Carroll enlightened my views and broadened my perspective on things, He was that teacher who opened my eyes. He kept me interested and made me want to learn more.

Greg Borrelli, Sociology B.S., summa cum laude 2010

News & Announcements

New Faculty in Sociology:

Julie Keller Julie C. Keller has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to URI, Professor Keller was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Oberlin College.


Early Career Faculty Research Award

For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award.

Assistant Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!

Department contacts

Department Chair
Leo Carroll,

Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
Professor Leo Carroll,

Administrative Assistant
Theresa Nobile,