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Painting by Paul Gaugin


Alpha Kappa Delta - The Sociology Honor Society

The University of Rhode Island's Department of Sociology has been a chartered member of the Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) International Sociology Honor Society since 1959. This prestigious International Society was founded in 1920 to "promote excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology, research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition." Junior and Senior Sociology majors whose Sociology and overall GPAs are 3.2 or better receive a letter of invitation to join late in the fall semester each year.

Students who accept the invitation are required to pay a small dues fee to the Society, and submit a short essay to the faculty advisor at URI (details in the invitation). An induction ceremony is held each April that is open to faculty, staff, students and their families to welcome new initiates into the Society, and to congratulate them for their accomplishments. The initiates are provided the option to wear the AKD tassel at graduation. They are also awarded certificates, AKD pins, and receive a one-year subscription to the journal Sociological Inquiry. For further information, please contact Professor Judy Van Wyk at

News & Announcements

New Faculty in Sociology:

Dr. Melanie S. Brasher has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University in 2013. Prior to coming to URI, Dr. Brasher was a visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College. Her appointment is a joint appointment in Sociology and in Human Development and Family Studies where she will participate in the Gerontology program. For more info click here.

Dr. Hilda Lloreans has joined the department as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut in 2005. Prior to coming to URI, she was a visiting Assistant Professor at Brown University and a Lecturer at Middlebury College. She has also held positions as a Research Associate at the University of Puerto Rico and at the Institute for Community Research in Hartford, Connecticut. For more info click here.

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,