We are happy to welcome our 3 newest faculty members: Michel Estefan, Neil Gong, and Richard Pitt.
Michel Estefan received a BA in international relations and a MA in human rights from Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico City). He received a MA in Latin American studies and a MA and PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a political sociologist that studies the rule of law from a comparative and historical perspective and a committed teacher with a practice and research focus on inclusive and equitable pedagogy. His current work in political sociology uses the empirical cases of twentieth century Spain and Mexico to unearth the authoritarian foundations of the rule of law.
Neil Gong received his B.A. from New York University and his Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA. His research uses diverse empirical cases to study power and social control in modernity, with a particular focus on understanding American liberalism and libertarianism. To this end, he has investigated civil liberties dilemmas in psychiatric care and the maintenance of social order in a “no rules” fight club.
Richard Pitt has a B.S. (Secondary Education) and M.Ed. (Counselor Education) from Penn State University and an M.A. and Ph.D (Sociology) from the University of Arizona. His research primarily contributes to two sub-disciplines: sociology of religion and sociology of education. Within these broad fields of inquiry, his work tends to focus on social identity, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality. A (sociological) social psychologist by training, his methodological toolkit includes everything from qualitative content analysis, interviews, and focus groups to the quantitative analysis of both his own large surveys and pre-existing datasets. Professor Pitt’s main focus is on the social construction and maintenance of social identity, particularly the intersection of social group identities (gender, race, sexuality) and religious, academic, and professional identities.