Young undocumented Latinos who gain legal status, even on a temporary basis, experience significant positive effects on their psychological well-being, according to a new study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine. UC Merced Professor Whitney Pirtle and UC Davis Professor Caitlin Patler examined the health impacts of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows...
In a recent study of young Latino immigrant adults published in Social Sience & Medicine, Caitlin Patler (UC Davis) and Whitney Laster Pirtle (UC Merced) found that current psychological wellbeing is most strongly predicted by whether or not someone has Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program status. A summary of the results of the larger study can be found in the Law Professor...
Three out of the eight students selected for the 2017 Outstanding Graduating Senior Award in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA) are sociology majors (Jovita Angel, Dakari Finister, Sarai Velasquez). A fourth student is a sociology minor (Katrina Villena).  Students received their honors at a special reception dinner with SSHA Dean Jill Robbins on the evening of May 12...
Often, when people talk about or study refugees, the focus is on policy, rescue operations or terrorism. Rarely is the conversation centered on refugees as human beings. But a new collaboration among five UC campuses — including UC Merced — is working to change that. The Critical Refugee Studies Collective (CRSC) is funded with $1.6 million for its first four years through the University of...
On May 3 the Sociology Department celebrated the graduation of 58 seniors.  Graduating students enjoyed a cake with their individual names listed. 8 majors were recognized with graduating in sociology with distinction (Jovita Angel, Dakari Finister, Sarai Velasquez, Zitlaly Sanchez, Chantel Castaneda, Guadalupe Perez, Nancy Godoy, and Yesenia Garcia).  The event was organized by the...
Assistant Professor Sharla Alegria, along with co-authors Laurel Smith-Doerr and Timothy Sacco (University of Massachusetts)  published an article in Engaging Science, Technology, and Society. This publication is the culmination of work the team completed and presented in Washington D.C. at the request of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under the Obama...
On April 6, during a faculty "meet and greet" reception with undergraduate and graduate students, the new sociology department display case was officially inaugurated.  The case will serve as a physical and visual hub on campus to highlight department achievements such as awards, books, and publications by unit members.  
Maria Dueñas was just elected to the Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) as the association's student representative.  She will now serve a 3 year term between 2017 and 2019.    
UC Merced Sociology graduate student Hyunsu Oh has been notified that he will be the recipient of the 2017 Pacific Sociological Association’s Distinguished Graduate Student Paper Award for his paper, “Immigration Pathway and Life Satisfaction.” The Award will be presented at the Pacific Sociological Association's 80th Annual Meeting in Portland in April. The Pacific...
Associate Professor Irenee Beattie has been elected President of the Sociology of Education Association (SEA).  The SEA is an international association of scholars in the fields of sociology and education that hosts an annual conference to share research and engage in discussion on issues at the intersection of sociology and education.  Her term as President will run from 2017-2019,...


Sociology Department Chair
Paul Almeida, Professor
Sociology Graduate Chair
Zulema Valdez, Associate Professor
Sociology Undergraduate Chair
Irenee Beattie, Associate Professor
Sociology (General)
Sociology (Graduate)
Sociology Mailing Address
University of California, Merced
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
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