Loyola University Chicago

Department of Sociology

Moriah Johnson and Gina Spitz Award

Moriah Johnson (second from left) and Dr. Gina Spitz (third from left) received the Chicago Innovation Neighborhood Award.

Moriah Johnson is a Sociology PhD Student and CURL Graduate Fellow. 

Dr. Gina Spitz is an Assistant Research Professor in CURL and part time Sociology instructor.

Moriah and Gina work with the Englewood Women's Initiative (EWI). The EWI is in its third year right now and have just added three more community partnerships making it a collaboration of 11 community organizations. The goal of the initiative is to provide services and programs that ultimately increase the economic stability and independence of women in Englewood using a wrap-around service model. This model means that they don't just target or serve one need at a time, but rather seek to understand the holistic needs of woman from her socio-emotional needs to her educational needs to her family goals to her economic goals. The initiative sees it all as connected and equally important. Outside of our model, the initiative is unique because it is woman funded (Chicago Foundation for Women), women-led (each partner org is represented by a woman and/or run by women) and women-researched (Moriah Johnson, Dr. Gina Spitz and the CURL team).

Environmental Sociology Kayaking

Students from Prof. Maria Akchurin’s environmental and urban sociology classes explored the north branch canal of the Chicago River by kayak.

Professor Maria Akchurin’s class visited floating islands installed by Urban Rivers, a Chicago-based organization working to create natural habitat and recreational public space on the waterway. The restoration project is a great site for students to experience urban nature, learn about local environmental efforts in a deindustrializing landscape, and reflect on how to make such green spaces inclusive and accessible for city residents.

Environmental Sociology is offered Fall 2020, Tuesday/Thursday, 11:30am to 12:45pm. See Locus and/or contact the Sociology Department for more information.

Jennifer Cossyleon
Jennifer Cossyleon, a 2018 Ph.D. graduate of the Sociology Department, has this year both received the 2019 CBSM Mayer N. Zald Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Graduate Student Paper Award for her paper titled “'Coming Out of My Shell': Motherleaders Contesting Fear, Vulnerability, and Despair through Family-focused Community Organizing,” and has been appointed as Policy Advisor for Community Change through the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program.

About Us

Welcome to Loyola University Chicago’s Department of Sociology. From our faculty, to our graduate students, to our undergraduate majors, our department is a place for intellectual growth, a commitment to understanding and engaging major societal challenges, and collegial fellowship. Through research and publication, in-class teaching, and out-of-the-classroom experiences, members of the department reach out in the best tradition of both the sociological discipline and the social justice commitment of Jesuit universities.

Many challenges and problems confront our globalizing world, and a perspective that can examine these locally, nationally, or internationally is vital. At Loyola we have people—faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students—studying contemporary immigration, gender representations in the mass media, how cities thrive, racial diversity in American workplaces, religiously motivated environmentalism, and the politics of food and nutrition, to name just a few topics.