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SPYRL: Personnel

Jan E. Stets
Distinguished Professor Jan E. Stets is an AAAS Fellow, recipient of the Cooley-Mead Lifetime Achievement Award of the ASA Social Psychology Section, and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the ASA Emotions Section. She is past Sociology Program Director for the National Science Foundation, and past co-editor of Social Psychology Quarterly. She is the author of 10 books and over 100 articles and book chapters on self, identity, and emotions. She focuses on using and extending identity theory to study individual and interpersonal processes. For more information on identity theory, go to identitytheory.org
Associate Director
Amy Kroska
Amy Kroska is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. Her research applies social psychological theories to topics related to gender, mental health, crime, and the family. Her recent studies have used social psychological theories to illuminate the gender gap in business leadership, the sanctioning of white-collar criminals, the connection between a juvenile delinquency adjudication and self-meaning, and the effect of a mental illness diagnosis on group influence, social distancing, and self-meaning. Her earlier studies examined the factors that affect gender ideology, housework divisions, and the affective meanings tied to gendered roles and family work behavior.
Faculty Affiliates
Peter J. Burke
Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) and Professor of the Graduate Division & Faculty Associate Peter J. Burke is an AAAS Fellow and recipient of the Cooley-Mead Lifetime Achievement Award of the ASA Social Psychology Section. He is one of the originators of Identity Theory. His research draws on Complexity Theory, Artificial Intelligence, and Computer Simulation to understand (1) how individuals, acting as agents with particular identities, come together in interaction to create larger aggregates, groups, organizations and societies, and (2) how these social structures constrain and limit the kinds of actions that individuals can take.
Matthew Grindal
Matthew Grindal is an Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho. He is a quantitative sociologist whose research examines the theoretical mechanisms that link ethnic-racial developmental processes to the health and delinquency outcomes of adolescents and young adults. He is specifically interested in the general mechanisms specified by the social psychological literature (e.g., verification, enhancement, perceptions of threat, and intergroup attitudes) and the micro-level mechanisms traditionally employed in criminological theory (i.e. social learning, social bonds, strain, and self-control).
Will Kalkhoff
Will Kalkhoff is a professor of sociology at Kent State University. He is director of the Electrophysiological Neuroscience Laboratory of Kent and an executive committee member of the Brain Health Research Institute. He is also past chair of the Evolution, Biology, and Society Section of the American Sociological Association. His research interests include neurosociology and social psychology. Current electroencephalography (EEG) projects focus on the neurodynamics of social cohesion, group processes in challenging task environments, and the neurosociology of human interaction in digital and virtual environments. Dr. Kalkhoff and the ENLoK are also actively engaged in contracted research and development with international companies to improve digital technologies for law enforcement training and the treatment of acute and chronic stress.
Scott V. Savage
Professor Scott V. Savage is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Houston. He is a micro-theorist who specializes in exchange, identity, and status-organizing processes. His research relies on experimental and quantitative methods to investigate group life and its effects on individuals. He is particularly interested in how the self can both change and be changed by social structures.
Richard T. Serpe
Richard T. Serpe is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology at Kent State University. He is a sociological social psychologist who has been working in the area of identity theory for the past forty years. His recent research further contextualizes identity processes in terms of differential placement within the social structure. This research focuses on specifying proximal social structure, defining counter-normative identities, and exploring the relationships between identity processes and self-relevant outcomes, e.g., self-esteem, efficacy, anxiety, depression, and emotions. He is a survey researcher and has conducted or directed over 270 research projects funded by private foundations, public and private organizations, local, state, and federal agencies.
Monica Whitham
Monica Whitham is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. She specializes in social psychology, urban and community sociology, and social networks. Broadly, her work examines processes through which social actors form, maintain, and utilize social connections in order to achieve individual and collective goals. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and has been published in top sociology journals, including the American Sociological Review, Social Psychology Quarterly, and City & Community.
Other Affiliates
Allison M. Cantwell
Dr. Allison M. Cantwell is the Associate Director of Research for the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at Colorado State University. Her research interests include student identity, student behavior, and the undergraduate student experience. Allison’s current role in IRISS focuses on the integration of social science research methodology into interdisciplinary scientific research activities to support the research mission of her campus.
Phoenicia Fares
Phoenicia Fares is a recent alumnus of the sociology department at the University of California, Riverside. Her research specializations include social psychology, identity processes, digital interaction, and human-computer interaction. She also is a recent User Experience Research Intern at TikTok, where she examined users’ online sentiment and engagement with TikTok. Phoenicia’s research has been published in Social Psychology Quarterly and Social Science Research.
Research Laboratory Manager
Emily Angelo
Emily Angelo is a sociology graduate student at the University of California, Riverside. She specializes in social psychology and medical sociology. Her research interests include identity processes, socialization, and authenticity. Her current research examines the impact of childhood socialization, identity processes, and self-esteem on feelings of authenticity during emerging adulthood. Emily is currently the manager of the Social Psychology Research Laboratory, and she is involved in research projects focusing on the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on identity verification, mental health, and emotions.
Graduate Students