Jan Stets 
Professor Jan E. Stets is an AAAS Fellow and recipient of the Life Achievement Award of the ASA Emotions Section. From 2008-2010, she was Sociology Program Director for the National Science Foundation. She focuses on using and extending identity theory to study individual and interpersonal processes. She has been using new developments in identity theory to study emotions and the moral self.

Faculty Affiliates

Jan Stets
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.

Rengin B. Firat is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of California, Riverside. Her work cuts across sociology and neurosciences to investigate how the human mind organizes and motivates social behavior. She uses functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and multi-level and cross-national survey analysis techniques alongside traditional experimental methodology. She is particularly interested in the moral and emotional micro-dynamics of inter-ethnic perceptions, well-being and health inequalities, and group polarizations.

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).

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.

Kevin McCaffree is an Assistant Professor at University of North Texas. He is a criminologist and sociological theorist with specific interests in the sociology of morality, sociology of secularism, and the sociology of identities. Kevin’s work includes a comprehensive study of the historical and contemporary relationship between alcohol consumption and violence in the US, a new theory of morality which draws from anthropology, zoology and evolutionary sociology, and a theory of the secularization of society. Among other things, Kevin is currently pursuing theoretical research on the moral identity, and how people learn to disengage from morally-relevant situations.

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.

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 the 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.

Ryan Trettevik is a visiting post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on emotions and behavior resulting from identity processes, identity change, and the links between identities and health. She is also the Managing Editor for Production for the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Phoenicia Fares is a sociology doctoral candidate at the University of California, Riverside. She specializes in Social Psychology and Institutions and Organizations. Her research interests include theories of social interaction, small group dynamics, identity theory, and experimental methods. She is currently the Laboratory Manager for the Social Psychology Research Laboratory and Graduate Fellow for the Study of Role Taking at the Australian National University (PIs: Jenny Davis and Tony Love). She has been a Graduate Assistant for the National Foundation Grant “The Study of Social Structure, Identity, and Exchange” (PIs: Jan E. Stets, Scott V. Savage, and Peter J. Burke, 2015–2017), and is past Editorial Assistant for the American Sociological Association (ASA) journal, Social Psychology Quarterly (2014–2017), and Editorial Assistant for the ASA journal, Journal of Health and Social Behavior (2017–2019).


Graduate Students
Undergraduate Students

Jeannicet Bello 
Jeanicet Bello is a senior studying Sociology and Education. After graduating with my B.S. degree, she would like to continue on to get a master’s degree in either Sociology or Social Work and work in either low-income communities or in education. Her interests include race/ethnicity and class inequalities and how they cause and manifestations of racism, prejudice, and discrimination, and the effects of these occurrences on individuals, groups, nations, and international relations.

Caleb Hung
Caleb Hung is a sophomore sociology major and has been a research assistant at SPYRL since his freshman year at UC Riverside. He’s interested in social technology, Asian family dynamics, and mental health. He hopes to pursue a professional career in the tech industry and continue researching the effects of technological innovations on personal identity, health, and relationships. With his remaining time at UCR, he hopes to be more involved in hands-on research to dive deep into the mind of the individual and the society that surrounds them.

Dominc Lucero
Dominic Lucero is a Senior in Sociology and a transfer student. He is going to apply to graduate school in December. He is an advocate for many social causes and an avid reader of history. He plans, once he gets his Ph.D., to use it to improve and support his hometown, Moreno Valley.

Kodiak Ly 
Kodiak Ly is a sophomore sociology student at the University of California, Riverside. Their research interests include deviance, social identity, and social transformations pertaining to environmental sustainability. Current research focuses on health equity in the Inland Empire regarding transgender patients and social connection in the workplace. They would like to collaborate with labs across different disciplines to develop a holistic approach to research.

Wendy Ramos
Wendy Ramos is a 4th year Anthropology and Sociology double major at University of California – Riverside. After graduating, she is interested in going to graduate school to earn a PhD in Sociology. She is interested in researching the dynamics between crime, deviance, sex work, and their relationship with gender-based violence.