Renowned sociology scholar Christopher Ellison will help build UTSA doctoral program

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Christopher G. Ellison

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(Dec. 10, 2009)--Christopher G. Ellison, a renowned sociologist specializing in religions, will join the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts in fall 2010 to serve as the Dean's Distinguished Professor of Social Science.

Ellison will join UTSA from the University of Texas at Austin with a career spanning 19 years, most recently as the Elsie and Stanley E. (Skinney) Adams Sr. Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts in the Population Research Center.

An author of two books and more than 185 articles, book chapters and manuscripts, Ellison has received more than $3.5 million in grant funding from the National Institute of Aging, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Lilly Endowment and several other agencies and foundations.

"Chris Ellison is an experienced sociologist of national stature who is both intellectually versatile and incredibly productive," said Daniel Gelo, dean of the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts. "At UTSA, he will mentor graduate and undergraduate students, while spearheading research on a wide range of important social issues."

"I am excited and honored to be joining the UTSA faculty and look forward to working and contributing in this dynamic environment," said Ellison. "In addition, plans are well underway to begin a doctoral program in sociology in the near future, and one of my responsibilities at UTSA will be to help with its development."

Ellison's research focuses on four areas:

  • Implications of religious involvement for mental and physical health and mortality risk
  • Religious variations in family life with a focus on childrearing, marital relations and domestic violence
  • Role of religious institutions, practices and values among racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States
  • Regional and religious variations in public opinion and policy preferences

Ellison is co-editor of "Religion, Families and Health: New Directions in Population-based Research" for Rutgers University Press. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy and Social Forces. He served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Religion and Abuse, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Review of Social Research and Sociology of Religion.

Ellison's honors include the Institute for Scientific Information's Highly Cited Author for 2004, the John Templeton Foundation Exemplary Paper in Humility Theology Award in 1999, the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Outstanding Young Scholar Award in Social Science and Education in 1998 and the Rapoport Centennial Endowed Assistant Professorship at the University of Texas at Austin in 1992.

His professional memberships include the American Sociological Association, Population Association of America, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and National Council on Family Relations.

Ellison received a bachelor's degree in religion and a doctoral degree in sociology from Duke University in Durham, N.C.

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