About

I am a recently (2018) retired sociologist whose career began at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where I taught for fifteen years (1973-1988). I then moved to an endowed chair at Tulane University where I taught for thirteen years (1988-2000), then finally settled at the University of Central Florida, where I taught for another 17 years before I  retired. You can see my entire curriculum vita which gives a complete account of everything I have written and all the speeches and talks I have given in my 44 year career.

I did my undergraduate work at Purdue University where I majored in philosophy and minored in sociology, then did my graduate work at the University of Wisconsin where I earned my PhD in 1973.

I was appointed at UCF as the Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology. In 2013, I was named a Pegasus Professor, the University’s highest faculty honor. I served from 2004 to 2017 as the Director of the UCF Institute for Social and Behavioral Sciences. I edited the scholarly journal Social Science Research from 1978 to 2014, a 36-year run that is apparently the longest editorship on record, at least in sociology. While I was at Tulane, I held an adjunct appointment in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Someone once defined sociology as “one damned thing after another” and that is not a bad summary of my career. So far, I have published 29 books, 200 scholarly articles and chapters, and another hundred or so reviews, polemics, and other short pieces. The topics on which I have written range widely from American politics to natural disasters to guns and violence to poverty, homelessness, drugs and addiction to NASCAR. I have also written on methods of survey research, the theory and practice of applied social research, and other methodological topics.

Probably my most impressive scholarly accomplishment was serving as Editor-in-Chief for the second edition of Elsevier’s International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, a massive 26-volume reference book that won First Prize for Excellence in Reference Works (All fields) from the Association of American Publisher’s Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division PROSE Awards.

Before I retired, I had a long record of professional service to numerous non-profit organizations in and around the Central Florida area and served on the Boards of Directors or in other prominent roles in the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, the Homeless Services Network, the Orlando Area Trust for the Homeless, Second Harvest Food Bank, HOPE Helps, and many others.

In conjunction with retirement, my wife Chris and I moved to St. Pete Beach on Florida’s Gulf Coast, where we live the life of retired beach bums, tend to the incessant needs of our dogs and cats, and prepare elaborate dinner parties for our friends.