UT-Austin Sociology Graduates Ready to Change the World
Posted: June 8, 2012
Dr. Chris Pieper (Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Baylor University) graduated from Southwestern University with a BA in Communication with Honors in 1996 and an MA in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin in 1998. He earned his doctorate in Sociology from UT-Austin in 2011. Prior to returning to academia in 2004, Dr. Pieper was for six years Communications Director at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a research and advocacy organization working on behalf of low-income Texans. He most recently served as Visiting Instructor in Sociology at the College of William and Mary.
Dr. Pieper reflects on his time at UT:
I have taught at three universities since becoming a doctoral candidate at Texas in 2007 — Southwestern University, the College of William and Mary, and Baylor University. At each one, I found that my UT training had prepared me well for nearly every kind of classroom, intellectual, and departmental challenge. Many of these lessons were learned from my UT classmates through countless hours of conversation and bonding outside of the classroom. The great Gideon Sjoberg [Professor Emeritus] told me when I started the program in 2004 that this would be the case, and, of course, he was right, though I was skeptical at first. The importance of close relationships with fellow students cannot be overstressed, and UT is peerless in cultivating a climate that makes this possible and easy.
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Currently, Dr. Pieper is working on a book manuscript of his dissertation project, Prophets & Protest, which analyzes changes in Christian social movements since 1960. His research interests include religious activism, social theory, media and culture, and political sociology. He teaches introductory sociology, Senior Colloquium, and other undergraduate level courses at Baylor University.