Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Tamara Mix Awarded Sociology Dresser Professorship

Oklahoma State University Sociology professor Tamara (Tammy) Mix was recently honored as the Laurence L. and Georgia Ina Dresser Professor in Rural Sociology. The professorship is awarded for three years, with intent to bring distinction to the College of Arts and Sciences through research in sociology.

The individual chosen for this position was selected through a competitive process. Dr. Mix was chosen based on her application, qualifications and work in areas associated with the professorship.

Mix is an environmental sociologist focusing on environmental justice, inequality and social movements. She had a previous position in the department of sociology at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks before coming to OSU. Her work focuses on environmental justice addressing community dimensions of energy and resource activity, and food security and justice with an emphasis on rural communities. 

“I see this as an opportunity to continue community engaged work in rural areas and to use the funds wisely toward that end,” Mix said. “We want to better understand the experiences of rural communities.”

While not exclusively a rural sociologist, Mix has worked extensively within rural contexts particularly on issues relating to the dynamics of energy and resource activity and the impacts of food insecurity and justice. 

“Communities within the rural context are often underserved,” Mix said. “We hope to understand what community needs are and consider human relationships with the environment in order to promote greater environmental and social justice.”

The professorship also provides Mix, who is the currently the sociology department’s graduate program director, additional resources to better incorporate experiential learning into undergraduate classrooms, encourage undergraduate and graduate student involvement in research and provide potential scholarships to facilitate research activity. Mix plans for the resources to be used to enhance research training for students while they are at OSU.

The professorship offers exciting opportunities for the sociology department and for Mix, encouraging engaged research in rural areas.