Faculty and Staff

  • Dr. Brad Chase

    Professor and Department Chair

    Brad received his B.A. in anthropology from Northwestern University, his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007, and has been at Albion since 2008. He is an anthropological archaeologist who has participated in fieldwork in the American Midwest and Southwest, Turkey, Pakistan, and currently India, where he has been conducting research for over a decade. His teaching and research interests include the organizational dynamics of early urban societies in comparative perspective, the relationship between humans and their environments during periods of social change, and the role of material culture in the creation and maintenance of identities in the past and present. His ongoing research explores these issues in the context of the Indus Civilization in Gujarat, India, specifically focusing on changes in land-use practices and social organization with the emergence and decline of South Asia’s first urban civilization.

    Email: bchase@albion.edu

  • Dr. Scott Melzer

    W.W. Diehl Trustees Professor of Sociology

    Scott joined Albion College in 2004, after completing his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California — Riverside. He received a B.A. in sociology from the University of Florida. His teaching and research interests are in gender, social psychology, and criminology, with particular interests in intimate violence, men & masculinities, gun politics, and social change. He is co-founder and co-director of Albion College’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Scott’s research examines how men respond to threats to their statuses and identities, and includes books on American Manhood as well as the NRA. For more information, visit his website.

    Email: smelzer@albion.edu
    Phone: (517) 629-0421

  • Dr. Lynn Verduzco-Baker

    Associate Professor

    Lynn earned her Ph.D. in sociology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor after receiving her M.S. in sociology from the University of Michigan and her B.A. in English from California State University, Fresno. Her current research investigates how discourses of motherhood are negotiated by women who were low-income and teenaged (i.e., “welfare queens” and “teen moms”) when they became mothers. The findings from her work challenge the discourses, stereotypes and images of good and bad motherhood and aim to shift the conversation about low-income mothers to one of compassion and respect. Lynn approaches teaching from a social justice perspective that can be traced to her experiences as a university instructor, an English teacher at an inner-city high school and an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her teaching interests include: intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality; poverty and inequality; popular culture; family; race and ethnicity; and social panics.

    Email: lverduzco@albion.edu

  • Dr. Allison Harnish

    Associate Professor

    “Alli” is a cultural anthropologist specializing in rural livelihoods, international development, and human-environment relations. She earned a Ph.D. in anthropology as well as a graduate certificate in gender and women’s studies from the University of Kentucky after completing a B.A. in anthropology and sociology at Western Kentucky University. Prior to coming to Albion, Alli was a part-time instructor at Transylvania University and co-organizer of the annual Dimensions of Political Ecology (DoPE) Conference on Nature/Society in Lexington, KY. Her teaching integrates economic, ecological, and feminist anthropology. Her research, which has been externally supported by the Fulbright program and the National Science Foundation, explores the gender and age dimensions of development-induced migration, environmental change, and wildlife management in Zambia. Alli teaches Native North America, Africa: Peoples and Cultures, The Global Politics of Nature, Violent Environments, and Theory and Method in Anthropology.

    Email: aharnish@albion.edu

  • Dr. Matthew Schoene

    Associate Professor

    Matt is a comparative sociologist specializing in global and transnational analysis, urban studies, social movement studies and quantitative methodology. He was awarded his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 2015 and a B.A. in Sociology from Villanova University in 2009. Prior to arriving at Albion, he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Davidson College in North Carolina. Matt’s research uses multilevel modeling and quantitative methods to uncover the effect of urbanization on social movement activity in a cross-national context. His current projects include an examination of how rising inequality influenced European protest activity in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, as well as a cross-national analysis of how international media sources covered anti-austerity protests. At Albion, Matt teaches courses in Statistics, Quantitative Research Methods, Urban Sociology and Globalization, as well as future area studies courses. He is particularly excited to work with students interested in doing their own quantitative research project.

    Email: mschoene@albion.edu
    Phone: (517) 629-0603

  • Dr. Meghan Farley Webb

    Assistant Professor

    Meghan earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence after receiving her M.A. in Anthropology from California State University, Sacramento and a B.A. in Spanish and Anthropology/Sociology from Centre College. Her teaching and research interests include global health, medical anthropology, indigeneity, migration, and Latin America. Meghan has conducted long-term ethnographic research among contemporary Maya peoples in Mexico and Guatemala. Her dissertation research, which was supported by the Wenner Gren foundation, investigates gender dynamics in the context of transnational migration. Her current research project focuses on the impacts of shifting nutritional environments of rural indigenous Guatemala.

    Email: mfwebb@albion.edu
    Phone: (517) 629-0667

  • Dr. Allison Jendry James

    Visiting Assistant Professor

    Allison is a qualitative sociologist that specializes in gender inequality and families. Her work explores LGBTQ families and more specifically, LGBTQ parents. Some of her work has been featured in the Michigan Family Review. Allison has taught a variety of courses at several colleges and universities in Michigan including Mott Community College, The University of Michigan-Flint, and Wayne State University. In addition to teaching, Allison also has held various positions at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, within Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). She earned a B.A. in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan-Flint. After earning an M.A. in Sociology at Eastern Michigan University, Allison joined Wayne State University to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology.

    Email: ajendryjames@albion.edu

  • Laura Wylie

    Faculty Secretary

    Office: Robinson 318
    Email: lwylie@albion.edu
    Phone: (517) 629-0309

Faculty Emeriti

  • Dr. Len Berkey

    Faculty Emeritus

    Dr. Berkey received a B.A. from Colgate University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in sociology from Michigan State University in 1982. In the interim, he attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He retired in 2012 and moved with his wife Ramona to Tacoma, WA to be closer to family. He taught part-time at the UW Tacoma. Len’s research and teaching interests were in racial and ethnic relations, white privilege, and the formation of personal identities in multicultural societies.

    Albion Remembers Sociology Professor Len Berkey