Profiles of Newly Elected Officers & Council Members


Tricia C. Bruce (PhD, University of California Santa Barbara, 2006) is a sociologist of religion and public scholar affiliated with the University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society. She is a long-time ASR member, having received the 2004 Robert J. McNamara Student Paper Award. Upon election to ASR’s Executive Council in 2020, she assumed collaborative leadership roles to deliver a fully online ASR conference (2021) and reorganize ASR’s investments into a socially responsible endowment. She brings experience as Chair of ASA’s Religion Section (2022-2023), Steering Committee Member for AAR’s Sociology of Religion Unit (2018-2021), and treasurer for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (2017-2021). Her research and consulting expertise centers religion/Catholicism and the dynamics of political, social, and organizational change. Her award-winning books and reports include Parish and Place, Faithful Revolution, American Parishes, Polarization in the US Catholic Church, and How Americans Understand Abortion (cited in the Washington Post, Atlantic, The Hill, Commonweal, and more). Her writing appears in The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, LA Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. Prior appointments include Associate Professor at Maryville College and Research Assistant Professor at Georgetown University (CARA); funders include the National Science Foundation, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Louisville Institute, and more.

Tricia Bruce’s Vision Statement

Since 1938, the Association for the Sociology of Religion (once the American Catholic Sociological Society) has welcomed scholars of religion from all continents of the world. Its journal Sociology of Religion and book series Religion and the Social Order advance leading-edge theory and research; its grants and awards uplift vital scholarship; its conference brings together people and ideas in a welcoming, professional, international, and network-building setting each year. As ASR President, I vow to lead the Association with respect for its rich history and core functions while also attending to three contemporary priorities: (1) Increasing Membership. Like many associations, ASR membership has ebbed in recent years amid challenges posed by Covid-19, travel funding, and more. I will leverage opportunities to rethink and extend the ways we attract, support, and connect scholars from around the globe. (2) Re-invigorating the Annual Meeting. Honoring our long-standing and productive synergies with ASA alongside newer hybrid models, I will revisit how we organize our gatherings as a means of increasing ASR conference participation. (3) Activating Council. My leadership will centrally engage the expertise and wisdom of ASR’s elected Council members, galvanizing collaboration and networks in support of ASR’s mission and core activities. Together with Council, executive office, membership, and broader publics, we can strengthen ASR’s long-standing commitment to scholarly community, support, and voice both now and into the future.

New Council Members

Rebecca Catto is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Kent State University. Rebecca served as Program Chair for the 2022 Association for the Sociology of Religion Annual Meeting. She is a member of the AAR Sociology of Religion Unit Steering Committee and served as Convenor of the British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group 2013 – 2016, all part of her commitment to serving the field. She gained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Exeter following a Masters in the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion at King’s College London and BA in Theology at Oxford University. Prior to joining Kent State, she worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Westminster, Lancaster University, Coventry University, and Newman University in the UK. Her current research focuses on science and religion, nonreligion, and social studies of science. She is an honorary research fellow at the University of Birmingham. Rebecca’s publications include articles in Acta Sociologica, Public Understanding of Science, Sociology Compass, and The Sociological Review, as well as the co-edited volume Religion and Change in Modern. She is currently Co-Principal Investigator on the £3.4 million ‘Science and Religion, Exploring the Spectrum: A Global Perspective’ research project running in 8 countries. Rebecca also holds an academic year 2022 – 2023 fellowship with Kent State’s Center for Teaching and Learning to research equitable and effective assessment strategies, and she and colleagues recently received NSF funding to develop the podcast ‘How do you know?’ about data and beliefs. She brings her experience in and commitments to public sociology and to international research to her Council service.

Jaime Kucinskas is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Hamilton College. In her research, she examines the multi-institutional contexts in which people experience spiritual states and meaningfulness, as well as the constitutive institutional conditions under which people engage in moral-sensemaking. She is the author of The Mindful Elite and co-editor of Situating Spirituality: Context, Practice and Power (Oxford University Press). Her work has been published in the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, the Journal for the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Social Movement Studies, and other academic and popular outlets. She has also served as the Book Review Editor for the Sociology of Religion journal and on awards committees for the ASA Sociology of Religion and Altruism, Morality and Social Solidarity sections.

Sadia Saeed is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of San Francisco (USF). She received her PhD from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Before joining USF, she held postdoctoral fellowships at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Yale University’s sociology department. Professor Saeed is a historical sociologist with substantive interests in religion and politics, international human rights, and global inequalities. Her first book Politics of Desecularization: Law and the Minority Question in Pakistan (Cambridge, 2017) examines the contentious relationship between Islam, nationalism, and rights of religious minorities in colonial India and Pakistan. She is currently working on a comparative and historical project that investigates how the place of religion in Indo-Persian societies has changed in the course of the transitions from pre-modern to early modern, and then to modern, forms of rule. Her research has been published in European Journal of Sociology, Theory & Society, Studies in Ethnicity & Nationalism, Political Power & Social Theory, Modern Asian Studies, and Critical Research on Religion among numerous other journals and edited volumes. Professor Saeed is active in the Religion network of Social Science History Association and has previously served on the program committee of American Sociological Association’s Global and Transnational Sociology section.