Profiles of Current President, Secretary, & Council Members

President (2023-2024)

Grace Yukich, Ph.D., New York University 2010, is Professor of Sociology at Quinnipiac University, where she teaches sociology of religion, race and ethnicity, immigration, and social movements. Active for many years in ASR, she was elected to the ASR Executive Council in 2020 and is currently serving on the council, and was appointed ASR Program Chair in 2015. She also currently serves as Chair of ASR’s ad hoc Vision Committee. She is an Associate Editor of ASR’s journal, Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review, and is past Book Review Editor of the journal as well. She has served our sister organizations in various capacities, including election to ASA Religion Section as Council, and co-founding and co-chairing the section’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, as well as serving in various capacities for SSSR. She is a National Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, and an Advisory Board Member at the National Museum of American Religion. She is also a past Public Fellow at the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a past Young Scholar in American Religion Fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, and a past Religion & Public Life Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion. Her past involvement in the religion and culture programs of UCSIA (Antwerp, Belgium), IWM (Vienna), and the SSRC (New York) brought her into relationships with religion scholars around the world. She is the author of One Family Under God: Immigration Politics and Progressive Religion in America (Oxford), and co-editor (with Penny Edgell) of Religion Is Raced: Understanding American Religion in the Twenty-first Century (NYU Press). She has published many peer-reviewed journal articles on religion. Also, her writing on religion has appeared in popular media outlets such as Salon, and she has been quoted in outlets such as The Washington Post.

Grace Yukich’s Vision Statement

Covid-19 and the accompanying shifts in higher education have presented ASR with new challenges and new opportunities. We are in different times compared to ten years ago, with travel budgets cut and digital conferencing on the rise, and with an overdue recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion to the ASR’s future. I have maintained involvement in ASR over the years due to its commitment to cutting-edge scholarship, its welcoming and supportive community, and its opportunities for international networking and collaborative research. As ASR president, I intend to build new opportunities for scholarship, community, and international reach that more fully reflect the current and coming shifts in the higher education landscape. First, having worked closely with other religion organizations for years, both inside and outside the U.S., I will continue strengthening the links between ASR and those organizations to strengthen scholarship. This will allow ASR to build its networks, streamline its operations, and learn from how other religion scholars are navigating this new scholarly environment where annual meetings may need to change form to some degree. Second, I will create new opportunities for mentoring graduate students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, and for ensuring that the ASR community and leadership are diverse and inclusive. Third, I will support new initiatives to bolster the participation of scholars outside of North America—the scholars from almost 30 countries that help make the ASR the wonderful international community that it is. These initiatives will include efforts to publicize research from scholars working outside of the U.S., and to create new forums for online interaction occurring in between annual meetings that will enable better integration of scholarly networks across national borders.

Secretary (2022-2025)

Maureen Day is the Assistant Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology and Research Fellow at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. She is a sociologist of religion and award-winning author. Her books include Catholic Activism Today (NYU 2020) and Young Adult American Catholics (Paulist 2018). She has received funding for her research from University of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society, U.S. Catholic bishops, Religious Research Association, Villanova University’s Center for Church Management, and more. She regularly interfaces with the media and speaks to general audiences so that our research on religion and society can make its way into the public. Maureen is on the membership committee for the Association for the Sociology of Religion. She looks forward to connecting with ASR members over hot-off-the-press research findings and local beer each year.

Council Members

Term: 2021-2024

Katie E. Corcoran is a Professor of Sociology at West Virginia University (WVU) and co-Director of the Survey Research Center at WVU. She co-runs the Religion & Society Group at WVU, which aims to understand how religion shapes and is shaped by individuals, communities, and culture with a focus on research, training, and community engagement. She received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology as well as an M.A. in Comparative Religion from the University of Washington. She studies religion across a wide range of areas including religious identities, congregational dynamics, emotion, health, networks, science, and crime. She is passionate about mentoring students in research and teaching. She has published over 45 articles and two books the most recent one with James K. Wellman and Kate Stockly, High on God: How Megachurches Won the Heart of America (Oxford, 2020). Her work has been funded by a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the International Research Network for the Study of Belief and Science. She has served on multiple committees for the Association for the Sociology of Religion, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Religious Research Association and serves on the editorial boards for Sociology of Religion and Review of Religious Research.

Laurel Kearns is Professor of Ecology, Society and Religion at Drew Theological School and the Graduate Division of Religion of Drew University in Madison, NJ. Her sociological research is focused on religious involvement in ecological issues and movements, which is reflected in lectures she has given around the globe, including a TEDX talk. In addition to co-editing and contributing to Religion and Nature in North America, and EcoSpirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth, she has contributed chapters to volumes such as Grassroots to Global: Broader Impacts of Civic Ecology; The Oxford Handbook on Climate Change and Society; The Bloomsbury Handbook on Religion and Nature; Grounding Religion: A Field Guide to the Study of Religion and Ecology; The New Evangelical Social Engagement, The Blackwell Companion to Religion and Social Justice; Religion, Globalization, and Culture; Beyond Personal Knowledge: Reshaping the Ethnography of Religion. Her work has appeared in the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Sociology of Religion, and Social Compass. She has served on multiple committees for the ASR, SSSR, and steering committees at the American Academy of Religion, and is on the editorial board of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture and Ecology and the board of trustees for the Parliament of World Religions.

Samuel L. Perry is Professor of Sociology at the University of Oklahoma. His current research examines how religion and race influence political polarization in the United States. His previous work has elaborated the implications of white Christian nationalism for American democracy, the experience of moral conflict involving sexual behavior in conservative Christian communities, and the cultural dynamics of evangelical activism. His published articles have appeared in Social Forces, Sociological Theory, Annual Review of Sociology, and flagship journals of religion, sexual behavior, and race. He is also the author or co-author of five books, including Growing God’s Family, Addicted to Lust, Taking America Back for God (with Andrew Whitehead), and The Flag and the Cross (with Philip Gorski). His forthcoming book is called Religion for Realists: Why We All Need the Scientific Study of Religion—Now More than Ever (Oxford University Press). Dr. Perry currently serves on numerous editorial boards and has served on the councils of the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the Religion Section for the American Sociological Association. He received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 2015.

Term: 2022-2025

Gary J. Adler, Jr. (@GaryAdlerJr) is Associate Professor of Sociology at Pennsylvania State University. His research broadly examines the cultural dimensions of religious organizations and civic action, appearing in Sociological Theory, Sociology of Religion, JSSR, among others. His current project is a collaborative study of religion-state (“church-state”) interaction in municipalities across the United States, focused on how religious leaders and public officials understand, manage, and negotiate interaction at the local level. His study of how progressive religious organizations produce empathy for distant suffering through immersion travel, Empathy Beyond U.S. Borders: the Challenges of Transnational Civic Engagement (Cambridge 2019), won Honorable Mention from the Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity Section of the American Sociological Association. He is editor of two book on changes in Catholicism, including American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism (Fordham 2019). His research has been supported by SSSR, ASR, RRA, ARNOVA, and the Louisville Institute.

Conrad Hackett (Ph.D., Princeton University, 2008) is Associate Director of Research and Senior Demographer at Pew Research Center. His research focuses on global religious change and the demographic characteristics of religious groups. He has published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals and is an author of Pew reports including The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, Religion and Education Around the World, The Gender Gap in Religion Around the World, Europe’s Growing Muslim Population, The Age Gap in Religion Around the World and Religion’s Relationship to Happiness, Civic Engagement and Health Around the World. He is a board member of the International Sociological Association’s Sociology of Religion (RC22) and Sociology of Population (RC41) research committees. He serves on the editorial boards of Sociology of Religion and the Review of Religious Research. Previously, he was the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion’s international travel committee chair, a board member and program chair for the Religious Research Association, and a best paper prize committee member for the Religion Section of the American Sociological Association. His research has been recognized with prizes from the European Association for Population Studies, the Population Association of America and the Religion Section of the American Sociological Association. He was named one of the most influential think tank experts on Twitter by Spanish think tank esglobal and Washingtonian magazine described him as “one of the world’s most exciting demographers.”

Philip Schwadel is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before that, he received his PhD from Penn State and was a Postdoctoral Researcher with the National Study of Youth and Religion. His research focuses on Americans’ religious and political behaviors—and the intersections between the two—with emphases on the associations between religion and social class, social contexts, social change, and youth. Professor Schwadel’s work appears in generalist journals such as Social Forces, Social Science Research, and Contexts; and in disciplinary journals including Sociology of Religion, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Criminology, and Environment & Behavior. He has further contributed to the discipline by serving on several SSSR/RRA and ASA Religion Section program and award committees, by serving on the ASR Nominations Committee, by serving as the Secretary for RRA, and by being a member of the Sociology of Religion and JSSR Editorial Boards.

Term: 2023-2026

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.