Professor Sheila M. Katz

Professor Sheila Katz
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Contact Information:

Email: sheila.katz@sonoma.edu
Voicemail: 707.664.2583
Fax: 707.664.3920
Office: Stevenson 2084-N

Areas of Expertise:

Gender, Poverty, Social Policy, Sociology of Education, Social Theory, Violence Against Women, Sociology of Drugs, and Qualitative and Participatory Methodologies

Academic Interests:

Sheila M. Katz, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University, specializes in Gender, Poverty, and Social Policy. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University and her B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Georgia.

Currently, Dr. Katz is conducting longitudinal research with mothers on welfare who are enrolled in higher education programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. The data was collected in three waves: 2006, 2008, 2011 as part of her CalWORKs and Higher Education Study (CHES). This study has a 78% retention rate with 35 of the original 45 participants completing interviews in 2011 and is the first qualitative longitudinal research project with mothers on welfare pursuing higher education since welfare reform and reauthorization was passed. By interviewing the same participants three times, Dr. Katz explores the needs of families who pursued higher education while on TANF, how they fared before/during/after the “Great Recession,” the role of advocacy organizations after the devolution of social services, and emerging policy issues that will affect TANF reauthorization. She is working on a book manuscript based on this data. The working project title is Welfare Mothers’ “Reformed” Dreams of Higher Education During the Great Recession. This project has received external funding from the National Science Foundation in 2007 and the National Poverty Center in 2011. Based on her work in this area, Dr. Katz was named an Emerging Scholar in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and presented at the 2011 Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference.

Furthermore, Dr. Katz has collaborated with the community based organization, Low Income Families’ Empowerment through Education (LIFETIME) on welfare research and policy advocacy since 2003. Through this collaboration, Dr. Katz worked with LIFETIME to conduct community based participatory research, of note are the “Family Violence is NOT an Option” and the “Education Works” projects. She also works with LIFETIME and its sister group, Women for Economic Justice (WEJ), to present this research on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in 2005, 2006, and 2011.

Dr. Katz is active in several professional organizations including the American Sociological Association’s Sections on Sex and Gender, Teaching Sociology, and Poverty, Inequality, and Mobility. She is also active in Pacific Sociological Association.

In April 2010, Dr. Katz was elected to the City of Oakland’s Koreatown Northgate Community Benefit District Board, and currently holds the position of Secretary on the board’s Executive Committee.

Courses Offered:

  • SOCI 306: Careers in Sociology
  • SOCI 312: Sociology of Gender
  • SOCI 340: Drugs and Society
  • SOCI 375: Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOCI 443: Methods Seminar Women and Social Policy
  • SOCI 498: Senior Seminar: The American Dream