Maria R. Lowe

Notable Achievements

Professor of Sociology Maria Lowe, Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron, and student coauthors Holly O’Hara ’17 and Dakota Cortez ’19 had a peer-reviewed article titled “Neutralized Hegemonic Banter: The Persistence of Sexist and Racist Joking among Undergraduate Students” accepted for publication in Sociological Inquiry. This is the fourth such coauthored campus climate–related study that Lowe and Byron have published.

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Expertise

Race and racism, racialized spaces, neighborhood surveillance studies, campus climate research (race, gender, and sexual orientation), the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, and gender inequalities and identities.

I am deeply committed to being a teacher-scholar at a liberal arts university that seeks to cultivate academic excellence and “encourage activism in the pursuit of the common good.” These two ideals inform my teaching philosophy and infuse all of my classes from the introductory sociology course to the capstone class. In my courses, I work closely with students to explore ways in which race, class, and gender are interconnected, related to power structures, and embedded within the fabric of our social worlds. I also help students to hone their critical thinking abilities and research skills and I encourage them to see themselves and others as active and informed agents of social change. Through my enthusiasm and passion, I hope to convey to students how meaningful and enjoyable learning can be.

Moreover, mentoring sociology majors is a central and highly rewarding part of my teaching career. For instance, since 2009, I have mentored students in my capstone courses, guiding them in every aspect of the research process. This intensive mentoring process has led to 8 capstone students having sole-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, 8 students winning national undergraduate paper awards, 8 students winning regional undergraduate paper awards, many students participating in the American Sociological Association Honors Program, and over 50 students presenting at regional and national sociology meetings. 

Additionally, I am dedicated to research collaboration with faculty and students. In total, I have worked collaboratively with 12 students on a number of scholarly works, including the Mississippi civil rights movement, campus climate (with Dr. Reginald Byron, co-Principal Investigator), and neighborhood surveillance research projects. These students include J. Clint Morris, Madeline Pizzo, Alice Nguyen, Melissa Garcia, Griffin Ferry, Brianna Billingsley, Nathan Tuttle, Holly O’Hara, Dakota Cortez, Madeline Carrola, Mary Jalufka, and Madison Adams. As research collaborators, students are involved in every aspect of the research process and are also co-authors on conference presentations and journal publications. Our collaborative work has led to numerous national and regional presentations as well as a variety of publications.

Education

PhD, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

Master’s, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

BA, Sociology, Trinity University

Honors

  • The Christine Robertson Morenz Endowed Professor, 2019-present.
  • Herbert Allen Research Assistant Program award, 2019.
  • Invited presenter, Race, Ethnicity, and Place conference, 2018.
  • Invited presenter, Faculty of Color Uniting for Success Institute, 2018.
  • Sam Taylor award for neighborhood surveillance project, 2017.
  • Invited member of the Southern Sociological Society Program Committee for the 2017 meeting, 2016.
  • Invited member of the senior editorial board for Journal of Undergraduate Ethnography2016-present.
  • Invited member of the Undergraduate Paper Competition Committee, the Southwestern Sociological Association (chair: Robert Wallace), 2016-2017.
  • Invited Keynote Address Speaker, 2015, Texas State University, Center for Diversity and Gender Studies Symposium titled Democracy’s Promise - Deisolating Gendered Experiences.
  • The Sam Taylor Award, “They May Be Up To No Good,” 2013.
  • Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Grant (Co-principal investigator with Reggie Byron). “Grid Iron in the Ivory Tower,” 2013.
  • The Sam Taylor Award, “Grid Iron in the Ivory Tower,” 2012.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant (Co-principal investigator w/ Sue Mennicke and Reggie Byron). “What Happens When the ‘Global Citizen’ Returns?’ The Impact of Study Abroad on How Students View Racial Diversity at their Home Institution,” 2011.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant (Co-principal investigator w/ Reggie Byron). “Racing the Academy: A Baseline Assessment of How Students View the Racial Climate at Southwestern,” 2010.
  • Southwestern University Teaching Award, 2009.
  • Southwestern University Teaching Award finalist, 2004.
  • Invited member of the American Sociological Association Honors Council, 2006-2010.
  • Participant in The National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute titled African American Freedom and Civil Rights Struggles. Harvard University. WEB Dubois Institute for African American Studies, 2003.
  • Recipient of the Funds for the Advancement of the Discipline Award (FAD) funded by The American Sociological Association and The National Science Foundation, 2000-2001.
  • New York University Press Author of the Month for Women of Steel: Female Bodybuilders and The Struggle for Self-definition1998.
  • Southwestern University Unity in Action Diversity Award, 2000.

Affiliations

  • American Sociological Association – Racial and Ethnic Minorities section; Race, Gender, and Class section; Latina/o section; Sex and Gender section.
  • Southern Sociological Society
  • I am deeply committed to being a teacher-scholar at a liberal arts university that seeks to cultivate academic excellence and “encourage activism in the pursuit of the common good.” These two ideals inform my teaching philosophy and infuse all of my classes from the introductory sociology course to the capstone class. In my courses, I work closely with students to explore ways in which race, class, and gender are interconnected, related to power structures, and embedded within the fabric of our social worlds. I also help students to hone their critical thinking abilities and research skills and I encourage them to see themselves and others as active and informed agents of social change. Through my enthusiasm and passion, I hope to convey to students how meaningful and enjoyable learning can be.

    Moreover, mentoring sociology majors is a central and highly rewarding part of my teaching career. For instance, since 2009, I have mentored students in my capstone courses, guiding them in every aspect of the research process. This intensive mentoring process has led to 8 capstone students having sole-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, 8 students winning national undergraduate paper awards, 8 students winning regional undergraduate paper awards, many students participating in the American Sociological Association Honors Program, and over 50 students presenting at regional and national sociology meetings. 

    Additionally, I am dedicated to research collaboration with faculty and students. In total, I have worked collaboratively with 12 students on a number of scholarly works, including the Mississippi civil rights movement, campus climate (with Dr. Reginald Byron, co-Principal Investigator), and neighborhood surveillance research projects. These students include J. Clint Morris, Madeline Pizzo, Alice Nguyen, Melissa Garcia, Griffin Ferry, Brianna Billingsley, Nathan Tuttle, Holly O’Hara, Dakota Cortez, Madeline Carrola, Mary Jalufka, and Madison Adams. As research collaborators, students are involved in every aspect of the research process and are also co-authors on conference presentations and journal publications. Our collaborative work has led to numerous national and regional presentations as well as a variety of publications.

    Education

    PhD, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

    Master’s, Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

    BA, Sociology, Trinity University

    Honors

    • The Christine Robertson Morenz Endowed Professor, 2019-present.
    • Herbert Allen Research Assistant Program award, 2019.
    • Invited presenter, Race, Ethnicity, and Place conference, 2018.
    • Invited presenter, Faculty of Color Uniting for Success Institute, 2018.
    • Sam Taylor award for neighborhood surveillance project, 2017.
    • Invited member of the Southern Sociological Society Program Committee for the 2017 meeting, 2016.
    • Invited member of the senior editorial board for Journal of Undergraduate Ethnography2016-present.
    • Invited member of the Undergraduate Paper Competition Committee, the Southwestern Sociological Association (chair: Robert Wallace), 2016-2017.
    • Invited Keynote Address Speaker, 2015, Texas State University, Center for Diversity and Gender Studies Symposium titled Democracy’s Promise - Deisolating Gendered Experiences.
    • The Sam Taylor Award, “They May Be Up To No Good,” 2013.
    • Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Grant (Co-principal investigator with Reggie Byron). “Grid Iron in the Ivory Tower,” 2013.
    • The Sam Taylor Award, “Grid Iron in the Ivory Tower,” 2012.
    • Andrew W. Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant (Co-principal investigator w/ Sue Mennicke and Reggie Byron). “What Happens When the ‘Global Citizen’ Returns?’ The Impact of Study Abroad on How Students View Racial Diversity at their Home Institution,” 2011.
    • Andrew W. Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant (Co-principal investigator w/ Reggie Byron). “Racing the Academy: A Baseline Assessment of How Students View the Racial Climate at Southwestern,” 2010.
    • Southwestern University Teaching Award, 2009.
    • Southwestern University Teaching Award finalist, 2004.
    • Invited member of the American Sociological Association Honors Council, 2006-2010.
    • Participant in The National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute titled African American Freedom and Civil Rights Struggles. Harvard University. WEB Dubois Institute for African American Studies, 2003.
    • Recipient of the Funds for the Advancement of the Discipline Award (FAD) funded by The American Sociological Association and The National Science Foundation, 2000-2001.
    • New York University Press Author of the Month for Women of Steel: Female Bodybuilders and The Struggle for Self-definition1998.
    • Southwestern University Unity in Action Diversity Award, 2000.

    Affiliations

    • American Sociological Association – Racial and Ethnic Minorities section; Race, Gender, and Class section; Latina/o section; Sex and Gender section.
    • Southern Sociological Society
  • Neighborhoods and digital technologies as racialized spaces, campus climate research (gender, race, and sexual orientation), the role of colleges and universities in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, and gendered identities and inequalities.

  • Selected peer-reviewed publications:

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Holly O’Hara, Dakota Cortez. 2020. “Neutralized Hegemonic Banter: The Persistence of Sexist and Racist Joking Among Undergraduate Students.” Sociological Inquiry.https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/soin.12362

    Lowe, Maria R., Angela Stroud, and Alice Nguyen. 2017. “Who Looks Suspicious? The Heightened Surveillance of Black Men and the Reproduction of Racialized Fears on a Predominantly White Neighborhood Listserv,” Social Currents. 4(1): 34-50. 

    Byron, Reginald A. Maria R. Lowe, Brianna Billingsley, and Nathan Tuttle. 2017. “Performativity Double Standards at the Sexual Orientation Climate at a Southern Liberal Arts University, The Journal of Homosexuality, 64(5): 671-696. 

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald Byron, and Susan Mennicke, 2014. “The Racialized Impact of Study Abroad on U.S. Students’ Subsequent Interracial Interactions” Education Research International. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/edri/2014/232687/. 

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Griffin Ferry and Melissa J. Garcia. 2013. “Food for Thought: Frequent Interracial Dining Experiences as a Predictor of Students’ Racial Climate Perceptions.” The Journal of Higher Education, 84(4): 569-400. (Lowe is corresponding author; Lowe and Byron are co-lead authors).

    Lowe, Maria R. 2009. “‘Sowing the Seeds of Discontent:’ Tougaloo College’s Social Science Forums as a Prefigurative Movement Free Space, 1952-1964.” Journal of Black Studies. 39: 865-887.

    Lowe, Maria R2008. “An Unseen Hand: The Role of Sociology Professor Ernst Borinski in Mississippi’s Struggle for Racial Integration in the 1950s and 1960s.” Leadership. 4: 27-47.

    Lowe, Maria R2007. “An Oasis of Freedom in a Closed Society: The Significance of Tougaloo College in Mississippi’s Civil Rights Struggle, 1954 to 1965. The Journal of Historical Sociology. Vol. 20, #4: 486-520.

    Lowe, Maria R. and J. Clint Morris. 2007. “Civil Rights Advocates in the Academy: White Pro-integrationist Faculty at Millsaps College. Journal of Mississippi History. Vol. 69, # 2: 121-45.

     

    Additional Projects Underway:

    Lowe, Maria R., Madeline Carrola, Dakota Cortez, and Mary Jalufka. “Do They Belong Here? Online and In-person Racialized Surveillance of Parks and Pools in a Predominantly White Neighborhood”

    Lowe, Maria R.  and Madeline Carrola. “The Consequences of Racialized Surveillance on African American Residents in Liberal Predominantly White Upper Middle Class Neighborhoods.”

    Lowe, Maria R. and Madison Adams. “How Does a Progressive Predominantly White Neighborhood Respond to Racism within Its Boundaries?”

    Lowe, Maria R. and Reginald A. Byron. “The Specter of Gendered Aggression: Predicting Students’ Level of Comfort at Weekend Campus Parties.”  

    Research in the News:

    “Breaking Bread.” August 23, 2011. Inside Higher Education.

    “Tracing the Origins of the Civil Rights Movement.” January 21, 2011. Southwestern in the News.

  • 

  • Lowe, Maria R. and Madison Adams, “’Better than Most, Less than Hoped:’ A Progressive Predominantly White Neighborhood Addresses Racialized Surveillance Practices.” Paper accepted at the Southern Sociological Society meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, April 2020 (meeting canceled because of Covid-19 pandemic).

    Lowe, Maria R., Madeline Carrola, Dakota Cortez, and Mary Jalufka. “Racialized Surveillance of Parks and Pools in a Liberal Predominantly White Neighborhood.” Lowe and Carrola co-presenters. Paper presented at the American Sociological Association meeting, New York, NY, August 2019.

    Lowe, Maria R. and Madeline Carrola. “Outsiders Within: The Effects of Online and In-person Surveillance on Residents of Color in a Predominantly White Neighborhood.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society, Atlanta, GA, April 2019.

    Invited presenter, “Do They Belong Here? Racialized Boundary Monitoring in an East Austin Neighborhood.” Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, The University of Texas at Austin. October 23-25, 2018. Co-authors: Madeline Carrola, Dakota Cortez, and Mary Jalufka.

    Lowe, Maria R. and Dakota Cortez. “Race and Contested Spaces in a Liberal Predominantly White Planned Urban Community.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society, New Orleans, LA, April 2018.

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Holly O’Hara, and Dakota Cortez. “Neutralizing the Harm of Sexist and Racist Jokes Among Undergraduate Students.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the August American Sociological Association, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2017.

    Byron, Reginald A., Maria R. Lowe, Nathan Tuttle, and Brianna Billingsley. “The Paradox of Colorblindness: Undergraduate Students’ Selective Perceptions about Race and Racial Diversity,” Paper presented at the August American Sociological Association meeting, Seattle, WA. 2016.

    Lowe, Maria R. and Reginald A. Byron. “The Specter of Gendered Aggression: Predicting Students’ Level of Comfort at Weekend Campus Parties.” Paper presented at the August American Sociological Association meeting, Chicago, IL. 2015.

    Lowe, Maria R., Angela Stroud, and Alice Nguyen. “‘Suspicious Person or Neighbor?’: Heightened Surveillance of Black Men On a Predominantly White Neighborhood Listserv.” Paper presented at the August American Sociological Association meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2014.

    Byron, Reginald A. Maria R. Lowe, Brianna Billingsley, and Nathan Tuttle. “Performativity Double Standards and the Sexual Orientation Climate at a Southern Liberal Arts University.” Paper presented at the August American Sociological Association meeting, San Francisco, CA, 2014.

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Nathan Tuttle, and Brianna Billingsley. “On a Normal Day, Zero to One Times: Predicting the Frequency with which Students Think about their Race at a Predominantly White Southern University, Paper presented at the April Southern Sociological Society meeting, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2014.

    Lowe, Maria R. and Alice Nguyen. “They May Be Up to No Good: The Heightened Surveillance of Men of Color on a Predominantly White Neighborhood Listserv.” Paper presented at the Southern Sociological Society meeting, Atlanta, GA, 2013.

    Lowe, Maria R., Susan Mennicke, and Reginald A. Byron. “What Happens When the ‘Global Citizen’ Return? The Impact of Study Abroad on How Students View Racial Diversity at their Home Institution.” Paper presented at the Southern Sociological Society meetings, New Orleans, LA. March 2012.

    Lowe, Maria R., Reginald A. Byron, Griffin Ferry and Melissa J. Garcia. “Food for Thought: The Impact of Race and Frequent Interracial Dining Experiences on Students’ Perceptions of the Racial Climate on Campus.” Paper presented at the “Race/Gender/Class Perspective on Navigating the Academy” paper session of the American Sociological Association meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada. August 2011.

    Byron, Reginald A., Maria R. Lowe, Melissa J. Garcia and Griffin Ferry. “Racially Invisible Yet Invisibly Racial: White University Students’ Conflicting Perspectives on Race and the Value of Racial/Ethnic Diversity.” Paper presented at the American Sociological Association meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, August, 2011.

    Lowe, Maria. “Diversity Among Activists: Factors Affecting Faculty and Student Participation in Mississippi’s Civil Rights Movement.” Paper presented at the American Sociological Association meetings, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010.

    Lowe, Maria. “The Impact of Race, Gender, and Social Networks in Mississippi’s Struggle for Racial Equality: An Analysis of Pro-Integrationist Tougaloo College and Millsaps College Students, 1954 to 1965.” Paper presented at The Southern Sociological Society meetings, New Orleans, LA, 2009.