Meet the New Faculty
Sara Lopus is a quantitative social scientist with interdisciplinary teaching and research interests. She holds a Ph.D. in Demography from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis. Before arriving at Cal Poly, she spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow and lecturer at Princeton University. Much of her research focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, where she has extensive fieldwork experience. In one current project, Lopus and a team of geographers, economists, climatologists, and hydrologists are investigating Kenyan farmers' management of scarce water supplies in the face of increased climate variability. In another, she and a fellow demographer are investigating education's role in influencing women's marital behaviors across 30 African countries. Here at Cal Poly, Lopus is teaching SOC 355 Quantitative Methods for sociology majors, and beginning fall 2018, she will reinstate SOC 431 (formerly, Population Problems) with a somewhat modernized name: "World Population Processes and Problems." Among the new courses she will be creating for our department, she is particularly excited about introducing a course on migration in the 2019-20 school year. She also hopes to get involved in Cal Poly Global Programs, perhaps by creating a study abroad experience in Africa. A California native, Lopus is pleased to be returning to her home state to join this dynamic, interdisciplinary department.
Joan Meyers is a qualitative sociologist who focuses on inequality, diversity, and inclusion in work and organizations, particularly in those with social and economic justice aims. She received her Ph.D. and master's degree in sociology from UC Davis, and her Master of Arts in Women Studies from San Francisco State University. She taught at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., before coming to Cal Poly in fall 2017. She is committed to student-centered and cooperative classrooms. As the organizations concentration advisor, she hopes to increase course offerings in the coming years. In addition to SOC 354 Qualitative Research Methods and SOC 395 Complex Organizations, she will be teaching a new organizations course (cross-listed with Women and Gender Studies), “Gender & Work,” starting in fall 2019. She is currently completing a book, Working Democracies: Managing Inequality in Worker Cooperatives, under contract with Cornell University Press, and has begun work on a new project examining the extent to which employee ownership benefits the most marginalized workers in Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) firms. Her most recent co-authored publication, “Are the ‘Best’ better for everyone? Demographic variation in employee perceptions of Fortune’s ‘Best Companies to Work For’” (2017), explores differences in organizational diversity and inclusion discourses.