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Southern Oregon University

McNair Scholars


Michael Menefee

Michael Menefee is a McNair Scholar and Diversity Scholar at Southern Oregon University. He is pursuing a baccalaureate of science degree in Sociology with a minor in Statistics and will graduate in June 2016 with academic honors. Michael describes himself as a quantitative sociologist. He is interested social stratification, mass incarceration, criminological theory, demography, and urban sociology. With a quantitative background, Michael is passionate about gathering data and developing statistical models in order to understand dynamics within populations. Michael’s interest in sociology began with an exposure to the Chicago School of Sociologists and their associated theories. Inspired by Shaw and McKay’s “Social Disorganization Theory”, Michael became increasingly interested in urban communities, crime, and criminological theories of crime.

Michael’s current research examines the relationship between mass incarceration and social inequality. Specifically, Michael is interested in the effects of incarceration on communities, families, and children. Michael has conducted research projects on this topic at the state-level and individual-level. During the Summer of 2014, Michael utilized data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health in order to examine the relationship between exposure to maternal incarceration and children’s use of marijuana into young adulthood. Michael chose this topic due to the growing amount of mothers in prisons since the early 1990s. In his most recent research, Michael analyzed the relationship between state-level imprisonment rates and the amount of children living poverty. For his senior capstone, Michael plans to examine county-level imprisonment rates in California and its effects on child well-being.

Michael is a member of the American Sociological Association, the American Statistical Association and the Pacific Sociological Association. Michael will be applying to Ph.D. programs in Sociology and Criminal Justice for Fall term 2016 entry. Michael looks forward to attending graduate school where he will be able to engage in further research. After completing a doctoral degree, Michael wants to become a faculty member at a university and continue to engage in research and teaching.

McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mark Shibley, Professor of Sociology

Scholar Curriculum Vitae



U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C. on October 31st, 2013