Victor Ray, F. Wendell Miller associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, hopes this new position can connect his students with a larger network.
Tuesday, July 9, 2024

By: Emily Delgado  

Victor Ray, F. Wendell Miller associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was elected as the next vice president of the American Sociological Association 

A portrait of Victor Ray
Victor Ray

Ray was nominated by his colleagues in the American Sociological Association to run for vice president and is pleased to be serving in the new role. The American Sociological Association is a nonprofit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work and advancing sociology as a science and profession. 

Previously in the association, Ray served as a council member, chair of the public understanding of sociology award committee, and several other positions that helped support the association and the field of sociology.  

“I was excited that my colleagues had enough faith in me to serve in the organization for the next couple of years as vice president,” Ray said. 

At the University of Iowa, Ray’s research focuses on race and organizations and he teaches a course on critical race theory, race and ethnicity, and race in the workplace. Recently, Ray published a book called On Critical Race Theory: Why It Matters & Why You Should Care, to help demystify the public discussion on the controversial body of scholarship. The book received widespread attention in and outside the sociological field.  

“My work in sociology is on thinking about race in organizations and how organizations use ideas about race to distribute resources,” Ray said.  

Ray’s work also explores ideas about racial progress in the social sciences and how racism shapes social theory.  

He said he hopes his new position within the American Sociological Association will help connect students with other sociologists and broaden their social networks.  

“Learning from my peers and interacting with a broader network has spill- over to benefits for the University of Iowa,” Ray said. “If people are applying to graduate school and I'm writing letters of recommendation for them, or if people are interested in the research of scholars at other universities, I can help them make connections.”  

Ray’s new role as the vice president will bring attention to the University of Iowa and the Department of Sociology and Criminology.  

“It's a position of national, and some would say international, leadership that I think reflects well on the University of Iowa,” Ray said. “My colleagues had a vote of confidence in my ability to help shepherd the organization.”