Christopher Marcum, Order of Merit Outstanding Graduate Service Award Winner
- June 16, 2010
- Research Interest: Differences in how older and younger people spend their time and whom they spend their time with
Name: Christopher Marcum
Hometown: Errol, New Hampshire (where he was one of the town’s 300 residents)
Education: sociology graduate student; received undergraduate degree in sociology from University of Arizona
Research Interest: differences in how older and younger people spend their time and whom they spend their time with
As a graduate student in sociology, what research topic are you pursuing?
I study differences in how older and younger people spend their time and whom they spend their time with. My dissertation investigates sociological explanations of these differences. Understanding the roots of these differences is related to a variety of important issues for the broader community such as: intergenerational contact and conflict, social isolation, and how institutions shape social interaction at different life stages. I am most interested in the processes by which individual behavior influences population outcomes, and vice versa. Population processes like fertility, mortality, and migration have always interested me and after my undergraduate studies, a career as a sociologist fit well with my experience and interests.
What types of recognition have you received for your work?
I have work, co-authored with UCI sociology professor Judith Treas, related to my aging research published as chapters in two books, as well as work on organizational networks under review at major journals that was co-authored with sociology associate professor Carter T. Butts and colleagues. Before the end of June, I'll be submitting a methodological article to the Journals of Gerontology. I have had the great fortune of being a member of Butts's Networks, Computation, and Social Dynamics Lab for the past three years, which is a great honor. In 2007, I was awarded a major grant by the Social Science Research Council and have had a number of smaller grants before and since then, as well.
Outside of your busy research schedule, what other activities are you involved with?
I log a lot of hours as the chair of the Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan Committee, but my wife Katie – whom I married last year – and I also volunteer with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach. I also take sailing lessons with the UCI-SA several hours a week.
What made you decide to come to UCI and what do you plan to do when you become an
UCI was the natural placement for me with strong emphases on demography and the sociology of the family, but ultimately, the amiable professional climate in my department sealed the deal. When I finish my Ph.D., I plan on becoming a tenure-track professor at a tier-one research institution.