Criminologist Bryan Sykes among first cohort addressing “Black Thriving”
Bryan Sykes, associate professor of criminology, law and society, has been selected to serve as one of five inaugural UCI Inclusive Excellence Term Chairs.
The purpose of the Inclusive Excellence Term Chair program is to leverage the research and creative capacity of the campus to deepen understanding about and responses to designated national imperatives. Aligning with the ambitious UCI Black Thriving Initiative (BTI), the theme for the inaugural cohort (2021-2022 through 2023-2024) is Black Thriving.
“BTI recognizes and responds to anti-Blackness as an existential threat to our society,” Provost Hal Stern noted in his announcement of the program. “As a universitywide response, BTI mobilizes the campus community to confront anti-Blackness, advances understanding about the Black experience and drivers of well-being and links the future of UCI to the success of Black people and Black communities.”
A review committee evaluated nominations from across the campus, identifying outstanding candidates based on their distinguished research, teaching and service contributions in advancing the Black Thriving theme. Sykes will serve with Tonya Bradford, associate professor of marketing; Kaaryn Gustafson, professor of law; Jessica Millward, associate professor of history and African American studies; and Davin Phoenix, associate professor of political science.
The term of each chair appointment is three years. Each chair comes with an annual $30,000 allocation to support programmatic activities initiated by incumbents and implemented in coordination with the Office of Inclusive Excellence.
Sykes is a faculty affiliate in UCI’s Center for Demographic and Social Analysis and the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy; a research affiliate in the Center for Demography and Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a member of the Scholars Strategy Network and the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network at Rutgers University; and an associate editor for Science Advances, an academic editor for the Public Library of Science ONE, and co-editor-in-chief of Sociological Perspectives.
His research focuses on demography and criminology, broadly defined, with particular interests in fertility, mortality, population health, mass imprisonment, social inequality, and research methodology. He applies and develops demographic, statistical, and mixed methodologies to understand changing patterns of inequality — nationally and abroad. His research has appeared in general and multidisciplinary science, social science, and medical journals.
Sykes presently is collaborating on three projects:
- Assessing how mass incarceration has affected measures of social inequality and demographic processes (fertility, mortality, and morbidity) among subpopulations with the highest risk of criminal justice contact in America, which has led to the development of new demographic methods for multiple-partner fertility; new statistical methods for estimating mortality in differential population environments; and new sampling weights for national surveys that exclude marginal populations.
- Investigating how national, regional, and global patterns of mortality, morbidity, and injuries have changed over time.
- Conducting a multi-state mixed-method data collection effort to assess the legal history and social consequences of monetary sanctions across different jurisdictions within the United States, which has led to new sampling methods for mixed-method and dual design studies.
Studying shadow costs