Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D. University of Connecticut
Areas of Specialization:
Julia McQuillan is Department chair and Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology in 1998 from the University of Connecticut. She has been involved in a variety of initiatives to support social science research infrastructure at UNL, e.g. directing the Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR) (http://bosr.unl.edu/) from 2005 to 2012 and serving in a leadership role with the Survey Research, Statistics & Psychometrics core facility from 2005 to 2013 (http://ssp.unl.edu/). As a co-principal investigator on the ADVANCE-Nebraska NSF grant (http://advance.unl.edu/), she has brought sociological perspectives to efforts to recruit, retain, and promote women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) departments. Her research focuses on social inequality, with special emphasis on work and health. Specifically, she has recent publications on the social and psychological aspects of infertility, the importance of parenthood for men and women, and attitudes about pregnancy and childlessness. She was a co-investigator on the National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) funded (2003-2008) project that surveyed a national random sample of 4,712 women and many of their partners on family choices and fertility pathways. This project created the two-wave, public use dataset called the National Survey of Fertility Barriers (available at: http://sodapop.pop.psu.edu/data-collections/nsfb). More recently she is combining her interests in social inequality and health by focusing on informal science education as a vehicle for engaging teenagers with low science identity to be interested in the emerging science on human biology. She is focusing on the learning research aspects of the National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) with Dr. Judy Diamond and Charles Woods on the “Biology of Human.” This project emerged from prior collaboration on the “World of Viruses” project (http://worldofviruses.unl.edu/). In addition to enjoying research collaborations that bring sociological perspectives to a variety of questions and fields, Dr. McQuillan is passionate about supporting learning experiences for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has worked with UCARE students and graduate students who have subsequently published their work together. She enjoys teaching courses that help students to see the tremendous value of Sociology for making contributions to improving the lives of those who are less advantaged, for example courses on Social Psychology, Research Methods, Health, Family and Gender.