Regina E. Werum

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Professor Sociology (402) 472-3829 739 Oldfather Hall

I am relatively new to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, having joined the institution in 2013.  I earned my M.A. and a combined Ph.D. in Sociology and in American Studies in 1995 from Indiana University, Bloomington. My undergraduate alma mater is Hope College, Holland (MI). Prior to joining the Sociology department at UNL, I served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the Office of Research and Economic Development here at UNL.  In that capacity I served as the Institutional Official for a broad range of compliance areas, worked with faculty on developing external and internal grant proposals, and managed internal grant competitions. 

Before joining the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I served as a Program Director (Sociology) at the National Science Foundation (2010-12).  My academic career began at Emory University in Atlanta (GA), where I held faculty appointments in Sociology and was also affiliated with the African American Studies and the Women, Gender and Sexuality programs from 1995 to 2012. At Emory University, I derived great pleasure from working with graduate students, for instance as founding co-director of a consortium that provided graduate fellowships, supported by the Mellon Foundation.  I have also received multiple teaching awards and enjoy in particular teaching courses on social inequality (race, gender, sexuality) and social policy.

Substantive Expertise

My substantive expertise revolves around the way social policy shapes and reflects social inequalities, especially in the area of education. Most of my work is quantitative and frequently involves comparative-international and comparative-historical data. It has appeared in top Sociology and specialty journals such as the American Journal of Education, Social Stratification and Mobility, Studies in Comparative International Development, Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Mobilization, and Social Science History. Over the years, I have received research funding and fellowships from several sources, notably the Spencer Foundation, National Academy of Education, National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, MacArthur Foundation, and Fulbright.

Current Research

Currently, my research pipeline consists of three distinct tracks, all of which involve graduate research assistants and faculty collaborators at various institutions. 

  • Together with colleagues at the University of Georgia, University of Massachusetts, and the University of Frankfurt, we examine changing home schooling policies in the United States, between 1972 and 2009.
  • Together with a colleague at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, I examine how access to student loans, specifically GI Bill benefits, has affected individual and group-specific educational and occupational trajectories over time.
  • Together with colleagues at the University of Connecticut, Georgia State University, and Emory University, we examine how parental investment strategies and subsequent educational outcomes differ by family type and structure.  Our particular focus lies on comparing adoptive families with non-adoptive families.
Recent Grants and Fellowships
  • Spencer Foundation, research grant (PI), 2010
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Emory University, Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Senior Fellow, 2009-2010
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, PI and co-PI on institutional grants for regional Graduate Teaching Fellowship Program, 2004-2013

 Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. Indiana University

Areas of Specialization:

  • Sociology of Education
  • Stratification (race, gender, class)
  • Political Sociology
  • Social Movements