Katherine Stovel is professor and chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Washington. From 2014-2017 she was the director of the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences.
Stovel is general sociologist who studies basic questions concerning the dynamic interplay of social organization and social relations. Her research, which follows in the tradition of social networks analysis, examines how core social processes are expressed in particular settings, and why these processes occasionally result in new institutional arrangements or new identities for individuals. Over the years she has investigated a number of substantive topics, including the impact of technological change on innovation, the micro-dynamics of brokerage relations, the impact of networks on employment segregation, the emergence of modern career systems, the process of becoming a Nazi, and temporal patterning in lynching in the Southern US. She also has a long-standing interest in how social context affects the health of adolescents. Stovel’s research has been published in major journals in Sociology and related disciplines, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and several private foundations.
Stovel holds an A.B. in political science from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She spent the 2008-09 academic year as a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and from 2013-17 served as the editor of the British Journal of Sociology.
In her extra-professional life, she enjoys sailing, cooking, and learning about early 20th century expressionist art.