Animals and Society Chair-Elect


Elizabeth Grauerholz, Ph.D., was appointed chair-elect of the Animals and Society section of the American Sociological Association.

Grauerholz is director of social sciences and a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Central Florida.

The Animals and Society section’s purpose is to encourage and support the development of theory, research and teaching about the complex relationships that exist between humans and other animals. In the process, the section hopes to increase the well-being of both humans and other animals.

As chair-elect, Grauerholz will support the current chair in conducting the business of building and maintaining a strong professional community, planning conference events, promoting members’ research, and educating the public, including students through social media and other avenues. In addition, she will be ‘learning the ropes’ in preparation to assume the chair role next year.

“The Animal & Society Section is comprised of individuals who are passionate about educating ourselves and others about the complex relationship between humans and nonhuman animals, and strive to build sustainable and humane practices that support both,” Grauerholz said. “Working with these individuals has been terrifically rewarding. It has increased my own awareness and understanding of these issues. It has also allowed me to develop and practice important leadership skills.”

Grauerholz further explained how serving in this position contributes to the UCF Collective Impact. Firstly, it has already put her in contact with prospective graduate students who are interested in studying animals and society.

“Because there are few sociology Ph.D. programs that allow students to study this topic, I believe we can attract exceptional and diverse students to our program/university with this recognition.”

In addition, Grauerholz explained the appointment may produce more partnerships with community groups who are interested in these issues, as well as enhancing the undergraduate education at the university.

“These connections may help us to build fruitful partnerships and provide opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in positive, high impact experiences off campus,” she said.

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