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Michael Schulman, PhD

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor

4101 Beryl Road, 210Q


Michael Schulman, PhD, specializes in the sociology of agriculture and rural sociology. His work focuses upon changes in the structure of agriculture and the social psychological and behavioral adaptations made by individuals and families to changes in economic conditions, the organization of work, and the labor process. He has completed research on stress and adaptation to economic hardship among rural families, on changes in the structure of agriculture, on the decline of African-American farmers, and on textile worker responses to technological change and firm consolidation. He has examined the impact of economic restructuring on occupational mortality rates and developed ecological models to examine the relationship between the employment and demographic characteristics of labor markets and occupational fatality rates. He is a co-author of a series of quantitative and qualitative publications about the work conditions, occupational hazards, and injuries experienced by young workers. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He is a past-editor of the journal Rural Sociology, and a past-President of the Rural Sociological Society. He has received multiple awards from NC State and from the Rural Sociological Society for excellence in research, teaching, and mentoring graduate students. He was recognized as an Outstanding Graduate Student Faculty Mentor of the NCSU Graduate School in 2017. Currently, he is collaborating with the Rural Advancement Fund International (RAFI) on a project dealing with financial and emotional stress among limited resource farmers.

Programs and Initiatives

  • Health Matters; Resilience Among Niche Farmers
  • Navigating Financial and Mental Hardship Among Limited Resource Farmers

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • Research Appointment

Contributing Websites

  • Departmental
  • ResearchGate
  • Linkedln

Professional Honors and Recognitions

  • 2017 – NC State Graduate School, Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award in the area of the Social Sciences, Business & Education
  • 2012 – Lifetime Mentorship Award by the NC State University Sociology Graduate Student Association
  • 2012 – Excellence in Research Award by the Rural Sociological Society
  • 2007 – William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor by NC State University
  • 2000 – Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor by NC State University
  • 1998 – Excellence in Instruction Award by the Rural Sociological Society

Selected Publications

  • Hardison-Moody, A., Bowen, S., Bocarro, J., Schulman, M., Kuhlberg, J., Bloom, J. D., Edwards, M., & Haynes-Maslow, L. (2021). ‘There’s not a magic wand’: How rural community health leaders perceive issues related to access to healthy foods and physical activity across the ecological spectrum. The Journal of Rural and Community Development, 16(2), 23–42.
  • Hardison-Moody A., Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, Jason Bocarro, Jill Kuhlberg, Michael Schulman, Sarah Bowen, Alyssa Anderson, Lauren Morris, Yvonne Murphy (2020): “Partners at Play: Engaging Parks and Recreation Departments in Extension’s Health Promotion Work”. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, October 2020.
  • Bloom, J.D., Hardison-Mooney, A., and M. Schulman.2018. Bonding and Bridging: Leveraging Immigrant and Refugee Community Assets to Support Healthy Eating. Community Development, 49 (2): 211-230.
  • Piontak, J., and Schulman, M. D. 2017. Racial Disparities in Context: Student-, School-, and County-Level Effects on the Likelihood of Obesity Among Elementary Students. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 4 (2): 245-260.
  • Piontak, J., and Schulman, M.D. 2016. School Context Matters: The Impacts of Concentrated Poverty and Racial Segregation on Childhood Obesity. Journal of School Health, 86#2: 864-873.
  • Schulman, M.D. (2014). Sociological Answers to “What’s the Matter with Rural____.” Sociological Forum, 29 (1): 241-244
  • Piontak, J., and Schulman, M.D. (2014). Food Insecurity in Rural America. Contexts, 13 (3): 75-77.
  • Falk, W, Schulman, MD, and Tickamyer, A., eds. (2003). Communities of Work. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press.
  • Anderson C, Schulman MD, Wood P. (2001). Globalization and Uncertainty: The Restructuring of Southern Textiles. Social Problems, 48: 478-498.
  • Leiter, Jeffrey, Michael D. Schulman, and Rhonda Zingraff, editors. (1991) Hanging by A Thread: Social Change in Southern Textiles Ithaca. Institute of Labor Relations Press, Cornell University.

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BA Sociology Pomona College

MS Sociology University of Wisconsin-Madison

PhD Sociology University of Wisconsin-Madison

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Rural Sociology
  • Sociology of Agriculture
  • Occupational Injury
  • Public Health