The Department of Sociology is excited to welcome new assistant professor, Dr. Johnnie Lotesta, this fall! Johnnie is a political and cultural sociologist with interests in political parties, labor and social movements, public policy, and American politics. She received her PhD in Sociology from Brown University in 2019 and was a Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance & Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School from 2019 to 2021. Johnnie's current book project, Rightward in the Rustbelt, uses political contests over right-to-work laws as a window into understanding the origins and policy implications of the Republican party's shift to the ideological right at the state level. In a more recent project, Johnnie is working with a team of social scientists to understand how youth organizers in the United States think about and work towards social change. Using original interview and survey research, this project aims to identify how young people are organizing to create change, as well as how youth movements can be supported and sustained over the long-haul.
Johnnie is excited to teach App State's courses in Social Movements and The Sociological Perspective in Fall 2021. Believing that we learn best by doing, Johnnie's courses feature multiple opportunities to apply sociology to the world around us. For example, her social movements course will feature case studies of youth-led social movements from the past and present, and students will have the opportunity to develop their own organizing plans for movements or issues they care about.
Johnnie is thrilled to be joining the App State community. She is an avid hiker and enjoys spending her weekends exploring new trails and nature preserves. Johnnie also loves to cook and is always looking for new recipes to try.