Daniel G. Renfrow

Associate Professor of Sociology
"The role of professor is not to act as gatekeeper of knowledge. My role is to model to students how to ask important questions about our shared human experience, and then how to interrogate these questions in a meaningful way. Sociology becomes a central part of the liberal arts experience because, at its core, it teaches us to think differently about our everyday experiences, forces us to confront the structures that influence our life chances, and challenges us to make enduring social change."
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Professor Renfrow is intrigued with the taken-for-granted systems of meaning that influence our everyday lives. As a sociological social psychologist, his research and teaching explore the micro-foundations of societal inequities based on class, race and gender. His recent scholarship investigates two questions:  how young people navigate potentially risky behaviors and how the recounting of personal narratives enables individuals to connect people to place and community.


1999 B.A. Eastern Kentucky University, Sociology (summa cum laude)
2002 M.A. University of Washington, Sociology
2005 Ph.D. University of Washington, Sociology

Recent Publications

Renfrow, Daniel G., Stephanie McSpirit, Neil Kasiak, Chad Cogdill, and Jeff Cawood. 2021. "The Horse That Build Kentucky." In EQBreeds: Equine Breeds and Modern Identity, edited by Kristen Guest and Monica Mattfeld. To view: www.mountainhorseproject.com

Renfrow, Daniel G., Kailin E. Kucewicz,* Katherine Mouradian,* and Valerie R. Schweigert.* 2017. "'But That's Not Sexting': Accounts from Emerging Adults." Routledge Handbook of Deviance Studies. Edited by Ophir Sefiha and Steve Brown. (Click to read)

Renfrow, Daniel G., Terrence L. Wissick, Jr.,* and Christopher M. Guard.* 2016. "(Re)Defining the Situation When Football Fans Rush the Field." Sociology of Sport Journal 33(3). (Click to read)

Kosier, Rebekah A.* and Daniel G. Renfrow. 2016. "Queering Fat Bodies, Regulating Teen Desire in ABC Family's Huge." Fat Studies 5(2): 191-202. (Click to read)

Renfrow, Daniel G. and Elisabeth A. Rollo.* 2014. "Sexting on Campus: Managing Perceived Risks and Neutralizing Behaviors." Deviant Behavior 35(11): 903-920. (Click to read)

Renfrow, Daniel G. and Judith A. Howard. 2013. "Social Psychology of Gender and Race." Pp. 491-531 in Handbook of Social Psychology. Edited by John D. Delamater and Amanda Ward. NY: Springer. (Click to read)

Hollander, Jocelyn A., Daniel G. Renfrow, and Judith A. Howard. 2011. Gendered Situations, Gendered Selves: A Gender Lens on Social Psychology, 2ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Oral History Collections

San Pedro Sister Community Oral History Project, 2022. To view: https://wellsarchive.com/oral-history-archive/collections/

"Students of the Pandemic," 2022. To view: https://wellsarchive.com/oral-history-archive/collections/

Mountain Horse Oral History Project, 2018-2019. To view: https://wellsarchive.com/oral-history-archive/collections/

Research in Progress

Renfrow, Daniel G., Courtney Brindisi,* Taylor Joy,* and Kassandra Rivera.*  “Making Sense of Seeing a Ghost."


Excellence in Academic Advising Award, Wells College, 2021.

Project Grant. Kentucky Oral History Commission, 2018 (with Stephanie McSpirit, Neil Kasiak and Chad Cogdill)

Faculty-Student Research Grant. Wells College, 2018 (with Caitlin Lawrence* and Erin Persons*)

Transcription Grant. Kentucky Oral History Commission, 2018 (with Stephanie McSpirit and Neil Kasiak)

Excellence in Teaching Medal, Wells College, 2014

Faculty-Student Research Grant. Wells College, 2014 (with Alissa Toner* and Leslie Green*)

Award for Excellence, Wells College, 2013

*indicates the individual is a Wells College student or alumnus/alumna

Courses Taught

  • Principles of Sociology
  • Sociological Theory
  • Oral History
  • Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Social Problems
  • Social Psychology
  • Humans, Animals, and Interaction
  • Sociology of the Paranormal
  • Criminology
  • Senior Research Seminar

Community Leadership

Curator, Oral History Archive, Wells College. To view:  www.wellsarchive.com

Chair, Social Science Division, Wells College

Member, Honors Program Alumni Advisory Committee, Eastern Kentucky University

Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

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