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Sarah Bowen Named Associate Dean of Research and Engagement

The court of North Carolina with the 1911 building. Photo by Marc Hall

NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences has named Sarah Bowen associate dean of research and engagement, effective Jan. 1, 2025.

Currently, Bowen is a sociology professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. In her 16 years at the college, she has also served as assistant head and director of undergraduate programs from 2019 to 2021, and as director of the graduate program in sociology from 2021 to 2023.

“Sarah’s expertise as an educator, researcher and administrator adds valuable perspective and skills to the college,” says Deanna Dannels, dean of NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “I am excited about the experience, vision and successful record of external funding Sarah brings to this position and look forward to working with her as a member of the Executive Leadership Team to support and enhance the research and engagement enterprise in the college.”

Bowen joined the college’s faculty in 2008 as an assistant professor of sociology, rising to associate professor in 2014, before being named to her current rank in 2020. Her research focuses on food systems, social institutions, and inequality, for which she has earned many grants.

Sarah Bowen
Sarah Bowen

She uses mainly qualitative and community-based methods in her work and has conducted research in the United States, France, Mexico and Sweden.

Bowen is the author of two books Divided Spirits: Tequila, Mezcal, and the Politics of Production, and Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It. She has also written numerous articles for such journals as Social Problems, Rural Sociology, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Environment and Planning.

In addition, Bowen received several honors and awards from NC State. They include the Equity for Women Award from the Council on the Status of Women in 2023, the University Faculty Scholar Award, the Opal Mann Green Engagement Award in 2015, and the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 2013.

Before NC State, Bowen served as an agricultural engineer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources.

Bowen holds a Ph.D. in sociology and a master’s degree in rural sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and biological engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.