MSU Sociology Assistant Professor PJ Pettis wins second dissertation award

June 12, 2024 - Karessa Weir

A month after winning Best Dissertation Award for the Mental Health Section of the American Sociological Association, Assistant Professor PJ Pettis has won the 2024 Roberta G. Simmons Outstanding Dissertation in Medical Sociology Award for his dissertation “Contextualizing Heterosexism: An Intersectional Approach to Sexual Minority Health Inequalities.” 

Assistant Professor PJ PettisPettis completed his dissertation at Vanderbilt University before joining MSU Sociology in 2022.  

Your dissertation was selected based on the strength of your theoretical and methodological approaches and the importance your dissertation research has made and will continue to make in the field of medical sociology in the years to come,” read the American Sociological Association award announcement. 


Pettis will be presented with the award at the ASA Conference in Montreal in August. 


“I am deeply appreciative of the truly amazing people who served on my committee and provided unwavering support and guidance from day one of my dissertation writing,” Pettis said. 


Pettis, also Core Faculty in MSU Chicano/Latino Studies, is also a licensed social worker who examines how sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, gender, age, and SES intersect to shape social, economic, and health inequalities. He draws on theoretical insights and perspectives from medical sociology, the sociology of sexualities, race/ethnicity, gender, social networks, social psychology, and stratification.  


He was named the Outstanding Teacher Award by the College of Social Science in 2024, and gave a commencement address at this year’s College ceremony.