March 2009 Issue • Volume 37 • Issue 3

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Delgado to Take on Social Problems


Hector Delgado

In August 2009, Hector L. Delgado, University of La Verne, will begin his tenure as the new Executive Officer (EO) of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), succeeding Thomas C. Hood, who served the SSSP with distinction as EO for 19 years.

Hood, who retired from classroom teaching in 2004, plans to continue to write in the areas of collective behavior/social movements, on the work of Erving Goffman, and in environmental sociology. He will actively support the growth and operation of SSSP and work with other scholarly societies. Hood, Professor Emeritus at University of Tennessee, believed that it was time for him to step down and for a new EO to step in and provide important leadership in moving the organization forward. Continuity in the SSSP administrative office will be provided by Michele Koontz, who will remain as the organization’s Administrative Officer and Meeting Manager. While Delgado resides in California, the administrative office of the SSSP will remain at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.


Tom Hood

The University of Tennessee and the University of La Verne will be excellent supportive locations for SSSP. The University of Tennessee, a 200-year-old Research I university, has 20,400 undergraduate and 6,000 graduate students in over 300 degree programs. Founded in 1891, the University of La Verne, a private institution, offering 88 bachelor’s and master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees. Fifty-five percent of La Verne’s students are members of a minority group and 51 percent are first-generation students. The university serves a larger number of non-traditional students than traditional-age students on its main and satellite campuses.

Delgado was chosen by the SSSP Selection Committee and the Board following their interviews of candidates in Boston in August 2008 and site visits to candidates’ campuses in November. Delgado has been a member of the SSSP for more than a decade, most recently serving as the co-chair of the 2008 program committee and the chair of the 2007 C. Wright Mills book award committee. Delgado has been, and continues to be active in the ASA. Currently he is the secretary/treasurer of the Labor and Labor Movement section of the ASA and has been active in the Latina/o Sociology section since its inception.

Delgado earned his PhD and an MA from the University of Michigan, an EdM from Rutgers University, and a BA (1971) in Political Science from Temple University, where he attended on a baseball scholarship. He is the author of New Immigrants, Old Unions: Organizing Undocumented Workers in Los Angeles (1994), one of the earliest and most influential books on the unionization of undocumented workers. Most recently he authored a chapter on the unionization of Latinas/os in Latinas/os in the United States: Changing the Face of America (2007), edited by Havidan Rodriguez, Rogelio Saenz, and Cecilia Menjivar. His research continues to focus principally on the unionization of immigrant workers. Prior to returning to graduate school for his doctorate in sociology in 1983, Delgado worked in higher education administration for more than a decade, including as an admissions officer and coordinator of Latina/o student recruitment for Rutgers University and as an assistant dean of students at Princeton University. He brings a wealth of administrative and community activist experience to the position.

The SSSP, founded in 1951, is an interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, advocates, and students interested in the application of critical, scientific, and humanistic perspectives to the study of vital social problems. The 22 different special problems divisions provide ample opportunities for young scholars to establish networks both at the annual meeting and online. Many members are social scientists by training; increasing numbers work in applied research and policy settings. Many, if not most, of SSSP’s members are members of the ASA as well. The relationship between the two organizations is a healthy one, and one Delgado plans to continue to nurture during his tenure as EO. The SSSP annual meeting usually precedes the ASA’s in the same city. The SSSP promotes research and dialogue through presentations at the annual meeting; publications in Social Problems, a leading journal in the field; awards to community groups; committee participation; consultation; and the generation of new ideas. Student members and newcomers are especially welcomed by the organization. logo_small

Delgado can be reached at He would love to hear from you, especially if it is to join the SSSP. For more information, see


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