Dr. Sherkat named Excellent Scholar | Sociology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Sherkat named Excellent Scholar

Congratulations to Darren Sherkat (pictured), recipient of the 2015 College Of Liberal Arts (CoLA) Scholar Excellence Award.

Darren SherkatThe CoLA Scholar Excellence Award goes to a scholar who demonstrates excellence in scholarship via peer reviewed outlets, has had a significant impact on the discipline, and has garnered a national or international reputation.

Dr. Sherkat has published fifty four articles in professional journals. Fifteen of these are solo authored and eleven of these articles have been in the two most prestigious journals in sociology, the American Sociological Review and Social Forces. Ten other articles have appeared in major journals, Social Science Research and Sociological Quarterly. His other research has appeared in major regional journals and specialty journals concerning his focus areas.

He has published three books, one solo-authored. His first book was published with Richard Peterson, an imminent Vanderbilt sociologist of organizations and founding chairperson of the American Sociological Association Sociology of Culture section, and two other co-authors. Dr. Sherkat published two more books in 2014. The first is Religion and Inequality in America: Research and Theory of Religions’ Role in Stratification, co-edited by Lisa Keister, Gilhuly Family Professor of Sociology at Duke University. The second is a solo-authored book, Changing Faith: The Dynamics and Consequences of Americans’ Shifting Religious Identities, which draws on his twenty years of experience researching religion in society.

Dr. Sherkat’s excellence in scholarship is indicative of his impact on the discipline. His focus has been in the sociology of religion where he has investigated religion’s relationship to politics, social movements, health, education, marriage, race, gender, culture, occupations, and even verbal ability. He has also investigated culture, health, and social movements apart from religion. Dr. Sherkat has given twenty seven invited talks at such eminent institutions as Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania and has presented papers at regional, national, and international meetings.

Dr. Sherkat’s work is wide-ranging and influential, tackling important issues and contributing to the ongoing understanding of societal patterns and social change. As Jim Wright, Professor of Sociology at University of Central Florida, states:  “Sherkat has garnered some 4,528 citations and achieved an h-index score of 34... already ten years ahead of where we would expect a superstar to be!”

Beyond his published and presented work in peer reviewed outlets, Dr. Sherkat has had a broad impact on the discipline via editorial duties. He is or has been a consulting editor for ten peer-reviewed journals, including the top journals in the discipline. Dr. Sherkat is a tireless reviewer, having reviewed for nearly seventy journals, publishers, and granting agencies.

He is a member of the American Sociological Association (sections on Religion, and Collective Behavior and Social Movements), Southern Sociological Society, and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. Dr. Sherkat is a sought after mentor, having chaired fourteen dissertations, co-chaired one, chaired five MA theses, and served on numerous other committees. These graduates have gone on to tenure track jobs in sociology and in applied professions.

Bill Danaher, chair of the Sociology Department at SIU says, “Since coming to SIU, Dr. Sherkat has provided me with a wealth of information about the discipline and the university and has been a fine colleague. I have seldom met a more dedicated scholar, whose high standards and work ethic are an example for his colleagues.”