Debra Jo Schleef, Chair and Professor of Sociology, earned a Ph.D. (1997) and an M.A. (1991) in sociology from Northwestern University, and a B.A. (1988) in sociology from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, where she graduated summa cum laude. Her recent research focuses on the composition of the Hispanic community in the greater “New South,” including demographic trends, the impact of immigration on the area, and Latino efforts to adapt to their new home. Schleef is co-author, with H.B. Cavalcanti, of Latinos in Dixie: Class and Assimilation in Richmond, Virginia (2009).
Dr. Schleef’s articles have appeared in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Journal of American and Comparative Cultures, Gender Issues, the Hispanic Journal for Behavioral Studies, and Sociology of Education. She also is the author of a book on professional socialization, Managing Elites: Professional Socialization in Law and Business Schools (2005). In addition, Dr. Schleef has participated in panel discussions on the political and social trends in the south at the 17th annual Virginia Festival of the Book and on the experiences of recent Hispanic immigrants to Virginia at the University of Richmond.
She is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Southern Sociological Association, and the Law and Society Association. She is the recipient of two Mary Washington Faculty Development Grants and a Jepson Fellowship. Dr .Schleef is an authoritative source on the sociology of law, occupations and professions, professional education and socialization, elites, race/class/gender and Latino migration and assimilation in the American South.