Photo of Dennis J. Downey

Dennis J. Downey

Professor, Sociology

Contact Information


Ph.D. Sociology, University of California, Irvine, 2002
M.A. Comparative Culture, University of California, Irvine, 1995


Dennis Downey earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine, in 2002. He has been a member of the Sociology Program at CSUCI since the fall of 2007. He is excited to contribute to the development of the newest campus of the California State University system.

His research focuses on movements for social change, and the strategies and organizational forms developed by leaders. He is particularly interested in social changes concerning issues of diversity. He is currently completing a monograph on the history of the Orange County Human Relations Commission/Council and its role for four decades in guiding dramatic changes in that county. He has previously published articles on contemporary and historical human relations organizations.

His regular teaching responsibilities focus on core areas of coursework including Introduction to Sociology, and basic and advanced methods courses. In recent years, he has annually co-taught a course on Social Entrepreneurship, and occasionally teaches a course on Social Movements. He is particularly interested in integrating service learning projects and student research into his courses. He has been increasingly active in community engaged research and in 2010 was awarded the Community Engaged Faculty Award from the CSUCI Center for Community Engagement.