Michael T. Light

Michael T. Light
907 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (586) 703-3889

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, Sociology (expected), 2013
  2. M.A., The Pennsylvania State University, Crime, Law and Justice, 2010
  3. B.A., Albion College, Albion, MI, Sociology (Cum Laude), 2007


Research Interests

Criminology, Immigration and Citizenship, Sociology of Punishment, Stratification, Urban Sociology

Honors, Awards & Fellowships

  • Crawford Family Fellowship in Ethical Inquiry, Rock Ethics Institute, Pennsylvania State University. 2012-2013.
  • Fellow, Rock Ethics Institute, Pennsylvania State University. 2012-2013.
  • Visiting Research Scholar, Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. Freiburg, Germany. 2012.
  • Rock Ethics Dissertation Research Award, Rock Ethics Institute, Pennsylvania State University. 2012.
  • 1st Prize, American Sociological Association Student Paper Award in the area of Crime, Law, and Deviance (with Casey T. Harris). 2010.
  • 2nd Prize, American Society of Criminology Gene Carte Student Paper Award: “Race, Space, and Violence (with Casey T. Harris). 2010.
  • 1st Prize, Penn State Crime, Law and Justice Graduate Student Paper Competition (with Casey T. Harris). 2010.
  • 2nd Prize, Young Scholar Paper Competition at SUNY Albany Symposium, The Past and Future of Empirical Sentencing Research. 2010.

funded research

  • National Science Foundation Dissertation Grant. “Punishing the ‘Others’: Understanding Citizenship through Punishment in the United States and Germany.” (PI) $18,074 (SES-1226453).
  • Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University. Mary O’Neill Marsh Student Enhancement Fund in Crime, Law, and Justice Grant. “The International Use of Incarceration.” (PI) $1,100.

Journal Articles

  • Light, Michael T. and Casey T. Harris. Forthcoming. “Race, Space, and Violence: Exploring Spatial Dependence in Structural Covariates of White and Black Violent Crime in U.S. Counties.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology.
  • Ulmer, Jeffery T., Michael T. Light, and John Kramer. 2011. “Racial Disparity in the Wake of the Booker/Fanfan Decision: An Alternative Analysis to the USSC’s 2010 Report.” Criminology & Public Policy 10: 1077-1118.
  • Ulmer, Jeffery T., Michael T. Light, and John Kramer. 2011. “Does Increased Judicial Discretion Lead to Increased Disparity? The “Liberation” of Judicial Sentencing Discretion In the Wake of the Booker/Fanfan Decision.” Justice Quarterly 28: 799-837.
  • Ulmer, Jeffery T. and Michael T. Light. 2011. “Beyond Disparity: Changes in Federal Sentencing Post-Booker and Gall.Federal Sentencing Reporter 23(5):333-341.
  • Ulmer, Jeffery T. and Michael T. Light. 2010. “Federal Case Processing and Sentencing Before and After the Booker/Fanfan Decision: Little Has Changed.” Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice 14:143-178.
  • Light, Michael T. and Dimeji Togunde. 2008. “The Mexican Immigration Debate: Assimilation and Public Policy.” International Review of Modern Sociology 34(2): 279-293.

Other Publications

  • Lopez, Mark Hugo and Michael T. Light. “A Rising Share: Hispanics and Federal Crime,” Pew Hispanic Center, Washington, D.C. (February 18, 2009).

Manuscripts Under Review

  • Light, Michael T., Michael Massoglia, and Ryan D. King. “Immigrants and Outlaws: The Salience of Citizenship in Criminal Courts.” (2nd Revise and Resubmit to the American Sociological Review.)
  • Light, Michael T. “Who’s Unequal Under Law? Race/Ethnicity, Citizenship, and the Long-Term Trends in Sentencing Disparities. (In preparation for resubmission to Law & Society Review)