Jennie Kronenfeld ‘71
I attended UNC from 1967 through 1971, and was a double major in sociology and history. Some of those were quite turbulent years at the university, covering such times as the cafeteria workers’ strike, and protests against the Vietnam War and demonstrations after the death of Martin Luther King, resulting in courses in my junior year spring semester just ending due to the problems on the campus. These were interesting years to be a sociology major, given all these varied social and political concerns. By my senior year I knew I wanted a social science career, and made the decision to focus on sociology, rather than history, due to better long-term career opportunities. I decided to attend graduate school at Brown University, with a focus on urban sociology.
Once at Brown, my fellowship was in a special grant linked to medical sociology in the urban context, and that required me to pursue medical sociology as well as urban sociology, my two areas of focus in graduate school. By the time I was writing my dissertation, I had become more interested in medical sociology and that, along with interests in aging and the lifecourse and gender, have been the focus of most of my professional career. I left Brown in the fall of 1975 to begin my first academic appointment at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) in sociology, although because Brown has only one graduation a year, the date of my doctorate is 1976. I spend 5 years at UAB both in sociology but also as a faculty member in the newly created School of Public Health. From there, I spent 10 years in the health administration program in the School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina (1980-1990), and expanded my research interests from issues of health care utilization and gender and health, to many broader health policy concerns as well as work on health behavior topics such as health promotion and preventive health behaviors. The last 25 years of my career were spent at Arizona State University (1990-2015), first in a health administration master’s program in the College of Business and then with a return to the sociology department at ASU.
Across my career, I have always maintained my strong contacts with sociology professionally, and have served the medical sociology section in many roles including being chair of the section. I was also the President of Sociologists for Women in Society. I have also held office in the medical care section of the American Public Health Association, and am a Fellow in the American Academy of Health Behavior.
My research interests at ASU continued to focus on health policy, aging and health, gender and health, and health behavior concerns. For the last 15 years, one of my scholarly pleasures was participation again with a sociology doctoral program, and mentoring a number of students with interests in medical sociology and aging. I retired from ASU at the end of December, 2015, but remain professionally active on journal boards and as coeditor and deputy editor of two journals and the editor each year of a research annual in medical sociology.
Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Arizona State University
Submitted December 2015