photoI’m Melissa Fletcher Pirkey, and I’m currently a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the sociology department at Emory University. I received my PhD from the University of Notre Dame.

My research addresses  core concerns of organizational life through two complementary lines of inquiry. The first is the identification of processes and mechanisms that help to produce outcomes such as cohesion, commitment, trust, affective regard, and group identification in groups and organizations. The second is the examination of how these outcomes generate support, stability, productivity and a sense of community. My work brings together theories and perspectives from several core subfields, including sociology of organizations, social psychology, and sociology of culture. In particular, I specialize in ecological and institutional theories, social exchange theory, social cognition, and symbolic interaction. This synthetic theoretical orientation has led me to work within and across multiple analytic levels.

My work has been published in outlets such as Qualitative Sociology and Research in the Sociology of Organizations and I am the recipient of the University of Notre Dame Sociology Department’s John J. Kane Memorial Award, presented annually to an outstanding graduate student. I have also been recognized for excellence in teaching by the Kaneb Institute for Teaching and Learning and the Graduate School of the University of Notre Dame.

I am originally from Manchester, CT. Before becoming a sociologist I earned a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, and worked for several years as a product designer.