Steven John Stack - Professor

Dr. Stack is one of our University's most prolific social science research authors. As of 2012, he has published 214 research articles, two books, and 69 chapters. Most of these concern the risk and protective factors for suicide. Also included are streams of work on  the effect of executions on homicide rates, public opinion on crime, the political economy of global income inequality, sociology of research productivity, religiosity, divorce, and deviant sexual behavior (To see Dr. Stack's list of publications, click the link to his vita). Much of his work is published in high impact journals including the American Sociological Review, J of Health & Social Behavior, J. of Epidemiology & Community Health, J. of Marriage & Family, Social Forces, Social Science & Medicine,  Justice Quarterly, and Criminology. As of March 2012, Dr. Stack's work had received 3,291 citations according to data in the Web of Science (online), making him the most highly cited professor in the College's Social Science Division. Among the world's top 500 specialists in suicide on the Web of Science, he ranks in the top 4 to top 22 on standard metrics such as  citations, cited works, and co-authored adjusted citations.  In the last ten years he has served as an invited plenary speaker at international conferences in Vienna, Glasgow, Montreal and Jinan, China.

Research Awards His research on suicide and homicide has been supported grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, Guggenheim Foundation, and Barber Fund for Legal Research. He received the Edwin Shneidman Award for excellence in research on suicide (1985), and the Louis Dublin Award for lifetime contributions to suicide research (2003), both from the American Association of Suicidology. He was awarded the Wayne State Board of Governor's Distinguished Faculty Fellowship (2004) for sustained contributions to research. In 2008 he received the MacNamara Award for the best journal article from the  Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Teaching Though his research keeps him quite busy, Dr. Stack does not neglect his students. He has taught undergraduates courses, and graduate seminars in deviant behavior and social control. He has co-authored 16 papers with students. In the last five years he has served as an Advisor on PhD Committees at universities in Australia, Austria,  China, Denmark, Sweden, and WSU. He has been active in the scholarship of teaching  being one of the first social scientists to employ computer simulations of social phenomena in his classes the 1970's. He has taught hybrid and online sections of his undergraduate classes for over 10 years and has received many travel grants to present papers at regional & national conferences on the use of technology in teaching.  His publications on the scholarship of teaching have appeared in such journals as SIMGAMES, Teaching Sociology, and Journal of Criminal Justice Education.

Professional Service In addition to his research and teaching, Dr. Stack serves as a grant referee for the Centers for Disease Control (9 panels last 5 years),  National Science Foundation's sociology and political science programs, Israeli Science Foundation, and National Institute of Mental Health. He has served as the Secretary of the American Association of Suicidology, and President of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society. He serves on three journal editorial boards and has reviewed over 400 papers for journals in the last ten years. Stack serves on two state advisory boards: Michigan Association for Suicide Prevention, and the Michigan Department of Public Health's National Violent Death Reporting System. He also serves on the University of Michigan's, Injury Control Center's Advisory Board. 

Media Coverage His research has attracted considerable attention from the mass media including coverage in Associated Press-Worldstream, BBC radio, Life Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Psychology Today, television's "Entertainment Tonight," Time, The Times (London), US NEWS & World Report, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Other Positions  Dr. Stack currently (2012) holds positions as faculty affiliate in the WSU Department of Psychiatry, Injury Research & Control Center, West Virginia University, School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan, China, and Visiting Scholar, University of Michigan. His previous teaching appointments include positions in sociology departments at University of Michigan, Alma College, Indiana University, Penn State University, and Auburn University.

Hobbies Dr. Stack enjoys climbing mountains.

Selected Highly Cited Publications

*2000. Suicide: A 15-Year Review of the Sociological Literature, Part I. Suicide & Life Threatening Behavior, 30:145-162 (108 citations) (A citation classic, top1% in cites)) *1982."Suicide: A Decade Review of the Sociological Literature." Deviant Behavior, 4(Fall): 41-66. (108 cites) (a Citation Classic, top 1% articles in journal)

*2000. Suicide: A 15-Year Review of the Sociological Literature, Part II. Suicide & Life Threatening Behavior, 30:163-176. (106 citations) (A citation classic)

*1998 (with Ross Eshleman) "Marital Status and Happiness: A Comparative Analysis." Journal of Marriage and the Family. 60 (MAY): 527-536. (104 citations)

*1983 "The Effect of Religious Commitment on Suicide: A Cross- National Analysis." Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24(December): 362-374(90 citations).

*1980 "The Effect of Marital Dissolution on Suicide." Journal of Marriage and the Family, 42(FEBRUARY): 83-92 (82 citations).

*1987 "Celebrities and Suicide: A Taxonomy & Analysis, 1948-83," American Sociological Review, 52(JUNE):401-413 (82 citations).

* pdf file available online electronic journals.

Courses Taught
CRJ/SOC 4800, Sociology of Deviant Behavior
CRJ/SOC 7050/7060, Seminar in Deviant Behavior
CRJ 4000, Criminological Theory
CRJ 4860, Research Methods

View Dr. Stack's Curriculum Vitae (Vitae)

3258 Faculty/Administration Building
Research Area
Comparative Analysis of Crime & Deviant Behavior
Deviant Behavior
Epidemiology of Violence
Mass Communications
Public Opinion on Crime & Justice
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