Associate Dean Jennifer Keene, Ph.D.
Jennifer Keene earned her B.A. in sociology from Tulane University and completed her graduate work in sociology at Florida State University. She received her Ph.D. from FSU in 2001 and joined the UNLV Department of Sociology the same year.
Keene’s research falls within the area of sociology of family with an emphasis on intersectional inequality. Her scholarship focuses on family caregiving and relationships across the life course as they relate to gender and race, and to families’ health, well-being, and economic resources. In recent years, Keene has conducted research on work-family balance, the effects of spousal caregiving on widows’ well-being, and disparities in health-insurance benefits.
She is currently working on several projects devoted to grandparent-headed families and is working with a local organization in Las Vegas to study the benefits of peer-support for grieving families. Her book, Death and Dying in America (2009, Polity Press), with Andrea Fontana, examines the major processes surrounding the culture and rituals of death in the U.S. A committed teacher, she won the 2005 College of Liberal Arts William Morris Teaching Award and, that same year, the UNLV Alumni Association Award for Student-Centeredness.