Brian Rich

Professor of Sociology

Brian Rich has spent more than 15 years as an advocate and activist with Latino immigrant communities in Lexington and the Southeast. He brings examples of the social issues they face into the classroom to help his Transylvania students “make sense of themselves and the world around them.”

His goal is to create a comfortable yet challenging atmosphere where students feel free to discuss sensitive issues and ask questions. “A good teacher guides students in seeing both the simple facts and the deeper complexities of the social world,” he adds. 

Rich’s connections in Lexington provide ample opportunities for internships and service learning projects close to campus. “Those experiences are invaluable to students’ understanding and integral to finding solutions to the many challenges we face,” he says.

When asked what you can do with a sociology degree, Rich is quick to answer.

“With all honesty, almost anything that interests you,” he says. “Our graduates work in social services, business, government, medicine, law, education, and more. Because of the diverse perspectives they’re exposed to in our liberal arts curriculum, they develop a great appreciation for the diversity of perspectives that people in our city, country, and world bring together in so many interesting ways. It helps them see how we are all connected, how history affects the future, and how our individual lives are part of the larger social world that we share with so many different people.”

Transylvania is situated in a beautiful and socially interesting location, with a dynamic community that is growing more diverse, more energetic, and more creative every year.

Academic History

Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1993
M.A., Sociology, California State University, East Bay, 1984
B.A., Linguistics, University of California, San Diego, 1981

Courses Taught at Transy

Population Dynamics
Sociology of Mass Media
Social Change and Social Movements
Social Theory
Social Inequality and Stratification

Areas of Research

Latino immigration in Kentucky
Social inequality
Social movements
Social diversity
World population dynamics


Bingham Excellence-in-Teaching Fellow
Transylvania 225 Celebration of Diversity Award

Recent Publications

2010. “Ana Romero and Death Prisons for the Innocent.” Latino Studies 8 (3): 399-410.

2005. (with Marta Miranda) “The Sociopolitical Dynamics of Mexican Immigration in Lexington, Kentucky, 1997-2002: An Ambivalent Community Responds,” pp.187-219 in New Destinations: Mexican Migration in the United States. Edited by Victor Zuñiga and Rubén

Professional Memberships

American Sociological Association
Sociologists without Borders
Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky
Association for Humanist Sociology