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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Leslie Hossfeld

Dean - College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
Professor of Sociology


Phone: 864-656-7640


Educational Background

North Carolina State University PhD, Sociology

University of Mississippi Master of Social Science, Sociology

University of North Carolina Wilmington BA, History

Courses Taught

Rural Sociology
Community Development
Research Methods
Gender and Society


Leslie Hossfeld is trained in rural sociology from North Carolina State University with experience examining rural poverty and economic restructuring. She has made two presentations to the U.S. Congress and one to the North Carolina legislature on job loss and rural economic decline. Dean Hossfeld has served as co-chair of the American Sociological Association Task Force on Public Sociology, vice president of Sociologists for Women in Society, president of the Southern Sociological Society, chair of the American Sociological Association Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology and the Mississippi Food Policy Council, and a member of the Executive Council of the North Carolina Sociological Association (NCSA), which awarded her a lifetime achievement award in February 2019. Currently, Dr. Hossfeld serves on the USDA SERA-47 multi-state initiative, Strengthening the Southern Region Extension and Research System to Support Local and Regional Food Needs and Priorities, in 13 states in the southern region. Prior to joining Clemson, Dean Hossfeld was head of the Department of Sociology, Criminology and Social Work at Mississippi State University and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has developed economic recovery projects for rural North Carolina counties and food sovereignty projects in the Mississippi Delta using health as an economic development strategy. Her current research focuses on multi-disciplinary strategies and collaborative partnerships around local food systems development and nutrition security. She works to bridge U.S. local food systems research to health disparities to develop policy coherence linking health and agriculture policy.

Research Interests

Rural Communities
Social Determinants of Health
Health and Agriculture Policy

Research Publications


Hossfeld, L., 2022. “An Engaged Emancipatory Sociology,” Footnotes (50)1. January. American Sociological Association.

Russell, K., Hossfeld, L., Rico Mendez, G. 2021. "Not a New Pattern": Black Farmers' Perspectives on Barriers to Participating in Federal Farm Programs. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. August.

Hossfeld, L., Kelly, B., Hossfeld, C. Editors, July 2021, Routledge International Handbook on Public Sociology. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780367518837

Pyle, S., Eichinger, M., Garst, B., Mobley, C., Griffin, S., Hossfeld, L., McGirr, M., Saunders, H. 2021. “Diseases and Disaster: Navigating Food Insecurity in a Community Affected by Crises during COVID-19,” Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. April.

Hossfeld, L., Kelly, B., Waity, J. 2021. “Finding Class in Food Justice Efforts,” IN Routledge Handbook of Working-Class Studies, Edited by Fazio, M., Launius, C., Strangelman, T. London: Routledge.

Hossfeld, L. Kelly, B., Waity, J. 2021. "Poverty and Class Inequality". IN, Ed. Trevino, J., Investigating Social Problems. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Thompson, D., McKinley, K., Hossfeld, L., Johnson, K., et. al. 2020."Assembling Community Stakeholders to Facilitate Food Justice in Rural Mississippi: The Oktibbeha Food Policy Council" USLS-2019-0076.R1. Sociological Spectrum USLS-2019-0076.R1.

Moore De Peralta, A., Eichinger, M., Hossfeld, L. 2020. "Public Health Nutrition: Rural, Urban, and Global Community-Based Practice". Springer Publications.

Cistrunk, K., Oliver, B., Kerr, LJ, Trinh, M., Kobia, C., Hossfeld, L., Johnson, K., Jones, C., 2019. “An Ecological Approach to Understanding Program Management Practices for Food Pantries in Rural Communities,” Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 12(1), 68-76.

Hossfeld, L., Kerr, LJ, Belue, J., 2019. "The Good Food Revolution: Building Community Resiliency in the Mississippi Delta, Social Sciences", MDPI, 8(2) 1-10 February.

Ralston, M., Johnson, K., Hossfeld, L., Beech, B., 2019. "Examining the Nexus of Obesity, Mental Health and Rural County Level Food Access: Testing the Enduring Role of Persistent Poverty." Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, KLVI (2), June, 101-124.

Hossfeld, L., Rico-Mendez, G., 2018. “Looking for Food: Food Access, Food Insecurity and the Food Environment in Rural Mississippi.” Family and Community Health. DOI: 10.1097/FCH.0000000000000182. March.

Hossfeld, L., Kelly, B., Waity, J., 2018, Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor. Vanderbilt University Press.

Hossfeld, L., Kelly, B., Waity, J., O’Donnell, E., 2017. “Food Sovereignty, Food Access, and the Local Food Movement in Southeastern North Carolina,” Special Issue, Humanity and Society, October. DOI: 10.1177/0160597617733619.

Johnson, K., McKinley, K., Hossfeld, L Jones, C., Kerr, L., Oliver, B., Trinh, M., September 2017. “God Always Provides”: Challenges and Barriers in Food Assistance Delivery in Mississippi,” Journal of Community Development, Taylor & Frances. 10.1080/15575330.2017.1379029

Honors and Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award Outstanding Contributions to the Discipline of Sociology, North Carolina Sociological Association 2019

Mississippi State University President’s Commission on the Status of Women Faculty Award, 2018

Inducted Research Fellow, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, 2016

Named Margaret Devereux Lippitt Rorison Faculty Fellow in Community Engagement, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2013

Recipient University of North Carolina Wilmington Faculty Research Award, 2012

Recipient of the University of North Carolina Wilmington Distinguished Faculty Public Service and Scholarly Engagement Award, 2011

25th Anniversary Award, Center for Community Action, Community Engagement, in the area of Economy for Outstanding Leadership and Contribution to the Well-Being of Community Life, 2005

Received the Nancy Pollock Dissertation Award for Outstanding Scholarly Research Benefiting the North Carolina Economy and the Quality of Life for its Citizens North Carolina State University, 2003

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
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