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Faculty and Staff Profile

Catherine Mobley

Professor of Sociology
Internship Coordinator

Office: Brackett 130H
Phone: 864-656-3815
Fax: 864-656-1252

 Educational Background

Ph.D. Sociology
University of Maryland 1996

M.S. Policy Analysis
University of Bath, England 1990

B.A. Sociology
Clemson University 1984

 Courses Taught

Introduction to Sociology
Environmental Sociology (Environment, Technology, and Society)
Social Problems
Policy and Social Change
Field Placement/Internship (Undergraduate and Graduate)
Evaluation Research (Graduate)
Biocomplexity/Sustainability (Interdisciplinary Graduate-level Seminar)


Dr. Mobley has been actively engaged with several research projects in the past several years: In March 2018, Dr. Mobley was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for a project "“Explaining the Choice, Persistence, and Attrition of Black Students in Electrical, Computer, and Mechanical Engineering.” This mixed-method project will take place at two historically black colleges and two predominantly white institutions. The project is investigating four research questions: (a) Why do Black students choose and persist in, or leave ME, EE, and CpE? (b) What are the academic trajectories of Black ME, EE, and CpE students? (c) How do these pathways vary by gender and institution-type? (d) What institutional policies and practices promote greater retention of Black engineering students? Her Co-PI's on this project are Dr. Marisa Orr (Clemson University), Dr. Cindy Waters (NC A&T), Dr. Catherine Brawner (Research Triangle Education Consultants), and Dr. Rebecca Brent (Education Designs, Inc.). Dr. Mobley is currently preparing a book proposal "Career Pathways in Sociology for the 21st Century and Beyond" the to expand perceptions about career possibilities for sociology majors.

 Research Interests

Dr. Catherine Mobley is a Professor of Sociology at Clemson University. In recent years, her research has focused on sustainability, environmental sociology, and technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Her focus is on identifying the human factors (cultural, social, economic and political) that influence environmental and educational policies. She has more than 30 years of experience conducting evaluations, developing surveys (traditional and web-based), conducting in-depth interviews, and moderating focus groups. A Clemson University alumna, prior to her arrival at Clemson University, Dr. Mobley worked or consulted for a variety of organizations, including the RAND Corporation, the U.S. Department of Education, the American Association of Retired Persons, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Planning Research Corporation, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Regarding her research, since 1996, Dr. Mobley has been involved in nearly 40 grants and contracts totaling more than $6,800,000; much of this work is interdisciplinary. Nearly all of this funding has been obtained from external sources, including six major grants from the National Science Foundation and additional funding from other agencies such as the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the United Way of Pickens County, and the Clemson University Restoration Institute.

In 2004, Dr. Mobley joined the NSF-funded MIDFIELD interdisciplinary research team which is examining the educational pathways of engineering students at eleven universities. She just completed a NSF-funded project on transfer students in engineering at the eleven MIDFIELD institutions. In May 2014, she was a Blaustein Visiting Professor at Stanford University to engage in interdisciplinary research on sustainability.

 Research Publications

Partial List:

Mobley, Catherine and Catherine Brawner. 2018. (Forthcoming). “ ‘Life Prepared Me Well for Succeeding’: The Enactment of Community Cultural Wealth and Transfer Student Capital by First-Generation Engineering Transfer Students.” Journal of Community College Research and Practice, accepted January 2018.

Mobley, Catherine, Catherine Brawner, Joyce Main, Susan Lord and Michelle Camacho. (2017).
“Entering the Engineering Pathway: Student Veterans’ Decision to Major in Engineering.” Proceedings of the American Society of Engineering Education Conference, Columbus, OH, June, 2017. (Paper received the “Best Paper Award” from the Military Veterans and Constituents Committee of the ASEE.)

Gillispie, Melinda, Catherine Mobley, Lynette Gibson, and Arelis Moore de Peralta. 2016. “Perceptions of and Preferences for a Mobile Health Clinic for Underserved Populations: Results of Five Focus Groups.” GHS (Greenville Health System) Proceedings, 1(2) November: 97-104.

Yates, Adam, Ye Luo, Catherine Mobley and Erin Shealy. 2015. “Changes in Public and Private Environmental Behaviors by Gender: Findings from the 1994 and 2010 General Social Survey.” Sociological Inquiry, 85(4): 503-531.

Mobley, Catherine. 2015. “What Matters When Explaining Environmentalism at the Watershed Level: Who You Are, Where You Live, What You See, or What You Perceive?" Environment and Behavior, first published online May 18, 2015 doi:10.1177/0013916515586058

Mobley, Catherine, Catherine Brawner, & Russell Long. 2014. “Looking Upstream: Identifying and Describing the Entry Points into Engineering Transfer Pathways.” Published in the Proceedings of the Frontiers in Engineering Annual Conference. Madrid, Spain, October.

Brawner, Catherine and Catherine Mobley. 2014. “Motivations and Experiences of Older Transfer Students in Engineering.” Published in the Proceedings of the Frontiers in Engineering Annual Conference. Madrid, Spain, October.

Mobley, Catherine, Cindy Lee, John Morse, Jeffrey Allen, and Christine Murphy. 2013. “Learning about Sustainability: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar in Biocomplexity.” International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 15(1): 16-33.

Mobley, Catherine and William Kilbourne. 2013. “Gender Differences in Pro-Environmental Intentions: A Cross-National Perspective on the Influence of Self-Enhancement Values and Views on Technology.” Sociological Inquiry. 83(2): 310-332. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-682X.2012. 00431.x

Mobley, Catherine, Catherine Brawner, and Erin Shealy. 2013. Work in Progress: First-Generation Engineering Transfer Students: A Qualitative Study of Social and Cultural Capital. The Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Conference, October 23-26, 2013, Oklahoma City, OK. DOI: 10.1109/FIE.2013.6685118.

Sharp, Julia L., Catherine Mobley, Cathy Hammond, Cairen Withington, Sam Drew, Sam Stringfield, and Natalie Stipanovic. 2012. “A Mixed Methods Sampling Methodology for a Multisite Case Study.” Journal of Mixed Methods Research 6(1): 34-54.

Giacalone, Katie, Catherine Mobley, James Witte, Calvin Sawyer, and Gene Eidson. 2010. “Survey Says: Implications of a Public Perception Survey on Stormwater Education Programming.” The Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, 146(1): 92-102.

Mobley, Catherine. 2011. “Diversity, Service-Learning and Social Justice: Finding Common Ground through Mindful Service-Learning.” Pp. 83-103 in Trae Stewart and Nicole Webster (Eds.), Cultural Dynamics and Tensions in Service Learning. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Mobley, Catherine, Wade Vagias, and Sarah DeWard. 2010. “Exploring Additional Determinants of Environmental Behavior: The Role of Environmental Literature and Environmental Attitudes.” Environment and Behavior, 42(4): 420-447.

Mobley, Catherine, Catherine Brawner and Matt Ohland. 2009. “The South Carolina Merit Scholarship: Strategies Used by Engineering Students to Keep their Scholarships.” International Journal of Engineering Education 25(6): 1249-1256.

Mobley, Catherine, James Witte, Roy Pargas, and Justin Green. 2009. “Public Opinion on Water-Related Issues: Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors of Residents of Horry and Georgetown Counties, South Carolina.” Carolina Clear, Clemson University Restoration Institute, December.

Mobley, Catherine, James Witte, Roy Pargas, and Justin Green. 2009. “Public Opinion on Water-Related Issues: Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors of Residents of Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties, South Carolina.” Carolina Clear, Clemson University Restoration Institute, December.

Mobley, Catherine. 2007. “Breaking Ground: Engaging Undergraduates in Social Change.” Teaching Sociology 35(2): 125-137.

 Honors and Awards

Recipient of Class of '39 Award for Faculty Excellence, awarded to one faculty member per year, 2014.


CV - May 2018