Inequality, Health Disparities, Food Insecurity, Youth/Life Course
SOC 4210 – Aging and The Life Course
SOC 3420 – The Family
SOC 1000 – Introduction to Sociology (Honors)
I am a Huggins Fellow and doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Broadly, my interests are in inequality and health disparities, with a particular focus on food insecurity. I frequently borrow from the life course paradigm and theories of social capital to help inform and frame my research. My dissertation examines food insecurity among college students—a population that has generally been overlooked within the literature—and the impact it has on academic, health, and social life outcomes. A goal of my research agenda is to broaden the understanding of food insecurity and how it impacts health by revealing the ways it operates through social factors; rather than treating food as simply a source of calories or nutrients, I emphasize the importance of food to social status and in shaping the same relationships it simultaneously moves through via practices of informal sharing and family role expectations. In other words, I investigate the non-nutritional pathways through which food and food insecurity may impact health.
Mizzou Advantage International Travel Award ($900) – 2017
Sociology Research Award ($2,000) – 2017
Deaton Scholar – Spring 2017
G. Ellsworth Huggins Fellowship ($8-9,600 per year) – Fall 2013-Present
Bernice Jones Endowed Chair in Community Award ($500) – Spring 2013
Katherine Hinson Outstanding Sociology Student Award – Spring 2010
Fitzpatrick, Kevin M. and Don Willis (Eds.). 2015. A Place-Based Perspective of Food in Society. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan.
Willis, Don E., and Kevin M. Fitzpatrick. Forthcoming 2017. “Food Insecurity and Childhood Health Outcomes.” Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor, edited by Leslie Hossfeld, Brooke Kelly, and Jill Waity.
Fitzpatrick, Kevin M., and Don E. Willis. 2014. “Race and Place.” Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior and Society, edited by Stella Quah, William C. Cockerham, and Robert Dingwall. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing Limited.
Peer Reviewed Publications:
Willis, Don E., and Kevin M. Fitzpatrick. Forthcoming 2017. “Food Insecurity and Social Capital Among Middle School Students.” Youth & Society.
Fitzpatrick, Kevin M., Don E. Willis. Forthcoming 2017. "Risks, Resources, and Depressive Symptomatology Among Marshallese Adolescents." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
Willis, Don E., and Kevin M. Fitzpatrick. 2016. “Psychosocial Factors as Mediators of Food Insecurity and Weight Status Among Middle School Students.” Appetite 103(1): 236-243.
Fitzpatrick, Kevin M., and Don E. Willis. 2015. “Parent/Student Risk and Protective Factors in Understanding Early Adolescents’ Body Mass Index.” The Journal of Early Adolescence, 36(4):510-526.
Fitzpatrick, Kevin M., Don E. Willis, and Gail O’Connor. 2014. “Circumstances, Resources, and Weight Status Outcomes Among Middle School Students.” The Journal of Early Adolescence 34(8):1058-1074.
Fitzpatrick, Kevin M., Don E. Willis. 2017. "Risks, Resources, and Depressive Symptomatology Among Marshallese Adolescents" Presented at the American Sociological Association Meetings, Montréal (August).
Schatz, Enid, Margaret Ralston, Sangeetha Madhavan, Don Willis, F. Xavier Gomez-Olive, and Mark Collinson. 2015. “Older person’s living arrangements and health in rural South Africa: Confirming social positioning?” Presented at the 7th African Population Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa (November/December).
Willis, Don E., and Kevin M. Fitzpatrick. 2015. “Psychosocial Mediators of the Food Insecurity-Obesity Paradox.” Presented at the Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meetings, Kansas City (March).
Hermsen, Joan., and Don Willis. 2015. “Young Women's Attitudes about Future Work: The Role of Maternal Education and Employment.” Presented at the Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meetings, Kansas City (March).
Willis, Don E., and Kevin Fitzpatrick. 2014. “Resources and Relationships: Food Insecurity and Social Capital Among Middle School Students.” Presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, San Francisco (August).
Fitzpatrick, Kevin M., Don Willis, and Gail O’Connor. 2013. “Social Class, Social Resources and Weight Status Outcomes Among Middle School Students.” Presented at the American Sociological Association Meetings, New York (August)
Willis, Don E. 2010. “Gender-Specific Messages: Analysis of Relationship Framing in Popular Men’s and Women’s Magazines.” Presented at Arkansas Undergraduate Sociology and Anthropology Symposium, 2010.