Dr. Jennifer Sims

Assistant Professor, Sociology Department


Jennifer Patrice Sims is a sociologist who specializes in the study of race/ethnicity. After completing her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014, she taught as an Adjunct Visiting Professor at UW-River Falls before coming to UAH as an Assistant Professor in 2017.

Taking mixed-race people as her main focus, Dr. Sims’ research examines racial construction, perception, and identity in the US and UK. She has conducted statistical analysis of survey data to examine perceptions of mixed-race attractiveness, qualitative interviews to study mixed-race people’s experiences navigating racial ambiguity, and experiments testing the influence of hairstyle on racial perception. Her current project examines the identity, appearance, and relationships of LGBTQ mixed-race teens and adults. Dr. Sims’ work takes a critical and intersectional approach that gives particular attention to the ways national context, gender, and sexuality intersect with race.

In addition to her research, Dr. Sims has written essays for public outlets (e.g., racismreview.com). She also organized an international team of scholars to produce the first book-length sociological analysis of Harry Potter and frequently uses material from fictional series to illustrate sociological concepts in the classroom. Dr. Sims’ teaching also utilizes collaborative learning activities and she is a 2018 UAH Collaborative Learning Fellow.

View Dr. Jennifer Sims' Curriculum Vitae

View Dr. Jennifer Sims' Personal Webpage.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, 2014, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.A., Sociology, 2006, Vanderbilt University
  • B.A., Sociology, 2004, Hampton University

Classes Taught


  • Association of Black Sociologists
  • American Sociological Association
  • Critical Mixed Race Studies Association
  • Southern Sociological Society


  • Sims, Jennifer Patrice and Chinelo L. Njaka. 2020. Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.
  • Sims, Jennifer Patrice, Whitney Laster Pirtle, and Iris Johnson-Arnold. 2019. “Doing Hair, Doing Race: The influence of hairstyle on racial perception across the US.” Ethnic and Racial Studies [https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2019.1700296.
  • Sims, Jennifer Patrice and Remi Joseph-Salisbury. 2019. “‘We were all just the black kids:’ Black mixed-race men and the importance of adolescent peer groups for identity development.” Social Currents 6 (1): 51-66.
  • Sims, Jennifer Patrice. 2016. “Reevaluation of the Influence of Appearance and Reflected Appraisals for Mixed Race Identity: The Role of Consistent Inconsistent Racial Perception.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2 (4): 569-583.
  • Sims, Jennifer Patrice. 2012. “Beautiful Stereotypes: The Relationship between Physical Attractiveness and Mixed Race Identity.” Identities 19 (1): 61-80.
  • Sims, Jenn (ed.) 2012. The Sociology of Harry Potter: 22 Enchanting Essays on the Wizarding World. Hamden, CT: Zossima Press.