Faculty Spotlight

Read about some of our distinguished faculty and their accomplishments.

Sarah Adayinka-Skold Headshot
Sarah Adeyinka-Skold, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Dr. Sarah Adeyinka-Skold

Assistant Professor

Dr. Adeyinka-Skold (AKA Dr. Sarah) is excited to join the sociology faculty at LMU! She was formerly an assistant professor of Sociology at Furman University. She earned her sociology doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on how relationship formation in the United States reveals racial, gender, and sexuality inequality. In short, she does research on dating and relationships in the digital age! Her work has been published in academic forums such as the DuBois Review and Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and edited books. Dr. Sarah’s work has also sparked the interest of non-academic venues and popular media figures interested in Black women’s experiences. Her research about dating in the digital age debuted in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the city’s largest newspaper. Dr. Sarah's research has also been featured in Elle and Women’s Health and she was a guest on The Laverne Cox Show, a podcast were she and Laverne discussed dating, relationships, and being Black.

Dr. Sarah is glad to be back home in Los Angeles with her husband Wes, her two children (Rex and Ace), and their dog, Toast. She grew up in Downey and Santa Fe Springs but is looking forward to living and working near the beach. When not ear hustling about dating and relationships, Dr. Sarah can be found playing spelling word games on her phone, napping, watching reality tv (Love is Blind anyone???), doomscrolling on Twitter, and running around with her kiddos.

Please check out my website: https://www.sarahadeyinka-skold.com/

Welcome to LMU Dr. Adeyinka-Skold!


Dr. Sara Villalta Headshot
Sara Villalta, Assistant Professor of Sociology

Dr. Sara Villalta

Assistant Professor

Dr. Sara Villalta, originally from Riverside, CA, is a graduate from the University of California, Riverside, earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Irvine, and is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton University. Positioned at the intersection of race and ethnicity, educational stratification, social networks, and adolescent peer relationships, Dr. Villalta’s research quantitively interrogates how social structure influences ties between people and how those ties, in turn, replicate social inequality in the United States.

While an avid and distinguished researcher, Dr. Villalta’s research endeavors have not eclipsed her passion for teaching and mentorship as she continues to design innovative methods that integrate students into her research in meaningful and formative ways.

Welcome to LMU Dr. Villalta!


Sylvia Zamora's Book Award 1
Vilma Ortiz, Latina/o Sociology Section Chair & Dr. Sylvia Zamora

Dr. Sylvia Zamora

Associate Professor & 2023 LMU Ascending Scholar Award Recipient

Sylvia Zamora’s book, “Racial Baggage: Mexican Immigrants and Race Across the Border” has won the 2023 American Sociological Association’s Latina/o Sociology Section Distinguished Contribution to Research Book Award.

The book draws on interviews with Mexicans in Los Angeles and Guadalajara to illustrate how racialization is a transnational process that not only changes immigrants themselves, but also everyday understandings of race and racism within the United States and Mexico. Within their communities and networks that span an international border, Zamora argues, immigrants come to define "race" in a way distinct from both the color-conscious hierarchy of Mexican society and the Black-White binary prevalent within the United States. In the process, their stories demonstrate how race is not static, but rather an evolving social phenomenon forever altered by immigration.

Dr. Zamora also received the 2023 LMU Ascending Scholar Award. This award was created by the Provost Office in 2019 to recognize outstanding LMU faculty who have made exemplary contributions in the areas of teaching, scholarship and creative works, extramural funding, and service.

For more information, see https://academics.lmu.edu/ofd/facultyawards/

Congratulations, Dr. Zamora!