Hip Hop Studies & Activism

Discussion with Dr. Don Sawyer III on his work in the sociological study of Hip Hop Culture and his contribution to the book Hip Hop and Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline

Dr. Don C. Sawyer III is the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.  He is a tenured associate professor in the department of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences and assistant clinical professor in the Frank H. Netter, MD, School of Medicine.  He teaches courses on Race, Education, Popular Culture, and Social Research Methods, including the university’s first course dedicated to the sociological study of hip-hop culture.  His scholarly focus is on race, social justice, urban education, hip-hop culture, and formerly incarcerated citizens’ reentry experiences. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology and M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Psychology from Hartwick College.    

Dr. Sawyer has served in various capacities as a university administrator.  With over 20 years of higher education experience, he has held positions in residence life, admissions, multicultural affairs, fraternity and sorority affairs, student activities, experiential learning, student leadership, and STEM retention.   Throughout his career, he has worked diligently to nurture healthy relationships between academic and student affairs. He understands that collaborative partnerships create an environment conducive to the successful recruitment, retention, education, and graduation of civically engaged students.