Research in the dictionaryThe UCSC Sociology Department faculty research interests fall into one or more of these three areas:

  • Political Economies and Political Ecologies

  • New Studies of Inequality

  • Culture, Knowledge, and Power

Alicia R. Riley

Research Interests

The modifiability of health inequities; Structural racism; Systems of racialization and social stratification and health; Im/migrant health; Aging and the lifecourse; COVID-19; Mortality disparities; State and local policy related to the social determinants of health.


Biography, Education and Training

Postdoctoral Scholar, Department Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UC San Francisco

PhD in Sociology, University of Chicago

MA in Sociology, University of Chicago

MPH in Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

MA in Latin American Studies, Stanford University

BA w/ Honors in Human Biology, Stanford University

Honors, Awards and Grants

2022 // Institute of Social Transformation Sprout Award

2022 // Research Center for the Americas Faculty Research Award

2021 // Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Sciences, Postdoctoral Award

2019 // NSHAP Fellows Program, Invited Fellow (2019-2022)

2018 // Excellence in Course Design, Chicago Center for Teaching, Honorable Mention

2018 // First Place Poster, International Conference on Aging in the Americas

2018 // Pozen Center Prize Lectureship in Human Rights, University of Chicago


Selected Publications

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications:

(For a full list of my publications, see my Google Scholar page)


Riley, Alicia R., Mathew V. Kiang, Yea-Hung Chen, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, and M. Maria Glymour. 2022. “Recent Shifts in Racial/Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Mortality in the Vaccination Period in California.” Journal of General Internal Medicine. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-07380-6.


Riley, Alicia R., Yea-Hung Chen, Ellicott C. Matthay, M. Maria Glymour, Jacqueline M. Torres, Alicia Fernandez, and Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo. 2021. “Excess Deaths among Latino People in California during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Social Science and Medicine - Population Health. doi: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2021.100860


Riley, Alicia R., Daniel Collins, Jake Grumbach, Jacqueline Torres and Rita Hamad. 2021. “Association of US state policy orientation with adverse birth outcomes: a longitudinal analysis” J Epidemiol Community Health. doi: 10.1136/jech-2020-214858


Maecken, Jana, Alicia R. Riley, and Maria Glymour. 2020. “Cross-National Differences in the Association Between Retirement and Memory Decline” The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. gbaa223.


Stuart, Forrest, Alicia R. Riley, and Hossein Pourreza. 2020. “A human-machine partnered approach for identifying social media signals of elevated traumatic grief in Chicago gang territories” PLOS ONE 15(7):e0236625.


Riley, Alicia R. 2020. “Advancing the Study of Health Inequality: Fundamental Causes as Systems of Exposure.” Social Science and Medicine - Population Health, Volume 10.


Riley, Alicia R. 2018. “Neighborhood Disadvantage, Residential Segregation, and Beyond—Lessons for Studying Structural Racism and Health.” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 5(2): 357-365.


Selected Other Publications:


Riley, Alicia R. 2022. Contesting narratives of inevitability: Heterogeneity in Latino-white inequities in COVID-19. American Journal of Public Health.  


Riley, Alicia R., Kate Duchowny and Ellicott C. Matthay. “Forget the debate over public health versus jobs – the same people suffer the most either way” The Conversation, April 19, 2021. 


Riley, Alicia R. “The key to students returning to school is not the science - it is the resources” Cal Matters, Guest Commentary. October 13, 2020.


Riley, Alicia and Leticia Cazares. “Structural racism is shaping the Latino COVID-19 experience in San Diego County” The San Diego Union Tribune. Commentary. August 13, 2020.

Teaching Interests

Population health; Social context of health inequalities; Analyzing health data