Loyola University Maryland

Sociology Department

Dr. Mark Peyrot

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Mark Peyrot received his Ph.D. in sociology from UCLA and served a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral science at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He was the founding director of the Loyola University Maryland Center for Social and Community Research. He now is professor of sociology at Loyola University Maryland and serves on the research faculty in the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Peyrot's BookDr. Peyrot’s current research examines psychosocial aspects in the management of and adjustment to chronic disease, especially diabetes. His 200+ publications include several edited collections as well book chapters and articles in scientific journals. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, The American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, the American Lung Association, among others.

Dr. Peyrot has served leadership positions in several professional organizations, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the American Sociological Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. He has served on several NIH review panels and as an editorial board member for numerous sociology and medical journals. In addition to serving as an advisor to pharmaceutical and health care organizations, Dr. Peyrot is an internationally recognized speaker for audiences of health care administrators, diabetes care providers and educators, and persons with diabetes and their families.

Why Sociology?

I became a sociologist because I was curious about people – why they acted the ways they did. My senior year in high school (Loyola High in Los Angeles) I had a choice of taking another year of Latin and French, or courses in math and sociology. Sociology sounded really fun, and math wasn’t fun, but it was interesting. I fell in love with sociology, and have been ever since. I turned my back on math as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, but once I learned about statistics, I realized that numbers could be my friend.

During my graduate training at UCLA, I focused initially on ethnography and ethnomethodology, ways of studying how people live their everyday lives. I studied criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse treatment settings, as well as analyzing audio and videotapes of people having conversations, participating in various types of queues, and arguing about blame and responsibility. I also worked on a study of families, which helped me to understand the family I had come from and gave me lots of insight that helped me when I had my own family.

When I got my doctorate I had my first job at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. There I started studying diabetes, which has opened up world-wide opportunities for me to help people, including not only those with diabetes and their families, but also the health professionals who care for them. I now travel the world, spreading the word about how a sociologically informed humanistic approach to medicine and living with diabetes can make a big difference.

Dr. Peyrot at His DeskAlthough I remain involved with the area of diabetes, I was hired at Loyola University Maryland to start a research center, the Loyola Center for Social and Community Research. For more than 20 years I directed that center, which became the main source for funding student research training at Loyola. We studied all kinds of things, ranging from Catholic parishes to HIV prevention programs, from neighborhood crime prevention programs to business strategies, from science education to the evacuation of the World Trade Center during 9/11. Dozens of graduate students received research assistantships to pay for their degree studies, and many undergraduates got to serve research apprenticeships.

While at Loyola, I also served as chair of the sociology department for a decade, as founding chair of the committee that developed the regulations governing research ethics at Loyola, as well as chair of other Loyola committees. Now my work at Loyola is primarily as a teacher, sharing with students my love of sociology and my belief that it can help us find a better way of life. My courses teach how to better understand those around us, and the ways that society can help or hinder our efforts to make the world a better place.

View Dr. Peyrot's C.V. (PDF).