Education

2016-2021

Ph.D., Sociology (expected), University of Notre Dame
Dissertation: "Seeking the Good Life: The Moral Development of Young People in America"
Committee: Christian Smith (chair), Kraig Beyerlein, Terrence McDonnell, Erika Summers-Effler
Exam Fields: Religion (with distinction), Culture

2016-2018

M.A., Sociology, University of Notre Dame
Committee: Christian Smith (chair), Omar Lizardo, Terrence McDonnell

2013-2016

M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary

2009-2013

B.A., Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Minor: Social and Economic Justice

Research Interests

Morality, Culture, Cognition, Religion, Emotion, Emerging Adulthood, Family, Life Course, Theory

Publications

Rotolo, Michael. [Forthcoming]. "Religion Imagined: The Conceptual Substructures of American Religious Understandings." Sociological Forum 35(1).

Smith, Christian, Bridget Ritz, and Michael Rotolo. 2020 [Forthcoming]. Religious Parenting: Transmitting Faith and Values in Contemporary America. Princeton: Princeton University Press. (equal authorship)

Grants and Fellowships

Awards and Honors

Works in Progress

Rotolo, Michael. "Culture Beneath Discourse: Theorizing the Properties and Relationships of Cognitive Cultural Entities." (Under Review)

Rotolo, Michael. "America's Four Religiosities: How Moral Orientations Structure Religious Practice During the Transition to Adulthood." (Under Review)

Rotolo, Michael. "Becoming a Christian Nationalist: Ideological Formation from Adolescence through Emerging Adulthood." (Analyzing Data)

Rotolo, Michael. "Seeking the Good Life: The Moral Development of Young People in America." (Analyzing Data)

Rotolo, Michael, and Raechel Kiesel*. "The Moral Dictionaries of American Young People: A Longitudinal Examination of Moral Foundations." (Analyzing Data) (*Undergraduate Student)

Research Experience

2017-present

Project Director of the Engaging Young Adults Initiative, $62,679
Lilly Endowment Inc.; Sunnyside Presbyterian Church

2016-present

Research Analyst
The National Study of Youth and Religion

2016-2019

Research Assistant with Christian Smith
The Intergenerational Religious Transmission Project

2016-2019

Research Assistant with Christian Smith
Global Religion Research Initiative

October 2016

"Religion and Society in Chile," Religion Research Exploration in Santiago, Chile

Teaching Experience

Spring 2020

Instructor
SOC 20002: Understanding Societies, University of Notre Dame

2019-present

Research Mentorship/Collaboration with Undergraduate Student
Raechel Kiesel, “The Moral Dictionaries of American Young People: A Longitudinal Examination of Moral Foundations”

September 23, 2019

Guest Lecturer
SOC 20100: Introduction to Cultural Sociology, University of Notre Dame

Fall 2018

Teaching Assistant with Christian Smith
SOC 30900: Sociological Theory, University of Notre Dame

Summer 2018

"Effective and Engaging Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities" Workshop

Summer 2014

ESL Teacher, Student.Go, Kanazawa, Japan

Summer 2012

ESL Teacher, Refuge & Hope International, Kampala, Uganda

Conference Presentations

October 25, 2019 — "America’s Four Religiosities: How Moral Orientations Structure Religious Practice During the Transition to Adulthood," Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO.

August 12, 2019 — "Religion and Ultimate Concerns During the Transition to Adulthood: The Role of Values in Forming Religious Outlooks," 81st Annual Meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion, New York, NY.

October 28, 2018 — "Imagining Religion: The Unconscious Substructures of American Religious Understandings," Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV.

August 13, 2018 — “Imagining Religion: An Image Schematic Approach to Cultural Cognition,” American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

October 27, 2017 — “Preparation for the Journey: The Role of Experience in Parent’s Religious Transmission Approaches,” Harvard Divinity School Ways of Knowing Graduate Conference on Religion, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

October 13, 2017 — “Measuring Religiousness: Conventional Measures vs. Self-Evaluation From Adolescence to Young Adulthood,” Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.

Invited Talks

February 5, 2020 — “Seeking the Good Life: The Moral Development of Young People in America,” Program Speaker, The South Bend Rotary Club, South Bend, IN.

December 24, 2018 — “Holy Family,” A Reflection on My Research Pertaining to Present-Day Religion and Young People, First Baptist Church, Henderson, NC.

January 28, 2018 — “The Sacredness of Stories,” Lecture on Young Adults and Religion, Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, South Bend, IN

April 23, 2017 — “How We Are Similar and Why We Are Different: A Sociological Approach to Understanding Each Other.” Lecture on Personhood, Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, South Bend, IN.

Professional and University Service

2019-present

Student Research Grants Committee, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

Oct. 10, 2019

Grad Student Representative, “What’s Grad School Really Like: The Scoop from Grad Students,” Undergraduate Career Services, University of Notre Dame

Oct. 2, 2019

Panelist, “Preparing a Grad School Application,” Undergraduate Career Services, University of Notre Dame

2018-2019

Graduate Studies Committee, Department of Sociology, University of Notre Dame

Spring 2017

Organizer, “Philosophical Bases of Social Theory” Graduate 1-Credit Workshop, University of Notre Dame

2015-2016

Senior Class Representative, Student Government Association, Princeton Theological Seminary

2014-2015

Deacon (RA) of Brown Hall, Princeton Theological Seminary

2014-2015

Campus Host, Princeton Theological Seminary

2013-2014

Junior Class Representative, Student Government Association, Princeton Theological Seminary

2013-2014

Housing and Residential Life Committee Member, Princeton Theological Seminary

2013-2014

Navigating the Waters Diversity Initiative Team Member, Princeton Theological Seminary

Other Service and Leadership

2019-present

Worship Committee Chair, Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, South Bend, IN

2017-present

Ruling Elder, Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, South Bend, IN

2017-2019

Worship Committee Member, Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, South Bend, IN

2012-2013

Minority Refugee Liaison, Refugee Community Partnership, Chapel Hill, NC

2011-2012

Men’s Shelter Creative Writing Teacher, Orange County Literary Council, Chapel Hill, NC

Other Employment and Experience

2015-2016

Student Intern and Young Adult Leader, First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia

2014-2015

Student Intern, The Brick Presbyterian Church in the City of New York

Summer 2014

English Teacher and Field Worker, Student.Go, Kanazawa, Japan

Summer 2013

Student Intern and Youth Leader, First Baptist Church of Henderson, NC

Summer 2012

English Teacher and Field Worker, Refuge & Hope International, Kampala, Uganda

Summer 2011

Community Leader and Field Worker, Together for Hope, Helena, AR

Professional Memberships

American Sociological Association

  • Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity
  • Sociology of Culture
  • Sociology of Religion

Association for the Sociology of Religion

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion