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Biography

Roy Childs' Biography

I did not begin as a sociologist.

My undergraduate major was in mechanical engineering and I left to work in corporate life after completing an MBA at the University of Denver where I also did my undergraduate work.

I noticed in business that the most important problems I had to deal with were "people problems."

After working a couple of years I realized that I wanted to go back to school.

In part this was due to the social ferment of the 1960s and 1970s which stirred my interest in social issues.

I remember visiting a nearby university to get some advice on what I might want to study.

A professor I spoke with asked what kind of reading I did in my spare time.

I told him and he suggested that my interest was in sociology.

I had never taken a sociology course!

I had no idea what the field was about.

I was working in San Francisco, and so I enrolled again as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley to take the sociology courses needed to prepare for graduate study.

It was back to the drawing board!

From there I went on for my Ph.D. at Stanford, did a post doctoral year at USC, and taught for a bit there and at Occidental College in Los Angeles before coming to Pacific.

Apart from the University, Stockton has been a great place for my family.

The proximity of Stockton to both the Sierras and the Pacific coast has provided outlets for our interests in the outdoors.

As my sons were growing, my wife and I would take them to "pick your own" farms for strawberries, apricots, and other crops which have made the San Joaquin Valley famous.

In fact my wife used to take them to pick asparagus on an asparagus farm on the outskirts of Stockton.

Our home is now located on that very spot!

Stockton is growing, and this is creating all kinds of challenges.

One is the conversion of farm land to urban uses, raising still more interesting issues for the sociologist.