Faculty Name

Celeste Lee, Ph.D., Ph.D.


Assistant Professor, Sociology & Anthropology


Sociology & Anthropology



Office Location

Giles Hall 212


Ph.D., Sociology, Emory University
MAT, Social Studies, Duke University
B.S., Sociology, Emory University


Celeste N. Lee is an Atlanta native who completed her Ph.D. (with a specialization is Social Inequality and Race and Ethnic Relations) in Sociology at Emory University. She also holds a MAT (Social Studies) from Duke University.

As a researcher, Dr. Lee is passionate about and committed to understanding the ways in which ethno-racial groups experience and understand racialization processes. Specifically, her research interests include racial and ethnic inequality, ideology, youth, education, and sociology of health and medicine. Ultimately, her research agenda aims to interrogate how race (and ethnicity) impacts people’s lived experiences, the relationship between racialized experiences and racial ideology, and lastly, groups’ understanding of broader racial dynamics.

Dr. Lee’s dissertation, entitled “Portraits of Black Millennials’ Understandings of Racial Dynamics in the 21st Century,” explores the ways in which Black college students conceptualize and experience race in a "post-racial" America. Drawing on interview data from 61 students, the project highlights the ideological frameworks that Black millennials draw upon to reconcile two competing realities: 1) persistent racial inequality that suggests that race is still a defining factor of the Black American experience and 2) pervasive racial discourse that characterizes the U.S. as a colorblind, post-racial society.

Dr. Lee’s most recent publication takes a detour from her work on Black millennial’s racial ideology and examines the underrepresentation of people of color in the professoriate. The article titled, “Advocacy Mentoring: A Communicative Response to Diversity in Higher Education,” and co-authored with Dr. Tina Harris, theorizes the role of advocacy in the mentoring experiences of graduate students of color. Ultimately, we argue that an advocate mentoring model could be a viable solution for repairing the graduate student-professoriate pipeline for students and faculty of color. While we place emphasis on graduate school and faculty of color, the advocate mentoring model offers a theoretical framework for also exploring the experiences of people of color and women in STEM fields and corporate America.  

As a teacher, Dr. Lee is passionate about and committed to creating innovative and collaborative learning environments with students. Her goal is to promote an educational experience that introduces students to sociological concepts and research on a variety of levels in hopes that they will develop a sociological imagination to evaluate their lived experiences and the world around them. Additionally, she aims to help students enhance their analytical and problem-solving skills while also honing their written and verbal communication skills.

Dr. Lee approaches her teaching aims from a variety of pedagogical techniques including class simulations, short reflection writing assignments, class discussions, television/film/music/news clips, small independent and/or group research projects, and guest speakers. Using these multiple approaches, she empowers students to engage in a process whereby they witness firsthand the transition of course content from theory to practice, and (hopefully) eventually social change.

Courses Taught

SOC 335 Research Methods
SOC 334 Multivariate Analysis
SOC 407 Comparative Race & Ethnicity

Research Interests

  • Race and Ethnic Relations
  • Social Inequality
  • Children and Youth
  • Racial Attitudes
  • Research Methods
  • Medical Sociology                                                                       



Harris, Tina M. and Celeste N. Lee. 2019. “Advocate-Mentoring: A Communicative Response to Diversity in Higher Education.” Communication Education. DOI: 10.1080/03634523.2018.1536272.

Lee, Celeste and Mark C. Hopson. 2018. “Disrupting Post-Racial Discourse: Black Millennials’ Response to Post Racial Ideology and the Continued Impact of Microaggressions on College Campuses.” Southern Communication Journal. DOI: 10.1080/1041794X.2018.1517186