Memories of Omar Lizardo

One of the students in George’s undergraduate classes at Brooklyn College went on to become an influential professor of sociology:

Omar Lizardo is Professor and LeRoy Neiman Term Chair at UCLA. He completed his undergraduate studies in psychology at Brooklyn College. As a young man living in Brooklyn, he  had a lot of content-based and general theoretical questions that went beyond generic behavioral propensities; his growing curiosities were not sated by his psychology coursework. Then he took his first sociology elective: an ‘intro’ class taught by a then graduate-student from the CUNY grad center (now Prof. George Cavalletto) who assigned graduate-level reading. In particular, Wilson’s Truly Disadvantaged, Hochschild’s Second Shift, and Chodorow’s Reproduction of Mothering introduced Lizardo to rigorous sociological explanations.

Four Questions for Omar Lizardo,” Newsletter of the ASA Culture Section. Fall 2018. Vol. 30 Issue 3.

Lizardo remembers George’s classes as formative:

My encounters with George were relatively brief (I took two classes with him at Brooklyn College in the late 1990s) but pivotal. I make a living from being a sociologist these days and taking George’s intro class was one of the things that set me on that path. I remember him being a dedicated teacher who cared about our learning, who did not mind challenging us (and he definitely did) but did so with patience and quite a lot of caring for students. I remember he had this policy of no time limits on his (very tough exams) so he would stay in the classroom until the last student had finished even if it went over by an hour or two. Undoubtedly, emblematic of the way he went about his work as a teacher.

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