USC Upstate News

Dr. Clif Flynn Receives USC Upstate's Annual Award to Faculty for Scholarly and Creative Pursuits

05- 11- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - Dr. Clif Flynn, chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate received the Annual Award to Faculty for Scholarly and/or Creative Pursuits at the University’s May Commencement Exercises on May 5. This award sponsored by Bank of America honors faculty members who have made an impact within their fields of expertise. 

Flynn, ClifUSC Upstate’s faculty members are actively engaged as researchers, scholars, and creative artists, our faculty members in expanding what we know about our world and applying that knowledge to make it a better place in which to live. This year’s award nominees all distinguished themselves with research that attracted national and international attention to USC Upstate. The nominees have received recognition in Italy, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, and throughout the United States.

“Among this highly-accomplished group of faculty, Dr. Flynn stood out for his important work in highlighting the role animals play in human lives and for changing the way we study sociology to include human-animal interactions,” said Dr. Celena E. Kusch, 2008-2009 TEC Chair. “We are proud to extend this award to Dr. Clif Flynn for his notable achievements in sociology."

Through his many books, articles, and presentations, Dr. Flynn has been widely recognized as a leader in this field. His research has revealed new insights into animal abuse, animal cruelty, and the relationships between pets and domestic violence. For example, he has found that women may be more reluctant to leave an abusive home because of fear for their pets, but also that pets can help women to survive domestic violence. Because of Dr. Flynn’s work, organizations that support survivors of domestic violence have begun to develop programs to shelter their pets as well.

His research is also changing the shape of sociology courses. In 2008, Dr. Flynn published Social Creatures: A Human and Animal Studies Reader, one of the first anthologies in the field. Already his book is being used in courses at dozens of colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada, including the University of Chicago, SUNY Buffalo, and the University of Colorado. Last year he was also named a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in Oxford, England. Dr. Flynn also serves as an officer and organizing member of the American Sociological Association's Section on Animals and Society.