Ph.D. Sociology Student Receives Prestigious ASA Minority Fellowship
Author: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Posted: April 5, 2013


Matthew Town, a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at Portland State University has been selected as one of six Ph.D. students from across the country to receive an American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship. 

As part of his fellowship, Matthew will work toward completing his dissertation, which investigates the impacts of discrimination on HIV risk behavior among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) men who have sex with men (MSM). Using data from the HONOR Project, which is the largest investigation of AI/AN sexual minorities residing in urvan areas of the United States, his project will assess the association between everyday discrimination (assessed using microaggression scales on both race and sexuality) and HIV risk behavior (related to both substance use and sexual behavior).

The aim of his project is to inform policy makers and intervention specialists on the importance of discrimination on HIV risk behavior and to consider aspects of discrimination in the development of policities and interventions pertaining to AI/AN MSMs. 

Aboutt Matthew Town:

Matthew Town is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He graduated from Black Hills State University with a Bachelor's in Sociology and Oregon State University with a Master's in Public Health with an emphasis in Global Health. Matthew is pursuing his Ph.D. here at Portland State University in Sociology and Social Inequality. Prior to returning to school full time, Matthew worked as a Program Director for the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen's Health Board and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. His work focused on sexual and reproductive health as well as cancer health disparities among American Indians and Alaska Natives. His areas of interest include indigenous health, health disparities, social determinants of health, LGBT health, global health, medical sociology and his research interests focus primarily on community-based participatory research. Matthew is a member of the Native Research Network, American Public Health Association, American Sociological Association, Pacific Sociological Association, International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development, and the Portland Area Indian Health Service Institutional Review Board. You can contact him at