Özlem Altıok is a feminist sociologist. She is a Principal Lecturer in Women's & Gender Studies, and International Studies, at the University of North Texas. She was jointly hired by the two programs in 2010 and has been teaching at UNT since. Prior to UNT, she was a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where she received her Ph.D. in sociology. She holds a master's degree in public administration from Texas A&M, and a bachelor's degree in international relations from Istanbul Bilgi University. Dr. Altıok teaches courses on globalization, international development, migration, global politics and human security, employing community-engaged and participatory action research in her classes. Some of her community partners in Texas include the Refugee Support Network, Opening Doors International Services, and Denton County Friends of the Family. She is also a women's rights, peace, and environmental activist and a dedicated member of Equality Watch Women's Group (EŞİTİZ) and Women's Platform for Equality, Turkey (EŞİK). She volunteers her sociological skills and knowledge to the work of these groups; and they in turn enrich her teaching and research.
Dr. Altıok studies social movements, public policy, and the entanglements of politics, religion, and gender in Turkey and across borders. A long-time member of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), she is active in the International Committee, and has served as an SWS delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women meetings. She is also a member of the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) and Toplumsal Cinsiyet ve Kadın Çalışmaları Derneği (Gender and Women's Studies Association in Turkey). Her work has been published in Contexts, ZMagazine, openDemocracy, Gender & Society, Agriculture and Human Values, Films for the Feminist Classroom, and Transforming Society, as well as in Bianet, BirArtiBir and Alevilerin Sesi in Turkish. Her most recent peer-reviewed publication, "From the streets to social policy: how to end gender-based violence against women," was published in Global Agenda for Social Justice 2 (Policy Press, 2022). For her excellence in teaching, Dr. Altıok was awarded the President's Council Teaching Award from UNT in Spring of 2023. In collaboration with SWS' International Committee and Social Action Committee, and in partnership with the Turkish Association of University Women, Dr. Altıok facilitated a scholarship support program for the 2023-2024 academic year. For this initiative, she was awarded SWS' Social Action Initiative Award (with the funds going directly to student survivors of the earthquake in Turkey).