Sociology is the scientific study of social behavior, ranging from individuals to interpersonal relationships to large-scale social change. Sociologists not only attempt to understand social behavior, but they also seek to change it through, for example, involvement in social policy, planning, or program evaluation.
The mission of the Department of Sociology is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of how our lives are shaped by a variety of social phenomena such as social institutions, groups, interpersonal relationships, and, in particular, inequality in modern society. We seek to build student success by combining an interdisciplinary and liberal arts context with concrete analytical skills in research methods, statistics, and critical thinking. Such skills equip our students for a variety of professional roles in business, non-profit, and governmental sectors. In short, our students learn how to study and explain social behavior as well as how to critically evaluate common assumptions about society.
The 2015 induction ceremony for Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the international sociological honor society, was held on March 26, 2015. AKD recognizes junior or senior sociology majors ranked in the top third of their class based on GPA. Congratulations to 2015 inductees Amanda Benoit, Sara Bird, Alexandria LaClair, Veronica Lenhart, James Luckman, Jr., Sarah Mae Richens, Ellen Sadler, and Hayley Smock for a job well done!
Graduating senior Samantha Chudyk was named the 2015 Department Scholar for outstanding academic achievement in sociology. Congratulations also to Veronica Lenhart and James Luckman, Jr., the recipients of the 2015 Sociology Scholarship.
Pina Valle Holway ('08) will join the faculty at University of Texas, San Antonio as an Assistant Professor of Demography in Fall 2015. Pina completed her Ph.D. in Sociology with a specialization in demography at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Prior to being hired at San Antonio, she was a post-doc at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin.
Dr. Amy Guptill has partnered with Dr. Andrea Ciliotta-Rubery of the political science department to offer an exciting new summer course on food entitled, "The Food System: Community & Politics." The course runs for two weeks starting Monday, August 3 from 9am to 4pm. The summer field course explores the industrial, alternative & emergency food systems in up to 10 day-long field trips to sites in and around Monroe County, NY. The course can be completed for undergraduate credit in sociology or political science (as Soc or Pls 405), or graduate credit in sociology (as Soc 505). E-mail Dr. Guptill with questions.
Dr. Tara Tober will join the Sociology Department in Fall 2015 as our newest Assistant Professor of Sociology. Dr. Tober is currently a visiting instructor in the department, teaching introductory sociology and courses on globalization, and work & organizations. She will also teach the required sociological theory course starting next year. Dr. Tober comes to us with a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Virginia, where she completed research on collective memory in Ireland.
Dr. Guptill was elected to serve as President of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) for 2014-15. In 2015-16 she will become the Executive Director of the organization. AFHVS is an interdisciplinary organization focused on agriculture, rural studies, and food studies. They host a joint annual meeting with the Association for the Study of Food & Society in June. The 2015 meeting will be in Pittsburgh, PA.
Dr. Weininger recently presented his co-authored paper with Dr. Annette Lareau entitled, "Sleepwalking into Neighborhoods: Social Networks and Residential Decisions," at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. They plan to present an updated version of the paper, which examines residential decision-making, at the upcoming American Sociological Association conference in Chicago in August.
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