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Department of Sociology Newsletter

Issue 5: September 3, 2019
Dear colleagues and friends,

Welcome back.  I hope you all had a productive summer, with some opportunities for relaxation. 

You'll find our recent news contained in this newsletter.  We are thrilled to welcome Leslie Jones to our faculty and to have the opportunity to hire in the area of data and technology in social life.  We look forward to some stimulating job talks later in the semester. In the meantime, we'll have the opportunity to hear from some of our own colleagues, with three presentations by faculty-student collaborative teams as part of the Gretel Weiss panel.  I was really happy to hear from a number of recent alumni, many of whom shared wonderful news about their recent accomplishments and publications. Congratulations to you all, and to my other colleagues on their work and recognition.

This newsletter has also been a very difficult one to put together.  It is with a very heavy heart that I must share the terrible news that Jason Phillips, a graduate student in our program, passed away in June. Jason's death has been a devastating loss for our community.  Jason was a wonderful and generous colleague and friend.  I had the honor of working with him on two of his qualifying papers and the pleasure of collaborating with him on this newsletter over the past year.  This newsletter includes a tribute to Jason and his scholarly contributions. You will also see that we have two events scheduled during the fall semester to commemorate Jason and his legacy. 

I'm sorry to end with this sad news. I wish you all the best for a good and productive fall semester.
Julie Phillips
Department Chair
A Warm Welcome to our New Faculty Member
Leslie Kay Jones 

We are thrilled to welcome Leslie Jones to our faculty.  Leslie recently completed her PhD in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and joins us as an Assistant Professor, specializing in social movements. She draws extensively on the fields of race and gender, critical race theory, and online social media in her study of collective mobilization. In her dissertation, she argued that Black women are forming intellectual salons through online social media, in which they are making groundbreaking theoretical contributions toward the public understanding of race and gender.

Leslie is an interdisciplinary scholar active in the digital humanities and digital sociologies communities. She began coordinating the Digital Sociology Mini-Conference during the 2016-2017 academic years as part of the Eastern Sociological Society annual meeting, first started in 2015 by Jessie Daniels, Karen Gregory, and Tressie McMillan Cottom.

Congratulations to Arlene Stein on her well-deserved promotion to Distinguished Professor of Sociology!
Congratulations to Karen Cerulo!
Karen has been elected to the Sociological Research Association.
The Sociological Research Association is an honor society of sociological scholars founded in 1936. With more than 400 members, the association's importance comes from the members being leading sociologists who use the SRA's meetings to network and exchange views on the direction of the field. Each year, a membership committee selects up to 14 members on the basis of merit.
Graduate Student Awards

Congratulations to Brittany Battle! Brittany was awarded The Anne Foner Dissertation Prize for her dissertation entitled “They're Stealing My Opportunity to Be a Father”: The Child Support System and State Intervention in the Family.”

Congratulations to Jess Poling! Jess was awarded The Matilda White Riley Qualifying Paper Award for her paper entitled "Art in the Time of Frugality: Uncertainty, Collaboration, and Change in Art Museums.”

Congratulations to Niina Vuolajarvi! Niina has been awarded the ASA's Sexualities Section graduate student paper award for her paper, "Governing in the name of Caring."   
Faculty Awards

Congratulations to Karen Cerulo! Her ASR article, "Scents and Sensibility: Olfaction, Sense-making, and Meaning Attribution." won the 2019 Clifford Geertz Prize for Best Article awarded by the Culture Section of the ASA. 

Congratulations to Norah MacKendrick! Her book, Better Safe than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics, won Best First Book Award from the Association for the Study of Food and Society!  
Congratulations to Eviatar Zerubavel! His book, Taken for Granted: The Remarkable Power of the Unremarkable, has received two important awards:
  • The 2019 Charles Horton Cooley Award for Best Book, from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI)
  • The 2019 Susanne K. Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Symbolic Form, from the Media Ecology Association
Jason Phillips, PhD
1977 - 2019
Sociologist, Librarian, Colleague and Friend
We are deeply saddened to share the tragic news that Jason Phillips, a graduate student in our program, passed away this summer, just two months shy of defending his dissertation. Jason was an outstanding scholar about to embark on a promising career as a sociologist. You can read more about his work below. The department awarded Jason's PhD posthumously, in recognition of our great respect for Jason as a scholar and as a person. Jason was a much beloved member of our community.  We feel the loss profoundly.  

The department has established the Jason B Phillips Memorial Lecture in Jason's memory. Each year, a graduate student preparing to defend their dissertation will be invited to share their work with the department and will receive an honorarium for their talk. We believe this recognizes Jason’s collaborative spirit and active engagement in our community. If you would like to contribute to the memorial fund in Jason’s name, please make out a check to Rutgers University and send to the attention of Lisa Iorillo, Department of Sociology, Rutgers University, 26 Nichol Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

Family and friends have also established the Jason B Phillips Foundation, which aims to support the academic and professional pursuits of Black male scholars. If you would like to contribute to the foundation, you can do so here:

Jason was the consummate intellectual. He was curious, insightful, and intellectually engaged with a wide range of subjects. During his time at Rutgers, he was, at a minimum, interested in health, race, religion, and victimization and crime. He regularly recommended readings and ideas to other students in areas far beyond these. Over time, he became most intensely focused on understanding victimization experiences and the impact they have on individuals and their relationships with others. In his 2018 sole-authored publication in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence based on one of his qualifying papers, he used advanced quantitative techniques to examine interpersonal difficulties experienced by adolescent victims of violence. Jason demonstrated that violent victimization can create difficulties in relationships, illustrating that the very relationships that should provide social support are themselves altered and potentially fractured by the violent event. This excellent paper received the Graduate Student Paper Award from the Crime and Juvenile Delinquency Division of SSSP as well as the Outstanding Qualifying Paper award in our department.
Jason’s dissertation built on his analyses of national victimization survey data to explore in more detail how victimization affects close interpersonal relationships and personal responses to victimization. To do so, he designed a novel study in which he separately interviewed robbery victims and one of their family members or close associates to explore how the victimization experience affected both the victim and the “supporter.” Jason’s decision to complete a dissertation based upon 67 in-depth qualitative interviews after investing years training and conducting advanced quantitative research shows how serious and dedicated a sociological scholar he was – one who was willing to invest the time and energy required to tackle questions from all substantive and methodological angles. This decision paid off handsomely in a creative, insightful, and deeply humane dissertation. He showed, in various ways, the complex and profound social impact of robberies on the core relationships of those who have been victimized, and on their supporters. Jason found that victims carefully manage with whom they share information about the event, and what kinds of information they share. This was in the service of their own needs, but also with a careful eye for the emotional responses of others. Supporters disclosed to him their own struggles to respond to the event in ways that did not exacerbate the emotional distress of victims, sometimes with mixed success. Jason’s exquisite respect for the people he interviewed was the foundation of this work. Jason’s dissertation not only expanded what we know about the experience of victims of violent crime, it also illustrated the often counterintuitive actions and beliefs of supporters, providing fresh insights and important implications for policy to a critical area of research.
Recent and Forthcoming Article Publications
Kato, Kelly, and Sharon Bzostek. 2019. "Mothers’ and Childrens’ Health Self-Rating: A Comparative Study Within and Across Various Ethnic Groups.Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences.
Kempner, Joanna, and John Bailey. 2019. "Collective self-experimentation in patient-led research: How online health communities foster innovation."Social Science & Medicine.  
MacKendrick, Norah, and Teja Pristavec. 2019. "Between careful and crazy: the emotion work of feeding the family in an industrialized food system." Food, Culture & Society, 22(4) 446-463.
Mai, Quan D., Anna Jacobs, and Scott Schieman. 2019. "Precarious Sleep? Nonstandard Work, Gender, and Sleep Disturbance in 31 European Countries." Social Science & Medicine 237. 
Peña-Alves, Stephanie, Kathryn Greene, Anne E. Ray, Shannon D. Glenn, Michael L. Hecht, and Smita C. Banerjee. 2019. “‘Choose Today, Live Tomorrow’: A Content Analysis of Anti-Substance Use Messages Produced by Adolescents.” Journal of Health Communication.
Shepherd, Hana, and Emily A. Marshall. 2019. "Childbearing Worldviews and Contraceptive Behavior among Young Women." Journal of Marriage and the Family.
Bora A., interviewed by Nil Uzun. 2019. Women’s and Feminist Movements. In: Özyürek E., Özpınar G., Altındiş E. (eds) Authoritarianism and Resistance in Turkey. Springer, Cham.
Uzun, Nil. "Big Data: AI, Machine Learning and Gender Bias”  in The International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication. Wiley Blackwell.
Yohanani, Lior.  2019. "Zionist identity and the British Mandate: Palestine's internment camps and the making of the Western native." Nations and Nationalism. 

Zerubavel, Eviatar. 2019. “Foregrounding and Backgrounding: The Logic and Mechanics of Semiotic Subversion.” Pp. 567-84 in Wayne H. Brekhus and Gabe Ignatow (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zerubavel, Eviatar. 2019. “Listening to the Sound of Silence: Methodological Reflections on Studying the Unsaid.” Pp. 59-70 in Amy Jo Murray and Kevin Durrheim (eds.), Qualitative Studies of Silence: The Unsaid as Social Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zerubavel, Eviatar. 2019. “Cognitive Sociology: Between the Personal and the Universal Mind.” Pp. 31-41 in Wayne H. Brekhus and Gabe Ignatow (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Presentations and Addresses
Joanna Kempner
  • presented the keynote speech “The Daytrippers: Psychedelics, Citizen Scientists, and the Will to Survive.” at 36th Qualitative Analysis and Ethnographic Research Conference. May 23, 2019. 
  • organized a panel at the ASA for the Medical Sociology Section on "DIY Medicine: Hacking Health, Opting Out, Self-Medicating, and Consumer Resistance."
  • organized a public panel, featuring the citizen scientists from Joanna's field site: “Psychedelic Healing: A Public Panel.” University of Edinburgh, July 17th, 2019. Organizer and presenter.
  • presented "Navigating Barriers for Women in Neurology.” Moderator for a Lunch Conversation at the American Academy of Neurology, sponsored by Amgen/Novartis, May 8, 2019. 
  • presented “Fighting Migraine Stigma.” Migraine Blogger Summit, sponsored by Amgen/Novartis, May 15, 2019.
Congratulations to our many department members who presented their research at the ASA annual meeting held in New York City.  A special shout-out to our graduate students who appeared on the program: John Bailey, Aghil Daghagheleh, Dilara, Demir, Haruki Eda, Ben Foley, Lexi Gervis, Adrian Good, Endia Hayes, Brooklynn Hitchens, and Mario Mercado-Diaz.
Undergraduate News
Calling all Sociology Majors and Minors
Welcome Celebration

Wednesday, September 18  
2-4 pm

Davison Hall front lawn (back-up location for adverse weather TBD)

Please join us as we welcome our undergraduate students to the new school year. Come for food (popcorn and hot dogs), entertainment (music and lawn games), and opportunities to socialize with each other and our undergraduates in an informal, fun atmosphere!

Undergraduate Event, co-sponsored by Sociology and Criminal Justice
Film Screening and Discussion

Monday, 11/11 from 5-9 pm in Academic Building (CAC) Rm 2400*  

This event will begin with a screening of the award-winning documentary Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four. Following the film, there will be time for a discussion between the audience and two special guests coming from Texas to join us for the evening. Anna Vasquez is one of the four wrongfully convicted and imprisoned women featured in the documentary, and Mike Ware is the Executive Director of the Innocence Project of Texas, which represented the women during their battle for release and eventual exoneration.  

To read more about this documentary and the “San Antonio Four” case, please see:  

*Please note that this will be a ticketed (but free of charge) event, due to space limitations. Information about how to obtain tickets will be sent out later in the semester.  

Alumni News
Mary Chayko was awarded the Rutgers' Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in May, 2019. She will also be serving for the third year in 2019-2020 as Faculty Fellow in Residence at the Honors College. 
James E. Katz, Ph.D., Dr.h.c., Feld Family Professor of Emerging Media at Boston University, has published a new book. It is entitled Journalism & truth in an age of social mediaco-edited with Kate Mays, Oxford University Press, 2019
Stephen Magura (Ph.D. 1980) received the "Excellence in Discovery Award for Largest New Total Funding 2017-2018" from Western Michigan University.
Alexis A Merdjanoff was recently selected as part of the NSF Early Career Faculty Innovator Program at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research).
Etienne Meunier (Associate Research Scientist, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University) was selected as a fellow of the Fordham University HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI), a training grant sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The RETI provides early-career investigators in the social, behavioral, medical and public health fields with an opportunity to gain research ethics training. 
Ghassan Moussawi is Assistant Professor of Gender & Women's Studies and Sociology at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. His book, Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut, is coming out with Temple University Press in Spring 2020. He was recently elected to the ASA Sexualities Council. 
EK Shaw published a book chapter "Ontology and epistemology, methodology and method, and research paradigms." In: Goodyear-Smith F, Mash B, eds.How To Do Primary Care Research. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2019.
Dena T. Smith's book, Medicine over Mind: Mental Health Practice in the Biomedical Era, was just published through Rutgers University Press. 

Kirsten Younghee Song

Karen Stein's book "Getting Away From It All: Vacations and Identity" was published this summer with Temple University Press.
Jason Torkelson has accepted a one-year visiting assistant professor position at William Paterson University.
Andrea Catone was interviewed for a podcast in Great Battlefield Podcast about how sociology and her experiences with professors in the department shape her work. 
Ali R. Chaudhary has been elected as Council Member by the Section on Asia and Asian America of the ASA.
Paul Hirschfield' was featured in an article entitled "After the shootings in El Paso and Dayton: what is going on in the head of the mass shooter?" which was published on 8-12-19 in the Belgian weekly Humo.
Quan D. Mai's article on local political opportunities was featured in the Washington Post.
Naa Oyo A. Kwate's book entitled Burgers in Blackface:  Anti-Black Restaurants Then and Now has been published by University of Minnesota Press, 2019.
Niina Vuolajarvi was interviewed for an article in The Economist about the criminalizing prostitutes’ clients. 
Lior Yohanani was interviewed for an article in Haaretz about the lone soldiers in Israel. 

September 4      8:45am-12pm     Incoming Student Orientation

                            12-1:30pm          Welcome Luncheon (dept library; all invited)

September 11     11:30 am           Jason Phillips Memorial Service (Seminar Room)

                                                      Lunch to follow

September 18     11:30 am          Gretel Weiss Panel

                             2 pm                 Undergraduate Welcome Event

October 2            11:30 am          Colloquium: Professor Jennifer Lena, Columbia

October 16          11:30 am          Jason B Phillips Memorial Lecture: Brooklynn Hitchens

October 18          12-1:30 pm       Learning Goals Assessment Meeting (GUSS and                                                                    Graduate Committee

November 11       5-9 pm             Film Screening: Southwest of Salem: The Story of the                                                              San Antonio Four, Academic Building, CAC

December 12        12 -2:30 pm    Holiday Luncheon, Wood Lawn Mansion, Douglass

Rutgers Sociology is hiring in the area of data and technology in social life
Stay tuned for job talks, to be scheduled in late October and November.
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