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Department of Sociology Newsletter

Issue 4: May 30, 2019

I'm delighted to share lots of good news in this letter.  Wishing you the best for a productive and relaxing summer.  I hope to see many of you at the Rutgers Sociology happy hour to be held at the ASA meetings in August in NYC.

Until then,

Julie Phillips
Department Chair
Congratulations and thank you to Steve Hansell on his retirement.
Congratulations to Professor Steven Hansell, who retires from Rutgers after 34 years of dedicated service!  In addition to his work in Sociology, Dr. Hansell served as a long-time affiliated faculty member at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, in the Graduate Program in Public Health at UMDNJ and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and at the Center for Alcohol Studies.  Early in his career, Dr. Hansell’s research focused on high school students’ attitudes, social networks, and peer groups.  He documented the effect of these factors on patterns of academic achievement.  Soon thereafter, he migrated into the sociology of health, working collaboratively with numerous Rutgers faculty members, and focusing on two main topics: the effects of managed care on the mentally ill, particularly children and youth; and the short- and long-term associations between alcohol use and aggressive behavior from adolescence into young adulthood.  A gifted statistician, Dr. Hansell taught himself advanced quantitative methods, including structural equation modeling, and taught them in turn to students—and colleagues!—in numerous graduate methods courses.  Dr. Hansell was equally a talented and animated undergraduate teacher, captivating four hundred or more students per semester in his always well-received survey course on the Sociology of Medicine and Health Care.  Finally, he served the Sociology department for a total of ten years as Undergraduate Director.  His dynamism in the classroom, his thoughtful treatment of students, and his skill as an academic administrator all contributed to his being recognized in 2011 with an SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions  to Undergraduate Education.
Congratulations to our newly tenured faculty members,
Sharon Bzostek and Norah MacKendrick!
Congratulations to Lisa Iorillo!

Lisa Iorillo is a 2019 recipient of the SAS Staff Excellence Recognition Award, which recognizes staff who have distinguished themselves in service excellence, dedication to the School of Arts and Sciences and to faculty, students and constituents.
Recent Dissertation Defenses

Congratulations to our recent crop of PhDs on their marvelous accomplishments!
Brittany Pearl Battle. "'They're Stealing My Opportunity to Be a Father':The Child Support System and State Intervention in the Family." Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (Chair), Ethel Brooks, Lenna Nepomnyaschy, Maureen Waller.
Lisa Campion. "Doing Identity: A Social Pattern Analysis Exploring the Process of Identity Construction and Maintenance." Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (Chair), Deborah Carr, Richard Williams, Wayne Brekhus.
Brandon Kramer. "Molecularization at the Intersections: Testosterone, Prostate Cancer and the Construction of Racial Difference." Committee: Kristen Springer (Chair), Joanna Kempner, Catherine Lee, Rebecca Jordan-Young.
Eunkyung Song. "Power from the Fingertips: Writing Alone and Working Together in the 2008 Candlelight Protests in South Korea." Committee: Paul McLean (chair), Judy Gerson, Richard Williams, Ann Mische.
Graduate Student Awards

Congratulations to Kayla Crawley! Kayla has been named an Eagleton Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year at the Eagleton Institute of Politics.

Congratulations to Brooklynn K. Hitchens! Brooklynn was awarded the 2019-2020 American Dissertation Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (AAUW). 

Congratuations to Niina Vuolajarvi! Niina has been awarded a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. 
Faculty Awards

József Böröcz has been awarded a Fulbright research fellowship to Poland for the 2019-20 academic year.  His host institution will be the Robert Zajonc Institute for Social Research of the University of Warsaw. Congratulations, József!
Congratulations to Pat Roos and Randy Smith, who are recipients of the 2019 SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education!  

Pat has demonstrated extraordinary innovation in her teaching, embracing the active learning format for our required methods class and designing fascinating new elective offerings for our undergraduates, such as her current honors class entitled "Addiction: Epidemic, Devastation, Loss."  Students rave about her dedication, enthusiasm, teaching style, generosity, and patience in the classroom.

Randy served as undergraduate director for our department during the 1990s, during which time he thoughtfully overhauled the sociology curriculum that resulted in rigorous requirements and purposeful prerequisites for our major, alongside a tiered curriculum structure that remains in place today.  His one-on-one mentoring of undergraduates through the Sociology honors and Aresty programs has been extraordinary, providing our students with rich insight into the research process and excellent preparation for the job market.

Lei Lei's research project titled "Male Absence Due to Migration and the Health of Left-Behind Wives in India" has received an R03 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Health for 2019-2021. Congratulations, Lei!
We were thrilled to host Professor Larry Bobo, W.E.B DuBois Professor of the Social Sciences and Dean of Social Sciences at Harvard University. Professor Bobo gave the 2019 SBS Dean's Distinguished Lecture in Sociology, a fascinating talk entitled "American Racism in the Age of Trump: A Sociological Analysis."
Recent and Forthcoming Article Publications

Chaudhary, Ali R., and Dana M. Moss. 2019. "Suppressing Transnationalism: Bringing Constraints into the Study of Transnational Political Action.Comparative Migration Studies 7(9):1–22. 

Chaudhary, Ali R., Gabriel Acevedo, John Bartowski, and Christopher Ellison. 2019. "Islamic Strangers: The Effects of Religious Belief and Network Closure on Muslim Identity in the United States."Sociological Quarterly. 

Herbst, John, and Sergei Erofeev. 2019. The Putin Exodus: The New Russian Brain Drain. Washington, DC: Atlantic Council. 

Lane, Jeffrey. 2019. The Digital Street. New York: Oxford University Press. Amazon / Boogie Down Books

Phillips, Julie A. 2019. "The Dangerous Shifting Cultural Narratives around Suicide." The Washington Post, March 21.

Shepherd, Hana, and Jeffrey Lane. 2019. "In the Mix: Social Integration and Social Media Adoption." Social Science Research

Toby, Jackson. 2019 ."Left-Wing Politics and the Decline of Sociology." The Wall Street Journal, January 25.

Presentations and Addresses

Eviatar Zerubavel delivered the keynote address (“Taken for Granted: Semiotic Asymmetry and the Sociocognitive Production of Normality”) at the two-day international symposium “What Is Done When Nothing Is Being Done: Social Theory and the Power of the Unmarked” held on March 5 and 6 at the Sapienza University of Rome around the publication of the Italian edition of his book Taken for Granted: The Remarkable Power of the Unremarkable (Princeton University Press).

Ali Chaudhary. 2019. "Race, Symbolic Boundaries, and the Historic Marketing of the Electric Guitar in the United States, 1955-1980." Institute for the Study of Economy & Society, Cornell. March 22, 2019.

Undergraduate News
Congratulations to the 2019 Class of Rutgers Sociology Students!  We wish you every success with your future endeavors.  Please stay in touch.
Congratulations to the 2019 Class of Undergraduate Honors Students.  

Victoria Echevarria
"Help-Seeking Behavior: What Influences Undergraduates to Seek Medical Treatment?" 

Miah Hagood
"Community-Based Organizations at the Forefront of Disaster Response" 

Kristina Laya
"Examining College Honors Identities and Intergroup Relations"

Julia Wasilewski
"Less from a Box, More from the Earth": Exploring Clean Eating in Everyday Life"
Alumni News
Crystal Bedley is a recipient of the 2019 Clement A. Price Human Dignity Award.

Analena Bruce is the recipient of the Early Career Award from the Rural Sociological Society. 

James D. Cockcroft, who had a half-appointment in the department and was also Chair of the Latin American Studies Program in the mid-1970s, passed away, age 83, in Montreal. The cause was cancer. He was the author of numerous books and studies dealing with Latin America and particularly Mexico.
Steven Ficthner (2-L) presented a copy of his new book, Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium, to Pope Francis. Fichter, Stephen J., Thomas P. Gaunt, SJ, Catherine Hoegeman, CSJ, and Paul M. Perl. 2019. Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium. New York: Oxford University Press. (See also: America: The Jesuit Review and
Johanna Foster, Associate Professor of Sociology and Helen McMurray Bennett Endowed Chair of Social Ethics at Monmouth University, is the co-recipient of the 2019 Michael Harrington Award presented by the Poverty, Class and Inequality Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP).  The award recognizes an individual, organization, or student who by their actions advances our understanding of poverty, social class, and/or inequality, and/or proposes effective and practical ways to attend to the needs of the economically marginalized and reduce class inequalities.

Mary Gatta, Associate Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York (Stella and Charles Guttman Community College)has published a new book with Stanford University Press entitled Waiting on Retirement: Aging and Economic Insecurity in Low-Wage Work.

Cathy Greenblat, Professor Emerita of Sociology at Rutgers University, moved back to the USA in 2012 after 11 years living in Nice with husband John Gagnon, who passed away in February 2016. She recently created a new website which contains many examples of her photographic work begun after retirement at She continues to live in Palm Springs, CA during much of the year and returns to Europe annually for June, July, and August. She still loves to travel and will next be speaking in Warsaw, Poland in August, in Edmonton, Canada in October and in Cochin, India in November.

Katz, James E. and Kate K. Mays. 2019. Journalism and Truth in an Age of Social Media. New York: Oxford University Press.
Katz, James E. and Kate K. Mays. 2019. “A National Survey of Public Attitudes about AI and VR’s Role in the American Educational Setting: Prospects and Concerns.” Media – Knowledge – Education: Augmented and Virtual Realities international conference at the Leopold-Franzens-University, Innsbruck, Austria, April 24.
Katz, James E. 2018. “ Getting to Know You: What are the Prospects for People’s Emotional Relationships with AI/Robots?” Boston University and the Consul General of France in Boston, Boston, November 19.
Wertz, Blake Landon and James E. Katz. 2018. “Perspectives on Polarization, Fake News and Echo Chambers on Social Media in the Wake of the 2016 Presidential Election from a Survey of Undergraduate Students.” National Communication Association 104th Annual Convention, Salt Lake City, UT, November 8-11.
Mays, Kate K., Sarah Krongard and James E. Katz. (Pending, 2019). “Robots Revisited: Cyberdystopia, Robotphobia, and Social Perceptions of Robots in the Evolving AI Landscape.” ICA Pre-Conference, “Communicating with Machines: Boundless Imagination.” Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington DC, May 24.

Jamie Mullaney, Professor of Sociology, was recently promoted to Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs at Goucher College. Jamie's daughter is also now finishing her first year at Goucher!

Idit Fast has accepted the Lady Davis postdoctoral fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.  She will work in the Department of Sociology next year.

Brittany Friedman received a 2019-2020 fellowship from the Institute for Research on Women to participate in their seminar "This is What Democracy Looks Like: Feminist Re-imaginings." Her project is a study of 40 women who served life sentences and is titled Democratic Exclusion and the Carceral State: An Intersectional Approach to Life Imprisonment and Women's Legal Consciousness.

Brittany has also been accepted as a fellow for the Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network's 2019 Summer Research Institute (SRI) hosted by the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice. 

Brittany's recent article on the role that mandatory fines in the carceral state play in reproducing inequality was featured in the May 16th edition of Rutgers Today. The article was published recently in RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.

Judith Gerson has been invited to co-teach a two-week faculty seminar for 20 participants from around the world at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. This year's Silberman Seminar for Faculty will focus on "Displacement, Migration, and the Holocaust." Judy will co-teach with Robin Judd (Ohio State University - Department of History).

Paul J. Hirschfield was interviewed for an article in Fatherly about the link between school exclusion and delinquency. 

Hwa-Yen Huang has accepted a position as Project Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Dong Hwa University in Hualien, Taiwan. The job focuses on teaching courses in sociological theory and social philosophy. Besides teaching, Hwa-Yen will be mentoring students' graduation projects.

Brandon Kramer accepted a position as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Biocomplexity Institute and Initiative (University of Virginia).

Jeff Lane's new book, The Digital Street, was reviewed in The Nation.

Patricia Roos provided testimony to the New Jersey State Senate to advocate for behavioral health parity making arguments for state level accountability and enforcement. 

Jason Phillips has accepted a position as Postdoctoral Diversity Fellow in Urban Policy and Inequality (Department of Sociology - Temple University).  

A big thank you to Jason for his work this year on the newsletter and website in his capacity as our computing TA.  We wish him the best in his new position at Temple! 
We look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming ASA annual meeting in August in New York City. Rutgers Sociology will host a happy hour.  Stay tuned for details on time and place.

We will share news on our Fall 2019 Colloquium Series in the next newsletter.  We look forward to welcoming an exciting set of speakers, alongside a second Gretel Weiss Panel featuring our very own faculty and student collaborative teams and a new Works-in-Progress (WIP) Workshop.

Colloquia will be held in the Sociology Seminar Room, Davison Hall,
Wednesdays, 11:30AM to 1:00PM
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