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Department of Sociology Newsletter

Issue 7: May 31, 2020


Dear colleagues,

I hope this newsletter finds you well and taking some time to exhale after a whirlwind of a semester.  

First, thank you for everything you all did to step up and support our students and one another through the remainder of the semester under extremely challenging circumstances. I'm proud of how our department rose to the occasion. I know it required flexibility, creativity and grit to navigate classes and research as both instructors and students. Many of us are using the summer months to learn more about remote instruction.  I appreciate the time you will take to put best practices into implementation; perhaps a silver lining will be an opportunity for us to connect virtually and support one another as we make these changes. I will be thinking creatively about ways to create community in the era of COVID, and I welcome any suggestions you may have on the front.

Second, to our graduating undergraduate seniors, my heartfelt congratulations on reaching this milestone and on all your wonderful accomplishments.  You and your families have so much to be proud of and to celebrate. I think you will be a generation of students who have learned, if under fire, how to be resourceful, flexible and adaptive -- life skills that will carry you far.  We wish you only the very best as you embark on your journey. Please stay in touch with us and let us know how you are doing.

Third, to Steve and Sharon, Lisa, Marie, Carissa, and Amy: THANK YOU for creating ten different versions of an undergraduate schedule, for patiently explaining changing policies and new procedures to everyone, for holding virtual weekly sessions, for keeping the department functioning...for everything.

If I'm honest, I find myself at a loss for words when I think about the past year. It has brought challenges and sorrow for our department, but also some important accomplishments and moments to celebrate.  You will find plenty of both in the items that follow. 

Finally, I have to acknowledge as well the deep pain and significant challenges our nation is currently experiencing -- a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 Americans to date and the economic fallout that is having devastating effects on the most vulnerable.  And layered on top of these crises, the tragic and senseless deaths of African-Americans -- Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor. As I write this, we are trying to make sense once again of a brutal act of violence against an African American man by the police, and thinking about our own responsibilities as individuals, as sociologists, as members of the Rutgers community and as Americans. If you have thoughts you would like to share, I invite you to do so for inclusion in the next newsletter or a special edition of the newsletter.  A sociological perspective becomes only more critical during these difficult days. We have serious work to do. 

Please stay safe and well. I hope you find time for restoration this summer. If you need anything, I'm here.
Julie Phillips
Department Chair

We are heartbroken to share the news that Pat Carr died on April 16, following an almost nine--year battle with multiple myeloma.  Pat’s cancer had been in remission for some years but returned last spring and over the last few months, his health declined precipitously.  The strength that Pat demonstrated throughout this ordeal was nothing short of extraordinary.  He showed up at every event or meeting that he was able to, without a word of complaint ever.  He was remarkable that way.

Pat joined our department in 2005 as one of our first joint hires with the Criminal Justice Program.  He was well known for his outstanding work on young people and policing, youth violence and social control, and the transition to adulthood, including the books Clean Streets, Hollowing Out the Middle, Coming of Age in America, and Theories of Crime. He was working on an exciting project on the role of witnesses in the criminal justice system, combining observations of preliminary hearings in homicide cases with in-depth interviews with witnesses and various criminal justice professionals. Pat always said that he was happiest in the classroom. His students meant the world to him.  Even as he was back in treatment last spring, he didn’t miss a single class meeting, a testament to his dedication to his students. Pat also took his service obligations very seriously, and he had recently stepped down from a six-year term as director of the Criminal Justice Program.  He seemed to take to the role like a fish to water, and during his term, he made a number of fantastic hires and re-energized the program.  But most of all, Pat was a valued and beloved colleague – he gave honest and savvy advice, often with a dose of his wicked humor, and was extremely thoughtful, creative and resourceful in addressing problems. He was one of a kind; his death is a devastating loss for our department.

You may like to read other remembrances of Pat Carr found here:

Rutgers Today
Beacon Press
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Department Plans to Honor Patrick Carr
The Sociology department, in conjunction with the Criminal Justice program, has established the Patrick J Carr Award, to be given annually at Commencement to an undergraduate student who has achieved excellence in the area of Criminal Justice.  When we are able to come together safely, a memorial service will be held at the Rutgers Gardens, where we will plant a tree in Pat's memory. These tributes recognize Pat's unwavering dedication to undergraduate students and his love of gardening, allowing us to gather each year and keep Pat's memory alive.
Below, you can read some remembrances of Pat, avid gardener, lead singer of the band Middle Aged Rock Shambles (MARS), fierce advocate for the disadvantaged, devoted father and husband, dedicated teacher, colleague and friend.   
I will always remember Pat's dry Irish wit, his deep respect for graduate students, and his punk-academic sartorial choices. His absence leaves a huge hole in our department.  In the immortal words of Joni Mitchell, "Don't it always seem to go …  that you don't know what you've got till it's gone."                 
                                                                                                          -Arlene Stein

I have lots of fond memories of Pat Carr. In our conversations, he often described himself as “Pat the younger,” and I always responded as “Pat the elder.” It was our inside joke.

What an amazing, caring teacher and mentor he was. He was a fierce advocate for his graduate students, and spent many, many hours reading their work and providing them advice. He was also so supportive of those of us lucky enough to be his colleague, myself included. He was there for the highs, but also the lows. He understood the difficulties we all face in our professional and personal lives, and he knew how to integrate those difficulties into one’s ongoing life and still find joy.

And, of course, I really wish Pat were here to translate all those Irish words in the Tana French novels I’ve been reading about life in Dublin.

                                                                                                                -Pat Roos

I’m so sorry we lost Pat Carr from our department. He was a committed teacher and scholar, and more than that, a wonderful person. For much of the last six or seven years, I did not meet up with Pat nearly as much as I would have liked, mostly because his teaching and administrative duties put him on Livingston a lot of the time while I was stuck on Douglass. But I was always glad to see him at Chairs meetings and SBS Chairs luncheons and SAS Majors/Minors Fairs and the like. I looked for him because, on top of being fun, he had done such fine, dedicated work for the CJ program that I felt I could lean on him a bit for guidance and encouragement as an administrator myself. Pat brought the distinctive combination of a staunch, positive, people-centered ethical orientation, a steely-eyed, unblinking intensity, his own hilarious wit, and a kind of righteous sourness to so many department discussions and issues, always in pretty much exactly the right doses. [The sourness was usually reserved for judgments of higher administration. He despised pretention and inautheniticity and, frankly, falsehood.]

I’d like to record at least this one story about Pat, one that illustrates both his devotion to pedagogy and his character as a bit of a prankster. Pat was teaching the Qualitative Methods graduate seminar—I guess it was in Spring 2015—and he came to me with an invitation. Would I be willing to come into his class to talk about my take on qualitative methods? Except that was only the pretense. What he really wanted, as he explained to me, was to stage a fake misunderstanding between the two of us in front of the class regarding which day I was supposed to show up for my presentation. To wit, I would ‘mistakenly’ show up a week earlier than he had announced. He seemed pretty tickled by this idea! It might have been a Pat ‘original,’ or it might have been an homage to Gerald Suttles or someone from his own graduate training. I don’t remember, and it doesn’t really matter. In any case, his sketch of the plot line was that I would pop in, he would act surprised, I would start talking, he would stop me, we would argue, I’d get visibly pissed off, he would apologize (kind of), I would leave, and then a few minutes later I would return and he would reveal the ruse. At that very moment, he would have the students write up what they had observed. His point to the students, all of them in the midst of learning ethnographic methods, was: you never know when something interesting might arise in the course of your ethnographic work, and you had better be ready. The con came off pretty well, I think—Pat was delighted with it in any event. Students reported having experienced an appreciable level of discomfort during the altercation—which, of course, was what he had hoped for! They would need to learn to observe despite the discomfort. Due to his own periodic flair for the dramatic, Pat sincerely appreciated that I more or less slammed the door on the way out. Later during the class, he had the students read their fieldnotes to each other to reveal how each of them missed something the others had recorded, or perhaps inserted something that had not in fact taken place. It was a clever exercise, to be sure.

I’ll tell you one other thing about Pat, maybe something one is not supposed to reveal. Still … Each year during my tenure as Chair, when I collected contributions from the faculty for staff Holiday gifts, Pat always gave twice the suggested amount. You all know that helping the less advantaged and speaking on behalf of sometimes forgotten folk was an important part of Pat’s scholarship and his work for the Calliope Joy Foundation. He was the same when it came to the somewhat smaller things in life, too. He was generous, and he didn’t need you to know it.

                                                                                                                 -Paul McLean

Pat and I had offices side-by-side. I commuted from NYC and he commuted from Philly and sharing teaching with CJ, so our run-ins were limited to faculty meetings and job talks. Later I learned about Cal, and the pieces fell into place about this private person who was greatly beloved by my colleagues. I knew Pat as a person with a quick wit, excellent style (the hair! the purple shirts!)  and a no b.s. approach to the bewildering rules and regulations that came down from “the top.”  We shared a few meals together as our department wooed job talk candidates. It was at those meals that I began to appreciate his sense of humor and his love of beer.

Losing Pat leaves a huge hole in our department. He had such a presence, and I thought that maybe one day I’d have more time to talk to Pat about his life and his work. I’m devastated that he’s gone. Thinking about him and what he meant to me, what comes to mind is a sense of gratitude to his family for sharing him with us. They needed him more than we did, yet he was always here for the important things.
                                                                                                     -Norah MacKendrick
It is hard to boil down a great person like Pat Carr into a few words that we will all remember. He was the best colleague, mentor, teacher, and friend that could be imagined. He was supremely moral, intelligent, caring, supportive, and funny. I and many others could always count on him to give humane and practical advice on how to handle the small and big problems that come with life in any academic workplace, and on how to deal with students given his great skills in teaching, advising, and nurturing them. It was a joy to co-advise graduate students with him because of his sharp insights for pushing their ideas far along and his care in supporting their careers. Pat’s interests and excitements were wide-ranging within the academy including youth justice, community violence, and transitions to adulthood among others. Outside academia, he was passionate about politics, music, reading, sports, gardening, cooking, beer, and, of course his family, friends, and the community of kids and families with leukodystrophy. Pat’s great care, humor, and enjoyment of life was with him until the very end. I, and many others whose lives he touched, will always carry the wisdom, friendship, generosity, and laughs we shared with him in our hearts.
-Laurie Krivo
Pat was in so many ways the best colleague one could have ever wanted. Had he only been wise, his insights and rigorous analysis would have been enough. Had he only have been as utterly compassionate as he was, his understanding and appreciation of each and every one of us and the world in which we live, that would have been enough. Had he not held himself and others to the highest of standards, that also would have been enough. And had he been both outrageously funny and fierce in his judgments, that too would have been more than enough. Yet Pat embodied all these qualities and more. He spoke the truth with compassion and wisdom. His memory will continue to be a gift.
                                                                                                                  -Judy Gerson
Pat was a kind and generous colleague. I'm not sure whether it was our shared heritage (as an Irishman, he loved to rib me on occasion about being English), our similar age, or stage of career, but I felt at home around Pat. We didn't see each other nearly as much as I would have liked, but we shared some good cups of tea and stories about our kids, who are of similar age. I appreciated Pat's disdain for nonsense and pretension, and I admired his ability to call out such behaviors in skillful ways, often with a touch of humor. I looked forward to overseeing his promotion to full professor, as he had planned for upon his return next year. I really wanted to do that.
Over the past couple of years, I came to rely on Pat more -- for advice about administration, for reality checks, for a good laugh when I needed it, and for his unwavering support. I always felt better after I talked with him. In recent conversations, I've been struck, although not surprised, by the deep fondness and admiration expressed by staff who worked closely with Pat. It says everything about the kind of person he was. He had given so much to the university already as a fantastic and energetic director of the Criminal Justice program. I know he was ready for a break from administration, and I surely knew he and his family deserved that break and time together. I knew he was unwell. Yet I held hope that he'd return and consider administration in the Sociology department. He was such a natural at it. It was too easy to forget he was sick because he never seemed to let it get in his way.  This too says so much about what Pat was made of.

It was not to be, and I feel the loss deeply. I'm grateful for having known Pat and for the lessons he taught me about honesty, humor, perseverance, courage, and understanding what really matters. 
- Boss/Jefe (as Pat called me) 
- AKA Julie Phillips

A Light to Remember

By Brittany Friedman

For Patrick Carr, a dear mentor, colleague, and confidant.


Kindness falls ever so brilliantly for a butterfly.

Resolving to natural sensibility

Ever present, never wavering

Like the sun

Spurring growth,


Impermanence is forever

But the spirit lingers

When the light dims, the dark calls.

Because long live the butterflies, who shine

Not yellow or gold, but iridescent

As a pearl

For it is through storms such light

Emerges and shines, thrives.

Creating a light that will never die.

Pat was my first year advisor these past two years, and he rocked it. We spoke on the phone only a couple of months ago about research opportunities and summer plans; it was a conversation full of funny anecdotes and hopeful optimism, and the way he talked about his research and subjects was really admirable. He cared a lot about the people side of things, not just numbers or statistics. 

My family recently had our own loved one pass away from cancer, and in the time leading up to that Pat offered me the kindest words of support and encouragement, even while suffering through his own chemo treatments. He was like that as an advisor in general - endlessly kind, humorous, and encouraging. Though we didn't meet up very often, I always enjoyed our conversations, and he was one of the very first people who made me feel like I deserved to be in grad school. He was a wonderful soul and will be greatly missed. 
                                                                                                                       -Liz Arthur
Drive-by Tribute to Pat Carr
In Pat's memory, you can make a donation to the Calliope Joy Foundation, established by Pat and his wife Maria Kefalas after their daughter was diagnosed with leukodystrophy. We send our deepest condolences to Pat's wife, Maria, his children, Camille, PJ, and Cal, and other family members.


Pat Roos and Randy Smith retire from Rutgers University on June 30, 2020.  Between the two of them, they have provided close to seventy years of service.  We will miss them terribly but wish them only the very best in the years ahead.  Please stay in touch!
Professor Pat Roos
Professor Pat Roos will retire in June 2020. During her career, Dr. Roos established herself as a respected scholar in the fields of work, gender and stratification. Her dissertation and first book focused on occupational sex segregation cross-culturally. She is perhaps best known for her research on occupational feminization . In Job Queues, Gender Queues, she collaborated with Barbara Reskin, to develop an influential queuing theory of occupational sex composition, using case studies to show how women made successful inroads into traditionally male occupations after 1970. . Other dimensions of her work focused on gender inequity in higher education. Following the well-known 1999 MIT report, Prof. Roos was instrumental in setting up a FAS Committee on the Status of Women that conducted a comprehensive gender equity study. Working with then sociology graduate student Mary Gatta, she gathered the institutional data used in the report and worked with members of the Committee to coordinate the writing of the final report and make recommendations. This institutional research led to her pioneering work as co-PI for the NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant “RU-FAIR-Rutgers University for Faculty Advancement and Institutional Re-Imagination” (2008-11). With then sociology graduate student Crystal Bedley, Pat met with university partners to develop a streamlined data warehouse of faculty data for administrative and research purposes. Pat’s research publications and service work on gender inequity in higher education illuminate the subtle ways in which inequality in academia is often reproduced through subjective policies and procedures institutionalized into the academic workplace. Professor Roos also demonstrated dedication and earned praise in the classroom. For many years, she taught a required research methods class at the undergraduate level, revamping the course in recent years to take advantage of the active learning classroom to great success. She also offered a number of well-received courses through the Rutgers Honors Program, including Inequality & Opportunity in America and Addiction: Epidemic, Devastation, Loss. In recognition of her teaching, in 2019 Pat was awarded the SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Dr. Roos was a highly committed mentor to a number of graduate students, many of whom remain devoted to her and with whom she coauthored publications. Finally, Pat’s research and teaching interests are reflected in her extraordinary service to Rutgers University, the discipline, and broader society. Among the highlights: Pat served as department chair for two terms (1991-97), during which she oversaw a highly successful external review of the department, raised the department ’s national profile, and enhanced the graduate program. She also served as Director for the Center for Women and Work (2008-11) and as Area Dean for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (1997-2000), where she strove to make SBS the place within the university that addressed social science issues and advocated for the social sciences. Pat was elected Vice President of the American Sociological Association (1998-99), served on the ASA Council for several terms, and worked as an editor with Rutgers colleagues of the ASA Rose Series. Pat’s research on gender stratification, and advocacy around issues of addiction, have appeared widely in the media. Pat has been the consummate colleague –she has provided a wealth of institutional knowledge and smarts, offered invaluable and supportive mentorship to her colleagues, and contributed in numerous significant and multifaceted ways to Rutgers University. Congratulations, Pat, on your retirement!
Professor Randy Smith
Professor Randy Smith will retire from Rutgers in June 2020 after some four decades of service. Early in his career, his research interests focused on labor markets and criminality and their reIationship to patterns of social and economic inequality. Increasingly, his scholarship turned to the sociology of sport, where he helped set the intellectual agenda within the discipline. Randy's recent writings, for example, have grappled with the business of intercollegiate sports and the impact on higher education, a topic of obvious contemporary significance well beyond the academy. The hallmark of these and other contributions over the course of Randy's career has been a steadfast commitment to rigorous and creative quantitative analyses. Within the departrnent, Randy has been a champion of undergraduate education. During his tenure as Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the 1990s, he redesigned the undergraduate curriculum, enhancing its coherence and solidifying its structure.  His thoughtful approach to the job resulted in rigorous requirements and purposeful prerequisites for our major, alongside a tiered curriculum structure that continues to serve our department well to this day and permits our undergraduates to experience the best of a large university and small liberal arts college.  During his years at Rutgers, Randy also mentored dozens of senior thesis, honors, and Aresty program students. The Rutgers Aresty program represents one of the only mentored undergraduate research opportunities offered by our faculty–providing our students with rich insight into the research process and invaluable experience relevant to the labor market--and as a result of these collaborations, Professor Smith published a number of papers with Aresty students. In recognition of his many contributions, Randy was awarded the SAS Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education in 2019. In addition, Randy has been an active member of several SAS and university committees, including those concerning Curriculum, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Space. And always, Randy has been a dedicated department citizen, showing up at department events and presenting the chair with minutes to every faculty meeting since 1982 as proof!  Most of all, we will remember Randy for his heart of gold -- he liked to play the role of department curmudgeon, but he didn't fool us! Congratulations, Randy, on your retirement!
Faculty Spotlight

Brittany Friedman arrived at Rutgers in January 2019 and holds a joint appointment with Sociology and the Criminal Justice Program.  We asked her to tell us a little bit about herself.  We're delighted to have you as our colleague, Brittany!
Tell us a little bit about your research.
I am a sociologist of punishment researching race and prison order, penal policy, and the intersections between institutions and monetary sanctions in the criminal justice system.  I am currently writing my first book, Born in Blood: Death Work, White Power, and the Rise of the Black Guerilla Family (forthcoming, University of North Carolina Press), which traces the institutionalization of control strategies designed to eradicate Black political protest and the resulting consequences for the prison social system.  

How did you become interested in sociology?
I became interested in sociology because I wanted to understand the relationship between power, control, and oppression in a variety of manifestations.  I enjoy teaching students about punishment, social control, critical race theory, and institutional deviance.  

What book do you wish everyone would read?
Everyone should read In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe.

And finally, what do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I like to write poetry, learn about alternative healing techniques, create music and art, and exercise.

Recent Dissertation Defenses

Congratulations to Laura Callejas on her dissertation defense!

Laura Callejas. "Adolescent Status Struggles: Exploring the Relationship Between Conflict and Social Status Mobility in Middle School." Committee: Laurie Krivo and Hana Shepherd (co-chairs), Paul McLean, and Todd Glover. 

Graduate Student Awards

Congratulations to Niina Vuolajarvi! Niina earned an Honorable Mention from the Law and Society Association for her 2019 article in Sexuality Research and Social Policy for "Governing in the Name of Caring."

Congratulations to this year's recipients of the Anne Foner Dissertation Prize! 

  • Laura Callejas, for her dissertation entitled "Adolescent Status Struggles: Exploring the Relationship Between Conflict and Social Status Mobility in Middle School"
  • Idit Fast, for her dissertation entitled "Creating Diversity, Managing Integration"

Congratulations to this year's recipients of the Matilda White Riley Qualifying Paper Award! 

  • Jenny Enos - Ethnoracial Difference, Temporality, and Group Threat: Immigration to Sweden during the Refugee Crisis
  • Jomaira Salas -The Third Space: Afro-Latina Racial Identity Through Social Justice and Activism 

Congratulations to Lior Yohanani, this year's recipient of the Matilda White Riley Published Article Award for his paper entitled "Zionist identity and the British Mandate: Palestine's internment camps and the making of the Western native."


Congratulations to Endia Hayes, this year's recipient of Jack Riley and Matilda White-Riley Term Paper Award for her paper entitled "Eating Dirt: Imaginations from a Texas girl on the remaking of Texas land."

Thank you to the faculty who read all the fine submissions submitted for department awards: Brittany Friedman, Lei Lei, Catherine Lee, Quan Mai, Judy Gerson, Norah MacKendrick and Steve Brechin.

Faculty Awards

Congratulations to Norah MacKendrick, who is the winner of this year's Allan Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication Award, given out by the Environmental Sociology Section of the ASA, for her book Better Safe than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics

How does living in a world full of unknown chemical burdens that you must manage through responsible buying impact people faced with protecting themselves and their families? Norah MacKendrick shows how the environmental health movement in the U.S. shifted from advocating the precautionary principle to urging people to act as smart consumers, in particular targeting women who bear children and shop for households with responsibility to keep their loved ones safe. Her interviews with women who buy organic shows how they manage the burden of navigating aisles and labels, their strategies inflected by racialized and class distinctions. Arguing that precautionary consumption is not only inadequate for ensuring safety but creates gendered burdens, MacKendrick calls for institutionalizing the precautionary principle in consumer products regulation. This book’s incisive account of the genesis of precautionary consumption and attentive analysis of women’s experiences will help us to better understand how green consumption operates within changing social structures.

SBS Dean's Distinguished Lecture in Sociology

Dean Kathleen Blee
March 4, 2020

We were thrilled to host Professor Kathleen Blee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Professor Kathleen gave the 2020 SBS Dean's Distinguished Lecture in Sociology, a fascinating talk entitled "Intellectual, Political, and Ethical Challenges in the Study of Contemporary White Supremacism."
Recent and Forthcoming Article Publications
Brittany Friedman wrote an op-ed published April 30, 2020 in The Star Ledger, about health risks correctional officers and inmates face in prisons with positive COVID-19 cases and little safety protocol.  The op-ed was featured in Rutgers Today:

Brittany Friedman wrote an essay published December 2, 2019 in Public Seminar, describing how we can use critical sociological approaches to punishment to understand the systemic abuse of people detained at Rikers Island in New York City:

Gonzalez, Victoria. "Contentious Storytelling Online: Articulating Activism through Negotiation of Metanarratives." Sociological Perspectives (2020): 0731121419884930.

Han, Tsai-Yen. "Asymmetry of Non-traditional Gendered Decisions: Gender Beliefs and High School Curriculum Track Decisions in Taiwan." Gender Issues (2020): 1-22. (DOI 10.1007/s12147-020-09253-4)

Mai, Quan. "Unclear Signals, Uncertain Prospects: The Labor Market Consequences of Freelancing in the New Economy." Forthcoming in Social Forces.

Presentations and Addresses
Due to COVID-19, the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco have been cancelled. Fortunately, the sessions will be held virtually, providing opportunities to engage with our colleagues.
Undergraduate News
Congratulations to the 2020 graduating class
of Rutgers Sociology!  

We are celebrating your enormous achievements with you in spirit.

Congratulations to Marimar Suarez, the recipient of the 2020 Patricia A Roos Award, given to an outstanding sociology student to honor Dr Roos’ extensive contributions to leadership and Rutgers and her research on gender inequality.
Marimar is a double major in linguistics and sociology. Marimar initially took a sociology class to satisfy a requirement, but enjoyed the subject matter so much that she decided to major in sociology. She loves that sociology allows one to analyze a problem as a structural issue instead of viewing it from an individual perspective, and hasappreciated that she’s been able to take sociology courses on many different and important topics, including law, drug use, race relations, and health. She found all the classes fascinating. Marimarhas plans to apply to the English as a second language five year masters program in the graduate school of education. After graduating, she hopes to return home to Puerto Rico and become an English Teacher or continue studies to enter academia.
Congratulations to Yuki Osumi, the recipient of the 2020 D. Randall Smith Award, given to an outstanding sociology student to honor Dr Smith’s longstanding commitment to Sociology undergraduate education and his research on sociology of sport and higher education.

Yuki is a Honors College graduate who is double majoring in Chemistry and Sociology, and he has found that being a double major in sociology and chemistry has been a great experience to study both STEM and the humanities. Yuki decided to get a Sociology degree after taking a Sociology class his freshman year and loves that pursuing a dual degree has enabled him to explore both the social and natural forces without being limited to one or the other. He also reports that many of the Sociology classes that he took, including Sociology of Higher Education, Environmental Sociology, or Sociology of Food & Eating, were very fun and caused him to rethink certain aspects of his daily life. Yuki plans to get a PhD in Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University following graduation.
Congratulations to our Sociology majors who graduated with honors! We were delighted to be able to celebrate your accomplishments virtually with you.
Last but not least...
Thank you to Chip Clarke, fearless leader of this year's crop of Sociology Honors students. and to the other faculty members who served as advisers: Jeff Dowd, Norah MacKendrick, Quan Mai, Paul McLean, Pat Roos, Hana Shepherd and Arlene Stein
Alumni News
Aneesh Aneesh has been selected for a 2020-2021 Berggruen Fellowship! The Berggruen Fellowship is administrated by the University of Southern California and Berggruen Institute and is designed to “support inquiries that bring multicultural and interdisciplinary knowledge to questions of governance, of philosophy and culture, and of global restructuring.” Ten Berggruen Fellows are selected each year to pursue work related to the Institute’s focus on “Great Transformations” in one of four areas: Future of Capitalism, Globalization and Geopolitics, Transformations of the Human, and the Future of Democracy.

Andrea Barra started a new position as Associate Director of Assessment at Emory University. 

Ronald L. Cosper, “Language in Higher Primates.” Pp. 135-138 in Relict Hominoid Inquiry, Vol. 7, 2018.

Ronald L. Cosper is also active in CURAC (College and University Retirees Association of Canada), and serve on their Benefits Committee.  I have been President of their local chapter Saint Mary’s University
Retirees Association.

Victoria Gonzalez accepted a three-year position at Lycoming College in PA. Congratulations, Victoria!

Shawna V. Hudson, professor and research division chief in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), has been selected to serve as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicines Committee on Implementing High Quality Primary Care. 

Shatima Jones's course, (De)Tangling the Business of Black Women's Hair, is on the list in Medium that featured 17 of the most innovative courses of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Teja Pristavec accepted a tenure track position as a research assistant professor of statistical sciences, the Social & Decision Analytics Divison, at Biocomplexity Institute, University of Virginia. Congratulations, Teja!

Jason Torkelson accepted a tenure track position at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  Congratulations, Jason!

Steven Peter Vallas and Juliet B. Schor. 2020. “What Do Platforms Do? Understanding the Gig Economy.” Annual Review of Sociology 46

Steven Peter Vallas is also co-PI on a three year project funded by NSF, devoted to “Regulating and Managing the Algorithmic Workplace: A Multi-Method Study.”

Marilyn S. Baffoe-Bonnie will be a summer intern at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Brittany Friedman accepted a 2020-2021 faculty fellowship with the Center for Cultural Analysis.

Julie Phillips was quoted in an article in the Washington Post about a recent study showing a link between the growing social acceptance of suicide and suicide rates.

Jackson Toby published an op-ed in the WSJ. 2020 ."14th-Century Solutions to Student Debt." The Wall Street Journal, January 28.

Chaim I. Waxman has been busy!  Congratulations, Chaim, and thank you for sharing your good news with us.

  • 2019. “Family and Identity: Marshall Sklare, the Social Scientific Study of America’s Jews, and Jewish Communal Policy,” Contemporary Jewry 39, No. 3-4,
  • 2020. “Recent Developments in Patterns of US Emigration to Israel,” in Dashefsky, Arnold and Karen Woodrow-Lafield, Americans Abroad: A Comparative Study of Emigrants from the United States, Second Edition. Springer
  • With Uzi Rebhun, and Nadia Beider, 2020.“Jews in the United States and Israel: A Comparative Look upon Israel’s 70th Anniversary,” American Jewish Year Book 2019. Springer 2020.
  • Is the recipient of the 2020 Marshall Sklare Award for his significant scholarly contribution to the social scientific study of Jewry.
  • Interviewed in Israeli newspaper by Judy Maltz, “How America’s Orthodox Jews Became Trump Supporters,” October 21, 2019.
  • His book Socia Change and Halakhic Evolution in American Orthodoxy (Liverpool University Press and Littman Library of Jewish Civilization was featured in a full review in Jerusalem Post Magazine, December 27, 2019.

We are deeply saddened to share the news that Ben Zablocki, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and beloved colleague, passed away on April 6 after a fifteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Ben published widely on charismatic movements, cults and brainwashing, including his books The Joyful Community, Alienation and Charisma, and Misunderstanding Cults. He served on our faculty from 1977 to 2012, including a three-year term as graduate program director, followed by another three years as department chair.

Most importantly, Ben was a remarkably kind, thoughtful colleague and decent person.

We will miss him.

Thank you to Tsai-yen Han, who served as our Lab TA this past year.  She did a tremendous job in maintaining our website and working on the newsletter.  It was a pleasure to work with you, Tsai-yen.
The department will host two workshops on remote/online instruction over the summer.  The workshops will be held on June 4 from 9:30-11 am and on June 10 from 10-11:30 am.  Topics will include tips and strategies for successful student engagement online and best practices for assessment.  The workshops will include breakout sessions to provide opportunities for instructors to share ideas. All instructors are strongly encouraged to attend both of these sessions.

We hope to reschedule several cancelled colloquium speakers for the coming year, whether in person or virtually.  Please stay tuned for the schedule of events for the fall semester.
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