|Notes From the Head --Things Can Be Otherwise
Another year, a long one, a good one for this department. The Sociology program is growing on a number of fronts. We now have well over 200 undergraduate majors and 45 graduate majors. This is an historic high for us. I would like to think this growth reflects our increasingly high profile as an excellent teaching and research unit. I continue to be dazzled by the outstanding teaching in this department. Good university teaching, where it occurs, is rarely divorced from scholarly work, and this faculty is no exception.
But I suspect our enrollments are growing for other reasons as well. Sociology, as a way of thinking about ourselves and the world, is arguably worthwhile in any historical period. But at this time in history-- a time Baudrillard calls "America's moment of madness"-- sociology appeals to minds bedeviled by political and social leaders who demand we credere quia absurdumbelieve it because it is absurd.
I'm reminded of the countless right-wing coups in Central and South America. Jesuit sociologists are among the first people executed when reactionary juntas seize power. Sociological thoughtfulness, it appears, is particularly alarming to ideologies of unreason and exploitation. Why? Because sociology is driven by a simple, but potent message: Things, we argue, could be otherwise.
Finally, we are likely growing our enrollments, in part, because of a job-loss economic recovery that is throwing people out of work in numbers not seen since the Hoover years. I've noticed an increasing number of adult students among our undergraduate and graduate majors. To all our majors, young and old, I've a message: know that your hard work, coupled with the distinguished teaching of our faculty, will help you develop a certain thoughtfulness. To learn, in other words, that things could be otherwise.
|Emeritus Paul Lindsay
As people my age often say, "When did I ever find time to work?"
Since retiring in 1999 I have enjoyed traveling with my wife Caroline and our children in Mexico, Tanzania, Scotland, and Spain. In Scotland I visited for the first time the small town of Montrose, on the North Sea, the fishing and shipping town from which my great-grandfather emigrated in 1858. We met interesting, likable, very modern and cosmopolitan Lindsay cousins in Montrose and Edinburgh. In Tanzania, we visited Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakeys made their famous archeological discoveries of early humans. We went on safari and saw wonderful expanses of land and animals in their natural habitat in the Serengheti plain. Mexico and Spain are full of fascinating history and culture, with bloody conflict and awesome cooperation. I loved the synagogue in Toledo, Spain, where in medieval times Muslims worshiped on Friday, Jews on Saturday and Christians on Sunday. We were in Spain two weeks after the Madrid terrorist bombing that killed 191 people. People seemed to feel much the way Americans did after 9/11, and they seemed glad that we had come.
I have done some consulting on conflict resolution in public schools. I evaluated an innovative program in four low-income elementary schools in Durham. Seven teachers from each school participated together in five days of seminars on the philosophy and techniques of conflict resolution. The seminars provided a rare opportunity for teachers in public schools time away from day-to-day pressures to reflect on their work with professional colleagues. Teachers found these seminars especially relevant because they could apply the content of the seminars to the particular problems of students in low income families and neighborhoods.
I have relished time to read outside my field of specialization. I particularly liked Jonathan Turner's recent book, On the Origins of Human Emotions. Turner shows how, in human evolution, patterns of primal emotions such as fear and anger developed before language and rational thought and still affect human behavior today. Franz deWaalâ's Chimpanzee Politics and recent work on the human brain, such as Antonio Damasio's Descarte's Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain also provide much food for thought for sociologists. I put some of these ideas together for a panel presentation on Frontiers of Knowledge at my 50th class reunion at Princeton University.
I have learned much about how the criminal justice system works by observing three murder trials in which my son Steve was the defense attorney. I have enjoyed playing tennis, running and walking, tai chi, and visiting with my four children and four grandchildren. Never content to leave society just as it is, I am working on two boards, the Charles Jones Fellowship for Human Rights and the Chrysalis Foundation for Mental Health, as well as various political campaigns.
Welcome New Faculty Gwen Hunnicutt
Moving from New Mexico to North Carolina has been an extraordinary adventure. I earned all of my degrees from the University of New Mexico (BA '96, MA '00, PhD '03). I've always loved school and I knew by my second year in college that I wanted to stay connected to the university in some capacity. I've always felt passionate about the study of Sociology and I am privileged to be able to spend my days engaged in intellectual activity.
I became interested in Criminology when I took an undergraduate class with the late Dr. Larry Ross. Dr. Ross became my role model and mentor. Finding a scholar whose style I wanted to emulate, my choice to focus on criminology in graduate school seemed natural.
The study of criminology can reveal some interesting things about modern society, its institutions, its history and its organization. I am interested in basic research questions whose answers may contribute to our fundamental understanding of crime and society. My research in this subfield of sociology focuses on gender and crime, age and crime, cross-national crime and justice, and homicide studies. I just recently finished a study that examined the behavior of male and female homicide victimization rates in 35 countries, from 1950 to 2001. In this study we found that male and female homicide victimization rates behave in similar ways across time and space and that there is little evidence that these rates are converging or diverging during the second half of the twentieth century. You might sum up these results by the phrase, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." That is, despite the fact that the last 50 years have been marked by profound changes in gender roles and statuses, there hasn't been much change in the relative behavior of male and female homicide victimization rates.
My other research projects involve examining crime in cross-national perspective, exploring the connection between the status of women and their victimization, and examining how risk for victimization differs by age, gender, and race. I try to integrate these research topics into the Criminology and Criminal Justice classes I teach here at UNCG.
I joined the UNCG sociology faculty in the Fall of 2003. Since my first day here, I have known with absolute certainty that I chose the right job. My fit in this department is, in the words of Dr. Seuss, "just right."
Focus on Faculty: Ken Allan
In addition to the books, I've been working with Rebecca Adams and Steve Kroll-Smith in putting together a culture concentration for the department. We are quite excited about this projectit not only provides our students with an alternative to our other concentrations but it also deals with something that surrounds our students' daily lives. En route we have discovered that culture is 1) essential to human interaction and 2) too difficult for academics to define. Taken together, these two discoveries have created a situation where only cultural academics can find joy: talking about something that defies description. Nevertheless, we are convinced that this concentration lies at the heart of our discipline and will provide a creative medium for our students to find and express sociology.
Finally, on the home front, I am still on my eternal quest for a drummer. Our most recent drummer was called back into the military to fight George's war (I didn't realize that the band held one of the keys to our national security). But we are hoping that between his schooling and actually being sent over to Iraq that we'll be able to cut a CD. That way he'll have something to listen to while he's over there.
A final personal note: I finished building a bar in my family room. It has swivel stools. So I find I am no longer in need of a Harley. Cheers!
Adams gives December Commencement Address
Dr Rebecca Adams was the commencement speaker at the December 2003 ceremony at the Greensboro Coliseum. She spoke about cooperation, competition and careers. As she concluded, Adams gave the graduates four "charges" for their futures.
• Encourage and support others as you strive to further education.
• Develop a diverse network.
• Further your education and cultivate relationships with people who can help you.
• After attaining success, help others up the ladder.
Note that Dot Kearns '53, who was the bell ringer, got her degree from our department. She is on the school board now. Bernadette Wilson, the Tassel Turner, is applying to our MA program. With Professor Adams, Jim Peterson (Dean of the Graduate School) , and Cindy Farris (Assistant to the Chancellor) on stage and with Dr. David Mitchell leading a line, five sociologists and a potential student took official roles at the ceremony .
Dr. Sherry Cable (PhD Penn State) delivered the keynote address at the initiation of new members into Alpha Kappa Delta, the Sociological Honor Society on April 30, 2004. Her evocative talk was titled "About Apples, Curiosity, and my own Personal Survival.". Dr. Cable is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She teaches and conducts research in the field of environmental sociology, specializing in environmental conflicts. Her work has been published in such journals as Social Problems, Social Forces, Sociological Perspectives, and Human Ecology Review. She has published one book and is currently at work on two others. One book project is a sociological treatment of environmental policy; the other, co-authored with Tom Shriver and Lenka Humenikova of Oklahoma State University, analyzes the environmental movement in the Czech Republic as that nation transitioned from a communist regime to a democratic, free-market system. In addition to her husband and colleague, Chip Hastings, she shares her home with her teen daughter named Kate, a golden retriever named Kassy, and a Western box tortoise named Supy (don't ask).
|Lindsay M. Albert
Nicole Andrea Beaulieu
Kristin D. Bennett
Elizabeth "Miki" Brown
Emilie Jean-Marie Catlett
Rebecca R. Costello
Kristina Vernon Cozart
Carrie Falyn Denman
Lindsay M. Docherty
Alyson Anne Esler
Sheena Ann Garitta
Misty D. Gilliam
Chasidy N. Hawley
James W. Hill
Toreka K. James
Cecil L. Kincaid
Jessica Van Lee
C. Brooke Mason
Jessica C. McDaniel
Michaela Aileen Miller
Bertram O. Montgomery
Jill E. Nordberg
Kristi L. Parker
Rachael Christine Patterson
Jessica L. Priesmeyer
Rory N. Scott
Richard E. Sherman
Elizabeth S. Shimkus
Laura B. Smith
Audrey A. Stegenga
Heather E. Thomas
Leslie E. Walker
Alexia N. Whitaker
Lindsay Meredith Wood
Koji Ueno (M.A. 98) received the Odum Graduate Paper Award from the Southern Sociological Society for his paper, "The Effects of Friendship Network Structure on Adolescent Depressive Symptoms." It has been accepted for publication in Social Science Research. The paper is based on his dissertation research (Karen Campbell and Peggy Thoits were his dissertation co-chairs). He received funding for his dissertation research, including a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Award and a Dissertation Enhancement Grant from the Graduate School of Vanderbilt University.
In 2003, he received the Best Graduate Student Paper Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and an Honorable Mention in the Graduate Student Paper Competition of the Social Psychology Section of the American Sociology Association.
Using the data that he collected for his UNCG MA thesis, he published a paper with Rebecca Adams in Sociological Quarterly (Ueno, K. and Rebecca Adams. "Perceptions of Social Support Availability and Coping Behaviors among Gay Men with HIV." Sociological Quarterly 42:303-324.) He will be an assistant professor in sociology at Florida State University, starting Fall 2004.
After graduating from UNCG, Payton Andrews (M.A. ‘00 ) worked at Alamance Community College for 2 ½ years as the institutional researcher. She also taught women's studies and critical thinking classes. In August 2003, she moved to Wilmington to teach sociology full time in the social & behavioral sciences department at Cape Fear Community College. She's teaching intro to soc, sociology of the family, social problems, and is developing the social context of aging class for the fall. She is also an abstract artist and a writer and plans to spend this summer marketing her art and writing.
After graduating magna cum laude in May 2004, Lindsay Docherty will be entering North Carolina State University (with a teaching assistantship) to pursue a Master's and Ph.D. in sociology. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta and Phi Beta Kappa.
After dating for almost four years and following each other halfway around the world and back, Shannon Burroughs (M.A. ‘00) and Houston Prather (M.A. ‘02 ) "tied the knot" in a "very quaint, secular ceremony" on the beach this spring.
Amber Reed will graduate with her MA in Sociology with a Crim concentration in May of 2004. She won the John C. McCollister Graduate Student Paper Award from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Association for her paper "The Distance of Dating: A Methodological Dilemma," a small paper adapted from her MA thesis. In this paper, Amber examined the impact of victim-offender relationship on prosecutorial decision-making in domestic violence cases. Amber's thesis chair was Saundra Westervelt; her readers were Jill Fuller and Julie Brown.
Kelly Doss has won a Student Excellence Award. She was honored at the Honors Convocation on May 5, 2004. Kelly is a senior with a sociology major and minors in geography and environmental studies. She had an undergraduate research assistantship this year to work with me on a study of sprawl in Greensboro. She presented a paper about that research at an undergraduate paper symposium at the University of Georgia in February and (I think) a poster session at the SSS meeting. She's planning to pursue graduate study in environmental sociology.
Rebecca Adams has been on research assignment this year, mainly working on her book, tentatively titled "Deadheads: Friendship, Community, and Identity." She has also responded to many requests for interviews with the media since a story on the front page of the NY Times (Feb. 27, 2004) quoted her regarding the likelihood of older women living together during retirement.
Shelly Brown received an External Proposal Development Incentive Program grant to fund a project entitled "Towards an Empirical Measurement of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: A Synthesis of the Theoretical and Conceptual Literature". She (along with collaborators) was also awarded The Review of Research Award, for a particularly outstanding review article on education research, "Comprehensive School Reform and Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis," in Review of Educational Research.
Steve Cureton is currently in his second year of collecting data concerning the deviance, crime, and violence that occurs within the context of Nightclubs. He is writing a book tentatively titled "NightKrawlers" that will examine this data. He plans to collect data for three more years to add depth to his analysis.
Jill Fuller taught Data Analysis for the first time as Speaking-Intensive, and it was a huge success. She was a panelist for the Weatherspoon Gallery's "Women and Poverty" panel in March, one of many events that the curators planned to coincide with their Borne of Necessity exhibit about poverty. Her manuscript on "Equality in the Cyberdemocracy" was accepted for publication in Social Science Quarterly and will appear in the December issue.
Gwen Hunnicutt has spent the past year researching and writing in the area of homicide studies. She has prepared two manuscripts this year that deal with age and gender variation in cross-national homicide victimization. Gwen was also awarded a summer excellence grant from UNCG. This grant will support her current research project, which involves analyzing various aspects of homicide rates in the United States from 1971 to 2001.
Steve Kroll-Smith gave a series of lectures on certainty, uncertainty, and risk at Cardiff University in Wales. He also gave the Keynote address at the annual meeting of the Mississippi-Alabama Sociological Society. He published a piece on sleep in the Sociology of Health and Illness. He also co-edited (with Saundra Westervelt) a special issue of Law and Policy entitled: The Toxic Tort and Environmental Justice.
Paul Luebke debated Forsyth County DA Tom Keith recently on the merits of a North Carolina two-year moratorium on executions of death row inmates. The forum was sponsored by the Criminal Justice student association at Appalachian State University. In his role as state legislator from Durham, Luebke is the senior sponsor of the State House death-penalty moratorium bill. Over the Easter holiday, Luebke traveled to Germany. He spoke (in German) to a group of Ladenburg town council members and activists about the 2004 U.S. Presidential primaries and the upcoming Kerry-Bush race.
Bill Markham reports that he is enjoying a change of pace teaching at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. Bill is teaching two courses, one on problems of American Cities and the other on German and U.S. Environmental Organizations, both in German. He is hard at work on his book on German environmental organizations, working in archives and libraries and conducting interviews. He'll also be giving lectures at German universities and making a short vacation trip to Finland and Latvia before returning in late July.