Fall/Winter 2020-21 Issue

WSU sociology department faculty and graduate students smiling on Zoom at our monthly Coffee Chats to stay connected during these times. The backgrounds reflect the theme of this chat which was work-life balance.

Welcome to the Fall/Winter 2020-21 issue of Sociology News!

The Department of Sociology at WSU hopes that you are safe and well in these very challenging times. We do not have photographs from department activities and events in this newsletter, but we have included a few images that represent some aspects of this past fall semester—an eerily empty campus on a weekday autumn morning (photographer was masked) and a screen capture that demonstrates the way department meetings and social events have been operating since March 2020.

In this issue, the department is pleased to welcome our new graduate student co-editor, Sadie Ridgeway. Sadie is a PhD candidate dissertating on weight stigma and well-being in youth, using quantitative methods.

This newsletter also honors the life and career of Sociology Professor Armand Mauss, who passed away over the summer. I (Thomas Rotolo) feel a connection with Armand because I currently work in his old office in Wilson–Short Hall. Armand was the first to occupy (then-named) Wilson Hall, Room 252, when the Department of Sociology moved into a newly remodeled space in the summer of 1972. This room will always be Armand’s office. We are fortunate to have in this issue some personal memories of Armand, written by Michael P. Allen (now-retired WSU Sociology professor) and Robin D. Perrin (PhD, ’89), one of Armand’s graduate students, now a sociology professor at Pepperdine University. We thank them both for their contributions to this newsletter.

Following this feature, our director of Graduate Studies, Justin T. Denney, makes a call to alumni regarding the next generation of WSU Sociology PhDs.

This issue highlights some recent research conducted by Julie Kmec as she initiates a new frontier of research on women in engineering and workplace inequality using virtual reality.

We also hear from Clayton Mosher regarding his career of work on racial disparities in policing, our current moment, and the role of public sociology in addressing such issues.

Additionally, Sarah Whitley announces the new department minors for students pursuing various career paths.

A front facing photo of Tom Rotolo and Sadie Ridgeway, from the shoulders up. They are side-by-side and are looking into the camera and smiling.
Tom Rotolo and Sadie Ridgeway at the Department of Sociology Spring Awards Banquet in 2018, before becoming co-editors.

Also, in this issue is an introduction to the 2020/2021 sociology graduate student cohort. This cohort has entered the department under extraordinarily challenging circumstances, where online meetings and physical distance are the norms. The department looks forward to giving the new cohort a proper welcome.

Finally, we share the many publications, awards, and other accomplishments our faculty and graduate students have received since our spring issue. And we acknowledge the important impact of gifts to the department, with a spotlight on the recently established James F. Short Professorship in Sociology. All of your generous support is deeply appreciated.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any comments, questions, or ideas for future articles.

Thomas Rotolo, rotolo@wsu.edu
Sadie Ridgeway, sadie.ridgeway@wsu.edu

A note of recognition and thanks from Thomas Rotolo:
A front facing photo of Alana Inlow, from the shoulders up. They are looking into the camera and smiling.
Alana Inlow

Last academic year, I was extremely fortunate to begin work as a co-editor on the newsletter with Alana Inlow. Alana left the Pullman campus to complete dissertation work on space, place, and crime in Portland, Oregon, while teaching at WSU Vancouver. I would have been lost as an editor of the newsletter without Alana’s assistance and advice. Alana was always very patient with my questions and contributed excellent articles, interviews, and other content to the newsletter. I am very appreciative of all the work Alana performed for the department while serving as a newsletter editor. Thank you!