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Washington State University
WSU Department of Sociology Sociology News

Fall 2021 Issue

The group is lined up and smiling on the butte with the Palouse behind them.
Department members at the 2021 Kamiak Butte Hike. From left: Erik Johnson, Eisa Johnson, Ish Green, Caleb Cooley, Cassi Leonard, Sam Castonguay, Aleksey Reshetnikov, Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, Julie Kmec, and Sadie Ridgeway. Photo by Justin Denney.

Welcome to the Fall 2021 issue of Sociology News!

We thought it would be interesting and appropriate for me, Sadie Ridgeway, Sociology News co-editor, to pen the introduction to our Fall issue from my perspective as a graduate student. My time in grad school has occurred within an interesting and tumultuous broader context. In November of my first year, I recall sitting at Rico’s pub, a Pullman institution (I’m sure some of you might be familiar with this establishment), while a few fellow cohort members and I watched the 2016 election results. Then, in spring 2020, we started to live with and through a pandemic. All aspects of life were affected. From a personal and professional standpoint, most of my daily tasks, and my first ASA conference attendance and presentations, were conducted from my kitchen table.

Georgia and Ish are hugging each other and smiling among the apple trees.
Second year graduate students Georgia Plotkin (left) and Ish Green (right) at Bishop’s Orchard for the SGSO apple picking event.

With the wide availability of vaccines in the U.S., this fall has been a hopeful transition. We have been able to be together again (more) safely. I greatly appreciate being able to, once again, catch up with someone in the hallway and chat with my advisor, Monica Johnson, in her office. The department was able to continue our annual Kamiak Butte hike, which Justin Denney began in his role as the director of graduate studies, and visit Bishop’s Orchard for apple picking, an annual pre-pandemic event for the Sociology Graduate Student Organization. We hope you are doing well, wherever you are, and we look forward to seeing you in person soon!

In this issue, we begin with a statement from Julie Kmec, new chair of the department; and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson reflects on her time as chair as she transitions out of the administrative role.

Next we are very pleased to introduce you to the inaugural winner of the Don Dillman Fellowship, Andrea De La Barrere Monteppellier.

This issue also honors the life and career of former Sociology Professor Charles Tittle, who passed away in May of 2021. We are fortunate to include personal memory pieces about Charles written by Lisa Brodiy, Steve Cureton, Jane Gauthier, and Clay Mosher. We thank them for their very thoughtful contributions.

Most of the group are seated in a circle of chairs and chatting. Monica is standing and looking at the camera.
Sociology Department Open House in July. From left: Georgia Plotkin, Aleksey Reshetnikov, Kyle Rakowski, Christie Miksys, Megan Konkel, and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson.

For our Alumni Spotlight, we caught up with Irshad Altheimer.

In replacement of our usual new cohort profiles, we briefly profiled two of our ABD outgoing graduate students, Marisa Cervantes and Xiao Li.

On that note, we’re recruiting again! Our director of graduate studies, Justin T. Denney, makes a call to alumni regarding the next generation of WSU Sociology PhDs.

Additionally, we highlight the Joseph R. DeMartini Award in Teaching Excellence and Travel Grant, which provides crucial support to graduate students who share his passion for teaching.

Finally, we celebrate the many publications, awards, and other accomplishments of our faculty and graduate students since our spring edition.

The department wishes you a safe and healthy holiday season!

Sadie Ridgeway, sadie.ridgeway@wsu.edu

Thomas Rotolo, rotolo@wsu.edu