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WSU Department of Sociology Sociology News

Graduate students and faculty are making a difference in the world

We are impressed by the many different ways that WSU sociology students and faculty are making a difference in the world. In addition to published work (see Fall/Winter 2016-17 issue of Sociology News for recent works), there are many other ways that the department is having an impact on our profession. Scholarly papers at professional meetings, cross-disciplinary research, visits to other countries, mentoring undergraduates, obtaining grants for new areas of work, and serving in elected offices and on boards of public service organizations are among the many other ways we expand and disseminate sociological knowledge.

We begin with congratulations for special accomplishments. We follow with examples of local and worldwide leadership by department members, and conclude with reports of presentations at professional meetings this past summer.

Congratulations to:

The 37 students (27 from WSU Pullman and 10 from WSU Vancouver) who received bachelor’s degrees from the department in May and August. Also, congratulations to Marisa Cervantes who received her MA, and Katie Bittinger, Yun Chung Ting, and Anthony Vega who received PhDs from the department.

PhD candidate Jarred Williams who was named a Soros Justice Fellow by the Open Society Foundations. He is one of 23 fellows supported through an award of $1.7 million from the Open Society Foundation for projects that reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Williams will use a novel dataset and analytical method to show how past prison closures can provide a model for future closures.

Professor Julie Kmec who received the 2017 Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award for instruction, WSU’s highest award for outstanding teaching accomplishments. She was also selected as the featured speaker for the Fall Convocation welcoming all students to the University on Aug. 18.

Associate Professor Jennifer Sherman whose new book, Rural Poverty in the United States (with coeditors, Ann Tickamyer and Jennifer Warwick) was released at the annual conference of the Rural Sociological Society in August. Her previous book, Those Who Work and Those Who Don’t, was mentioned recently in a Washington Post article about disability in rural America.

PhD candidate Ashley Colby who was invited to the annual Integrated Network for Social Sustainability conference in Charlotte, NC, as one of 6 graduate students worldwide awarded full-expense travel to the conference.

PhD student Sarah Morton who was appointed a summer research assistant for the Intelligent Robot Learning Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Matt Taylor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Congratulations are also due to Morton for receiving the Charles Allen Masters Thesis Award from the WSU Graduate School and her reappointment as a voting member on WSU’s Commission on the Status of Women.

PhD student Alana Inlow who was appointed to the Community Action Center of Whitman County Board of Directors as a representative of the low-income population in Whitman County.

Professor Clay Mosher who was appointed to the Vancouver Police Department Community Resource Team and receiving a “Team Commendation Award” from the Vancouver Police Department. He and PhD candidate Lindsey Beltz are also congratulated on receiving a $30,000 grant from the WSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program to field a random sample survey of households in the state of Washington on public opinion about marijuana legalization.

Mosher is also congratulated on receiving a grant of $67,750 from the Washington Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice for the “Racial and Ethnic Disparities Initiative” with Jodi Martin of Clark County Juvenile Court.

Assistant professor Emily Huddart Kennedy who received a New Faculty Seed Grant of $25,000 to study green consumption in Washington state.

Professor Jennifer Schwartz who received the 2017 Louis Gray graduate student mentoring award.

Professor Christine Horne who is participating in a 5-year, $30 million Department of Energy grant headed by electrical engineers Noel Schulz and Anurag Srivastava to form a research consortium to advance the integration of renewable energies into the power grids of the U.S. and India.

Professor Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson who was appointed as an associate editor for Social Psychology Quarterly.

Department members who responded locally and worldwide to leadership opportunities:

Jesse Mendiola served as a mentor to McNair scholar Diana Baldovinos, a sophomore double-majoring in psychology and business.

Jake Hammond presented “Power and Politics in the (Work-Life) Balance: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of the Risks and Rewards of Downshifting” at a local Science After Hours event in Moscow, Idaho.

Clay Mosher will be the keynote speaker and panelist at the October Washington State Becca (Truancy) Conference in Olympia. He has also been appointed to the Washington State Task Force on Juvenile Justice.

In addition, Mosher traveled to Europe last spring to present his Drug/Marijuana Policy Work at the Transform Drug Policy Foundation (Bristol, England) and Tilburg University, (Netherlands). He also presented on this topic at the European Union in Brussels. In Vancouver, he delivered presentations to the Three Creeks (Clark County) and Longview, WA, Rotary Clubs on juvenile justice issues.

Jennifer Sherman, is a member of the Governing Council of the Rural Sociological Society (RSS) and chair-elect of the RSS Awards and Endowments Committee.

Emily Huddart Kennedy is an Executive Board Member of SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) and edits the newsletter for that organization. With MA student Shannon Brenner she is collaborating on a project with faculty at the University of Toronto that will study ethical meat producers and cultural intermediaries in 5 states/provinces across Canada and the U.S.

Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson now serves on editorial boards of the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Advances in Life Course Studies.

Alair MacLean, serves as chair of the Peace, War and Social Conflict section of the American Sociological Association.

Don Dillman, was appointed to his second three-year term on the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dillman also will provide the keynote address at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Workshop on Statistical Data Collection in Ottawa, Canada, in October.

Justin Denney completed his term as vice president of the Southern Demographic Association.

Jennifer Schwartz has been awarded professional leave for the 2017-2018 academic year to conduct research on corporate financial frauds and environmental crimes and factors that lead to organizational malfeasance. She will make an extended trip to Europe for developing research collaborations that includes participating in a symposium on corporate crime, hosted by the European Society of Criminology in the Netherlands. These collaborations include working with the Criminal Law & Criminology faculty at Leiden University and the School of Law at the University of Utrecht.

Sarah Morton, James McCall, Lindsey Beltz, and Yikang Bai are now providing professional survey design consultation in Survey Design Clinic created by the Social and Economic Sciences Research to provide advice to WSU faculty, staff, and students, who are developing plans to undertake data collection that utilizes sample survey methods.

Alair Maclean is faculty advisor to Veterans and Associated Students at WSU Vancouver.

Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson was an invited participant in a conference on Social Inequality, Life Course Transitions, and Adolescent Socio-Emotional and Productive Youth Development at Marbach Castle (Germany) in June. She will also serve as discussant on two panels at the annual meetings of the Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, to be held October 11-13 in Stirling, Scotland.

Erik Johnson was awarded a professional leave for the 2017-2018 academic year to complete and publish multiple papers aimed at improving our understanding of the development of environmental movements. This work includes an examination of effect of presidential politics on public opinion about the environment, and changes that are occurring across nations. A second line of research being undertaken is assembling and utilizing a new database on changes in amount and nature of environmental crimes.

Graduate students who presented at professional meetings:

Lindsey Beltz. “County-Level Variation in Support for Medical and Recreational Cannabis on the Ballot” at both the Pacific Sociological Association conference and a round table. American Sociological Association annual meeting.

Pierce Greenberg. “Policy and Research Workshop: Rethinking Data Collection with Public Records Requests: Perspectives from the U.S. and Canada.” American Sociological Association Annual Meeting.

Pierce Greenberg. “Translating Sociological Methods to Marketable Skills: Practical Advice for Professionalization in Undergraduate Methods Instruction.” American Sociological Association Annual Meeting.

Pierce Greenberg. “Coal Waste, Socioeconomic Change, and Environmental Inequality in Appalachia: Implications for a Just Transition in Coal Country.” Rural Sociological Society Annual Meeting.

Pierce Greenberg and Feng Hao. The Influence of Energy Production on State-Level CO2 Emissions in the U.S., 1997-2013. Energy Impacts Symposium.

Jake Hammond. “Power and Politics in the (Work-Life) Balance: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of the Risks and Rewards of Downshifting.” Pacific Sociological Association Conference.

Alana Inlow, Erik Johnson, associate professor, and Jennifer Schwartz, professor. “Criminalization of environmental harm: A study of the most serious environmental offenses identified by the EPA and prosecuted by the DOJ, 1982-2010.” American Sociological Association annual meeting.

Xiao Li. “Rural-Urban Differences in Motherhood Wage Penalty.” American Sociological Association annual meeting.

Xiao Li. “Challenging Both Rural Advantage and Disadvantage Logic: The Effects of Family Factors on Student College Expectations.” Rural Sociological Society annual meeting.

Greg Hooks, Michael Lengefeld, Chad Smith (PhD 2005) “Treadmills and Unsustainable Development During and After the Colombian Civil War: Illegal Commodity Chains, Militarism, and Environmental Degradation in the Andean Region,” European Research Group on Military and Society. Athens, Greece.

Greg Hooks, Chad Smith, Michael Lengefeld. “Recasting the Treadmills of Production and Destruction: New Theoretical Directions.” American Sociological Association annual meeting.

James McCall. Sequencing Education with Family Formation During the Transition to Adulthood: Implications for Adult Depression. American Sociological Association annual meeting.

Ardavan Davaran (PhD ’16)  Thomas Rotolo, professor, Adam Roth. “The Hidden Corporate Structure of Sports: A Social Network Analysis of U.S. Professional Football and Basketball Leagues.” Pacific Sociological Association.

Adam Roth. “Mobility Across the Academic Life Course.” American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Roundtable Session on Organizations, Occupations, and Work.

Lauren Scott. “Maintaining Reliability in an Increasingly Complex Field: The Electricity Industry’s Transition to Smart Grid.” American Sociological Association annual meeting.

Regents professor Don Dillman and Pierce Greenberg. “Making Mail Communications Effective: A Test of Social Exchange Theory vs. Presuasion Theory For Improving Response Rates and Data Quality.” American Association for Public Opinion Research Annual Meeting and European Survey Research Association Biennial Conference.

Sarah Morton. Poster, “The Impact of Women’s Faculty and Leadership Representation on Women’s Undergraduate Engineering Enrollment in the U.S.” WSU Graduate Professional Student Association Research Exposition.

Jordan Burke. “Using Social identity Principles to Understand Pro-Environmental Behavior among Farmers.” Pacific Sociological Association Conference in Portland.

Faculty who presented at professional meetings:

Justin Denney, Monica King, and Sandte Stanley. “Degrees of Difference: The Unequal Returns of Higher Education for Mortality Risk Across a Diverse Sample of U.S. Adults.” Population Association of America annual meeting. Chicago.

Justin Denney. Panelist. “Health Behaviors Among Same- and Different-Sex Coupled Adults With and Without Children.” Southern Sociological Society’s mini-conference on health disparities. Greenville, SC, March 2017.

Justin Denney.”Families, Communities, and Health Disparities: Implications of Contextual Incongruence and Building Collaborations in Health Disparities Research.” Presentations for Department of Sociology Speaker Series, University of Montana in March.

Julie Kmec. Panel: “Global Women’s Voices: Insights from Women in Predominately Muslim Countries with High Female Engineering Participation.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference (with Jennifer DeBoer, Ashley Ater Kranov, Nehal Abu-Lail, Zahra Atiq).

Katrina Leupp. Panelist. “Eight That Can’t Wait.” Oregon Women’s Foundation’s Mental Health Discussion series.

Katrina Leupp. “More Traditional Each Year? Earnings and Married Mothers’ Employment Hours over the Childrearing Years.” American Sociological Association annual meeting.

Alair MacLean. “Relationships between Parents’ and Children’s Higher Education in the Early 21st Century.” American Sociological Association annual meeting.

Alair MacLean. “Globalization, Welfare, and Cross-national Variation in Poverty and Inequality.” International Sociological Association Research Committee on Social Stratification and Mobility. Columbia University, New York, NY, August 2017.

Jennifer Schwartz. and Darrell Steffensmeier. 2017. “21st Century Criminal and Regulatory Corporate Financial Fraud Violations among US Public Firms.” Presentation at 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Philadelphia, PA.

Jennifer Sherman. “A House Before I was 40’: Gentrification, Housing Scarcity, and Poverty in the Amenity-Rich Rural West.” Poverty Regular Session at the 112th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 13, Montreal, Quebec.

Jennifer Sherman. “Rural Decline, Cultural Discourses, and Political Preferences: Lessons from the Rural West.” The 2016 Election: Rural Politics Mini-Conference at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society, July 28, Columbus, Ohio.

Jennifer Sherman. Critic, “Intimate Relationships, Families, and Reproductive Politics: Women without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia.” Author Meets Critic Panel. The Pacific Sociological Association’s 88th Annual Meeting/Conference, April 9, Portland, Oregon.

Don Dillman. “The worldwide increase in web-push data collection; what have we learned and where might we be going.” European Survey Research Association Biennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal.

Don Dillman. The Challenge of Creating Data Collection methods that are neither Too Far Ahead Nor Behind our Survey Respondents.” President’s Invited address at the Statistical Society of Canada annual conference, Winnipeg.

Don Dillman, “The Worldwide Challenge of Pushing Respondents to the web in Mixed-Mode Surveys.” Keynote address. 28th Nonresponse Error in Household Surveys workshop Utrecht, The Netherlands, September 28th.

Katrina Leupp was a panelist at the Oregon Women’s Foundation’s Mental Health Discussion, part of their “Eight That Can’t Wait” public discussion series in May. She also presented a paper, “More Traditional Each Year? Earnings and Married Mothers’ Employment Hours over the Childrearing Years” at the American Sociological Association annual conference in Montreal.

Emily Huddart Kennedy presented a paper co-authored with Kari Norgaard on environmentalism, emotions, and inequality at the American Sociological Association annual conference in Montreal.

Don A. Dillman taught a workshop on visual design and layout of sample survey questionnaires for the Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina.

Justin Denny gave an invited talk for the grand opening of the Rocky Mountain Restricted Data Center at the University of Colorado Boulder on his research that has used restricted use data to study the contextual contributors to health disparities.

Washington State University