In 2012, Regents Professor of Sociology Don Dillman, in coordination with Rayna Sage (PhD 2012), founded Sociology News. Don then served as faculty co-editor until the start of the 2019-20 academic year, when he decided to step down from his newsletter post. I am grateful for the foundation Don laid and for his advice and support as I transition into my new role as faculty co-editor. I will take a quiet yet active approach. Typically, I will not have much to say but will let the accomplishments of the Sociology students, alumni, and faculty speak for themselves.
Speaking of accomplishments, as Don moves on from his newsletter role, we recognize that he recently celebrated a 50-year milestone (yes, 50 years) at WSU. An article in this issue details the WSU ceremony held in September to honor Don’s many accomplishments.
Also in this issue, we spotlight the retirement of Amy Wharton (Department of Sociology, 1987-2019) in an article that includes thoughts from two of her successful graduate students, Sharon Bird (PhD 1998) and Michelle Roberston (PhD 2006) and an important professional collaborator and former Department of Sociology faculty member Mary Blair-Loy. Additionally, I note here that Lisa McIntyre, who coincidentally arrived at WSU in the same year as Amy, announced her retirement over the summer. We did not have time or space to honor Lisa properly in this fall issue, but we will have a feature article on her accomplishments (and captivating personality) in the next newsletter. Amy and Lisa were integral to the department for decades. While sad to see them retire, I am honored to highlight their distinguished careers in Sociology News.
Over the next year, co-editor and graduate candidate Alana Inlow and I will attempt to standardize much of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into publishing Sociology News. Procedurally, we will establish the editorial positions and duties within the Department of Sociology Honors and Awards Committee. Formally codifying these roles will enable future editors to ensure that Don’s foundational work on the newsletter remains an important component of the department.
With the support of the College of Arts and Sciences communications office, we plan to publish Sociology News twice in the academic year, in the fall (late November/early December) and spring (late April/early May). Without Alana’s guidance and efforts, I admit that this fall 2019 issue would not have met the publishing deadline that we have set! I am extremely fortunate to enter this editorial position with an experienced and helpful co-editor like Alana. As the newsletter moves forward, we hope always to live up to the high standards of Sociology News established by Don Dillman.