Sociology’s Centennial Celebration Continues

Our Spring Colloquia Speaker Series featured a distinguished alumni from our graduate program, Dr. Lori Hughes, ’03, current Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Colorado, Denver. Lori covered the history of criminal justice studies at WSU, highlighting Jim Short’s groundbreaking work on gang delinquency and the group process perspective in her presentation entitled, “Studying Crime and Violence: A Legacy of WSU Sociology at 100.” After the presentation, a celebration commemorated the retirement of Don Dillman, presenting him with a plaque dedicating the Wilson Short 201 Sociology conference room in his honor. We briefly caught up with Lori after the events where she reflected on her mentorship from Jim Short.

Michael Short, Lori Hugues, Don Dillman, Joye Dillman and WSU alum Miyuki Arimoto (PhD, 10) at Don Dillman’s retirement festivities.

Shekinah: What’s your favorite memory of your time at WSU?

Lori: I think anything Jim Short related. They don’t make mentors like Jim. Someone that is a brilliant scholar, but also a humble and wonderful person. Jim would say things like, “I propped him up,” and “he was grateful to be working with me.” At conferences, he would go around introducing me to everybody and made it seem like I was the big shot, when it was him that people wanted to meet. Jim really did have a huge impact on me and everything I’m doing today.

Shekinah: Do you have any advice for our graduate students?

Lori: Perseverance is everything. Don’t give up. There are a lot of highs in graduate school, but there are also a lot of lows. The highs outweigh the lows. So just persevere. The one other thing I always emphasize to graduate students is sometimes you have to go where the opportunities present themselves, even if it’s not exactly what you thought you were going to be doing or want to be doing. If you have an opportunity, take it and run with it, because that could lead to the path that you initially envisioned for yourself.

Lori Hughes presenting her talk, “Studying Crime and Violence: A Legacy of WSU Sociology at 100,” at the 2024 Spring Colloquium.
Don Dillman with his plaque.