Spring 2021 Issue

Four selfies of recipients with their gift cards or food.
A few pictures from the Graduate Studies Committee Faculty Fetch Food initiative, designed to show appreciation for graduate students’ hard work and dedication during another pandemic semester. Pictured (left to right), along with Justin Denney—who delivered food/gift cards to our Pullman locals—are graduate students Jair Johnson; Alana Inlow and roommate Hank; Steven Cassidy; and Namrata Ray.

Welcome to the latest issue of Sociology News!

The spring 2021 semester in the Department of Sociology was again characterized by physical distance, with Zoom being the normal mode of operation for classes, meetings, and all other department events. Spring is a time to look forward, and the department has taken a special, forward-looking approach this spring in preparing for a transfer of leadership: Monica Johnson will step down from the position of department chair and Julie Kmec will begin her appointment as new chair in August. Fortunately, this is not a hostile takeover. We expect a smooth transition as Monica and Julie have a long and friendly relationship!

The newsletter would like to recognize Monica’s dedication and service to the department in the role of chair. Monica recently received the 2021 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Career Faculty Achievement Award for Tenure Track professors—an impressive accomplishment for any faculty member, and Monica earned the distinction while serving in a key leadership position. We plan to conduct an “exit interview” with Monica and to introduce Julie in a future issue.

Readers may notice a format change in this newsletter that may carry forward. We adopted a longer format for some of the feature articles, feeling it was especially important to conduct deeper interviews in times like these, when informal social interactions (e.g., hallway conversations, meetings over coffee, and informal office chatter) have been eliminated in the interest of promoting public health. Additionally, these were simply very interesting interviews to conduct and we could not bring ourselves to apply an aggressive editorial hatchet to reduce the article length. We hope that you enjoy the extended format.

The Department of Sociology wishes you a safe and healthy spring and summer as we all look forward to the future.

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