Departmental Accomplishments Summer 2016

Department members keep busy summer schedule

Graduate student Sarah Morton presents at the GPSA Research Exposition.
Graduate student Sarah Morton presents at the GPSA Research Exposition.

Participation in professional meetings allows scholars to share the results of professional work and gain exposure to cutting-edge work in the discipline. These meetings often occur in the summer months—and this year more than 25 graduate students and faculty presented papers or participated in other ways at various conferences. Several of this year’s major conferences were close to home—both the American Sociological Association (ASA) and Society for the Study of Social Problems were held in Seattle. But WSU sociologists also traveled as far as Toronto and Ontario, Canada, and Orono, Maine.

Presentations in these meetings covered a wide variety of topics and are reported in the listing below. Other accomplishments of department members, including grants and awards from professional organizations, are also reported below. We also include new positions for recent graduates and educational accomplishments outside of WSU that complements the graduate programs of students. Publications will be reported in the winter issue of Sociology News.

Graduate Students

Valerie Adrian has accepted an invitation to participate in an effort to connect journalists with scholars by preparing a paper on types of intensive parenting, which draws in part from her dissertation work.

Eric Allen presented a paper, “The Effects of Respondent, Victim, and Perpetrator Gender on Perceptions of Intimate Partner Violence Criminality and Harm” at the annual Pacific Sociological Association conference in Oakland, CA. He also presented a paper, “Baby on Board: Gendered Differences in the Impact of New Parents’ Work Schedules on Work and Life Outcomes,” at the Society for the Study of Social Problems annual conference in Seattle.

Katie Bittinger was named the 2016 WSU Woman of Distinction for Graduate Students in April.

Katie Bittinger was recognized as a WSU Graduate Student Woman of Distinction.
Katie Bittinger was recognized as a WSU Graduate Student Woman of Distinction.

Bittinger also presented a paper, ““Organizational and Social Contributors to the Inequitable Enforcement of Environmental Regulations,” at the ASA meetings in Seattle.

The Association of Faculty Women awarded Liz Dzialo their Founder’s Award. Dzialo was also selected as the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences Masters Student Achievement Award. She presented “The Feminization of Environmental Responsibility: A Quantitative, Cross-national Analysis” at an Environment and Technology section roundtable at the ASA meeting.

Pierce Greenberg received the Olaf Larson Graduate Student Paper Award from the Rural Sociological Society for his paper “Disproportionality and Resource-Based Environmental Inequality: An Analysis of Neighborhood Proximity to Coal Impoundments in Appalachia,” which he presented at the RSS annual meeting. He also presented a paper titled “Mine Employment Decline and Environmental Inequality in Appalachia: Population Change in Communities Near Coal Impoundments, 1990-2000” at the International Rural Sociology Association’s World Congress of Rural Sociology in Toronto.

In addition, Greenberg completed an internship at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle this summer. He returned to Seattle in August to present a paper, “Incorporating Public Records Requests into Social Movements Research: Potential Applications in Mixed Methods Studies,” at the ASA meetings.

Jake Hammond presented a paper in June at the Second International Conference of the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) in Orono, Maine, “Working Less for a (Higher) Calling: Why Voluntary Simplifiers Are Happier Than Downshifters.”

Darcy Hauslik also presented a paper at the SCORAI conference titled “Inequitable Exposure to Hazardous Waste in Ontario, Canada: From Production to Consumption.”

Alana Inlow discussed her paper, “Neighborhood Destabilization, Foreclosure, and Crime in Portland, OR,” at an ASA roundtable on Crime, Law, and Deviance.

Michael Lengefeld presented a paper co-authored with Chad Smith (PhD, 2005) and former faculty member Greg Hooks at SSSP in Seattle. The paper was titled “Treadmills and Unsustainable Development: Illegal Commodity Chains, Militarism, and Deforestation in the Andean Region.”

Xiao Li presented a paper, “Rural-non-rural differences in the effects of family factors on students’ college expectations” at a regular session on Rural Sociology at the ASA meetings.

Nathan Lindstedt presented a paper at ASA that was co-authored with Erik Johnson, Patrick Gillham, and Bob Edwards. The paper was titled “The Mobilizing Effect of Resources and Threat: A Mixed Model Analysis of the Occupy Movement.”

James McCall and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson* presented a poster at the Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting in Baltimore in March, titled, “Evaluating the Enduring Effects of High School Sport Participation: A Longitudinal Analysis of Civic Engagement.”

Jesse Mendiola was a McNair Graduate Student Mentor during the spring semester for undergraduate Lysandra Perez, who is double-majoring in Psychology and Sociology and plans to attend graduate school.

Sarah Morton presented a poster, “Understanding Gendered Risk-Taking in the Academic Dual-Hiring Process,” at the 2016 Graduate Research Exposition in April. In June, she participated in Portland State University’s Summer Quantitative Methods short course in Categorical Data Analysis using funding from the Yoder Fellowship. She also presented two papers at the ASA conference, “Understanding Gendered Risk-Taking in the Academic Dual-Hiring Process” and “Risk-Taking in the Academic Dual-Hiring Process: How Risk Shapes Later Work Experiences” (co-authored with Julie Kmec*). She also presided over an ASA roundtable for the “Organizations, Occupations, and Work” section.

During the fall semester, Morton will be working as a graduate research assistant in the Office of Institutional Research and serving as a voting member on WSU’s Commission on the Status of Women for the 2016-17 year.

Adam McKee presented a paper, “Gay Men and Fatherhood: Doing Gender, Queering Gender, and the Package Deal,” in a session on Reproduction/Parenthood and Families at the ASA meetings.

Adam Roth presented a poster, “Social Ties and Physical Distance,” at the International Network for Social Network Analysis Sunbelt conference in Newport Beach, CA, in April. He also received honorable mention for his NSF Graduate Research Fellowship proposal, “A Sociological Approach to Antibiotic Resistance Transmission in Northern Tanzania.”

Lauren Scott and Erik Johnson* presented a paper, titled “From Fringe to Core: The Integration of Environmental Sociology,” at an ASA roundtable session on Environment and Technology.

Jon Schreiner accepted a one-year appointment as an instructor in the Department of Sociology at Western Washington University in Bellingham. He also presented a paper, titled “Unfulfilled Hopes: Genetic Ancestry Testing’s Impact on Identity and Anger,” at the ASA meeting in Seattle.

Bekah Torcasso has accepted a position at RTI-International as a survey specialist. She also presented a paper, “En el Vientre de la Bestia: the campesin@ struggle in the U.S. context, at the IRSA XIV World Congress of Sociology in Toronto.

Jarred Williams was awarded the Clifford C. Clogg Scholarship from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to attend the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research, where he took multiple courses in statistics. He also took courses in the Survey Research Institute. Based upon his work at the ICPSR he was asked to serve as a teaching assistant for Maximum Likelihood Estimate: Generalize Linear Models during the summer of 2017.

Hong Zhang (with Elizabeth Fussell) presented a paper, “Husband’s Migration, Gender, and Family in Rural China: Are Migrant Families More Egalitarian?” in February at the Conference on Developing the Field of Gender and Migration at the University of California-Irvine. She also presented “Race, Immigration, Place of Education and Gender: Determinants of Labor Market Outcomes among High-Skilled Job Candidates” at the Pacific Sociological Association (PSA) annual conference’s March annual meeting in Oakland, CA. In addition, Zhang completed her MS degree in Statistics from WSU in summer 2016, while continuing to write her PhD dissertation in Sociology.

Hong Zhang, Julie Kmec*, and Tori Byington (PhD, 2006) presented “Job Refusal and Turnover among Academic Dual-Career Couples: Can Universities Diversify their Ranks through Partner Accommodation?” at the ASA meetings.

* denotes faculty co-author


Christine Horne presented a paper on the persistence of racial segregation, “Descriptive Norms as Reinforcers of the Status Quo,” at the Annual Group Processes Conference in Seattle in August. She also received a National Science Foundation grant, along with Anurag Srivastava (WSU Department of Electrical Engineering), to study emerging technologies for improving the electrical delivery system.

Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, was one of four members of WSU faculty to be selected a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. She was inducted into the Academy at the ninth annual meeting of the WSAS at the Seattle Museum of Flight in September.

Erik Johnson was promoted to associate professor with tenure. He received a grant from the College of Arts and Sciences for research conducted with Christina Hubbard, a WSU undergraduate. He co-authored two presentations with graduate students, Nathan Lindstedt and Lauren Scott, at the ASA meetings in Seattle.

Emily Huddart Kennedy presented a paper at the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) Meetings in Orono, ME, in June as well as a paper, “Environmental Evaporation: The Invisibility of Environmental Concern in Food System Change” at the ASA meeting in Seattle in August. She also accepted an invitation to serve as an Executive Board Member to the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative. In addition, she is editor for the monthly newsletter of SCORAI.

Julie Kmec will become editor-in-chief of the journal Sociology Compass in January 2017. In addition she is one of two principal investigators for a two-year, $589,200 National Science Foundation grant-funded research project, “Women’s Engineering Participation in the US: What Can the US Learn from Women’s Decisions to Pursue Engineering in Diverse Cultural Contexts?” The other principal investigator is Dr. Jennifer DeBoer (Purdue University, engineering); co-PIs are  Dr. Nehal Abu-Lail (WSU engineering), Dr. Ashley Ater-Kranov (WSU engineering and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), and Dr. Karen Bradley (Western Washington University sociology). Of the grant, $329,613 was awarded to WSU.

Katrina Leupp presented, “Married Moms, Money, and Mental Health,” at the ASA meeting in August. She also presented a poster with Sabino Kornrich and Michael Vaughn of Emory University, “Housework, Sex and Satisfaction in 2014,” at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America in April.

Alair MacLean was elected chair of the American Sociological Association section on Peace, War and Social Conflict. She presented several papers at the ASA and SSSP meetings in Seattle, including “Historical Changes in the Context and Impact of Military Service,” and “Started from the Bottom: Globalization, Welfare, and Cross-National Variation in Poverty and Inequality,”

Jennifer Schwartz presented “Financial fraud among 21st century US public companies: Extent, nature, and distinguishing firm characteristics” at the Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section Session of the ASA annual meetings in Seattle. This paper includes initial findings from a three-year grant she received from the National Institute of Justice for a project titled “21st Century Corporate Financial Crime: Statistical Profile, Firm- and Executive Risk Factors, and Rich Database.”

Jennifer Sherman presented a number of papers, including: “‘Not Allowed to Inherit My Kingdom’: The Challenges of Amenity Tourism in the Rural Western U.S.,” and “‘A house before I was 40’: Rural Gentrification and Housing Scarcity in the Amenity-Rich Western U.S.,” both at the XIV World Congress of Rural Sociology 2016 in Toronto. She also presented “Rural Poverty and Symbolic Capital: A Tale of Two Valleys” and “Gender and Rural Field Research” at the RSS annual meeting. In addition she made a plenary presentation, “Studying Rural Gender and Social Class,” at these meetings.

Other presentations Sherman made during the year include an invited presentation, “‘Stress that I Don’t Need’: Gender Expectations and Relationship Struggles amongst the Poor,” at the Work and Family Researchers Network Conference in Washington, DC, in June; “A Tale of Two Food Banks,” presented to the 2016 American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting in San Francisco in March; and “‘Your Chunk to Make It’:  Gentrification and Amenity Tourism in Rural Washington,” presented at the People and Place in the Rural American West Conference in Missoula, MT, in March.

Dr. Jennifer Sherman presents at the Rural Sociological Society meeting in Toronto.
Dr. Jennifer Sherman presents at the Rural Sociological Society meeting in Toronto.

Sherman currently chairs the Poverty, Class, and Inequality Division of the SSSP and is the outgoing chair of the RSS Rural Gender Issues RIG, as well as newly elected council member of the Rural Sociological Society. She also serves a three-year term on the Awards and Endowment Committee, as well as serving on the recently formed Ethics Committee. With David Gent at Oregon State she received a one-year $30,000 grant from the Western Integrated Pest Management Center Competitive Grants Program to study, “Network Characteristics and Modeling of Powdery Mildew Spread: Foundations for Area-Wide IPM.” These funds will support her ongoing work on decision-making among farmers in the Northwest.

Don Dillman received the Paul F. Lazardsfeld Award from the Methodology Section of the American Sociological Association for a career of distinguished contributions to the field of sociological methodology.

Don Dillman received an award from the Methodology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Don Dillman received an award from the Methodology Section of the American Sociological Association.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine awarded Dillman a lifetime designation as National Associate of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. In addition he was appointed to a National Academies Expert Panel to evaluate the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics Approach to Measuring the Science and Engineering Workforce. In August he was appointed as a member of the National Academies committee to produce the Sixth Edition of Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency.

Dillman was also selected to participate in the “2016 Summer at Census Scholar” program of the U.S. Census Bureau. Under this program he visited the Bureau in July to present a seminar for Census staff on how to make “push-to-web” household surveys effective for Census surveys of the general public. In addition, he taught a short course to new Census staff members on designing effective communications for household surveys. At the Rural Sociological Society annual conference in Toronto he also taught a short course on “How Survey Methods are changing.”