Welcoming Tom Rotolo as New Co-Editor of Sociology News

By Don A. Dillman

Tom has been a WSU sociology professor since 1996, following completion of his doctorate at the University of Arizona. Throughout his career he has studied volunteering, utilizing multilevel data and modeling techniques. He’s best known by students for teaching both graduate and undergraduate statistics. In addition, he has taught the popular undergraduate Sociology of Sport class for many years. Tom has also been instrumental in introducing and teaching social network analysis methods to graduate students throughout the university. Tom was the 2017 recipient of the Louis N. Gray Graduate Student Advocate Award. I am pleased that Professor Tom Rotolo has agreed to serve as faculty co-editor beginning with the Fall 2019 issue.

A photo of Tom Rotolo.
Tom Rotolo

As this last issue I have edited “goes to press,” I want to thank several people for their support these last seven years in producing this twice-a-year newsletter for nearly 1,400 alumni and friends of Sociology at WSU.

Sociology News was started about seven years ago, when Rayna Sage (PhD, 2012), stopped by my office to chat. We found ourselves lamenting the fact that each of us was unsure of some departmental happenings over the previous few years. The department and the University had been going through the transition from paper to electronic, and we both worried that some aspects of the department’s history were being discarded along with the file cabinets that held them.

One of us (I no longer remember who) suggested the need for a regular newsletter that could inform one another, as well as friends of sociology, about departmental activities and accomplishments. And, it seemed like it could serve as a retrievable record of what happened when. We proposed to Lisa McIntyre, former chair of Sociology, that a new departmental newsletter be started, and she supported our proposal.

Together the two of us learned the ins and outs of creating a regularly published electronic newsletter. We began as co-editors and after Rayna’s departure, three other co-editors have made it possible to meet our twice-yearly deadlines: Jordan Reinhart (MA, 2015), Pierce Greenberg (PhD, 2018), and Alana Inlow (current PhD Candidate). Thanks to each of you for all you have done to come up with ideas and ways of creating stories.

Adrian Aumen and Joanna Steward from the Communications staff of the College of Arts and Sciences worked with us from the beginning to make this newsletter possible, and I deeply appreciate the support they have provided for it. I also appreciate the suggestions for content that many graduate students and faculty have provided, as well as their tolerance when one of us started taking pictures, whether at a fall picnic or in the midst of a departmental seminar.

When asked why I will be ending my time as co-editor, my simple answer is that I feel the newsletter is now established as a regular departmental effort, and it is time for someone else to take the lead, infusing it with new ideas and perspectives.

I am looking forward to continuing my scholarly work on survey methodology issues that are undergoing enormous change and have fascinated me for many decades. I look forward to this transition.

My deepest thanks to all of you for the opportunity to meet twice a year on the pages of Sociology News.