Sociology 2020 Newsletter

SOCIOLOGY NEWSLETTER | Issue #5 J U N E 2 0 2 0 Meet our New Staff 2 Lucy Schmitz, Dr. Rachel Schmitz, and Pete’s Pet Posse 3 Faculty Presentations 4 Professor Emeritus Awards 5 Faculty Transitions 6-7 2019 Graduate Degree Recipients 8 Research Week 2020 9 Graduate Students 10-12 SGA and Sociology 13 Alpha Kappa Delta Inductees 14 Undergraduate Awards 15 Client Problem Solving Competition Win- ners! 16 Our Condolences 17 Find Out How to Give 18 Inside this issue: From our Department Head: Dear Friends of the OSU Sociology Department: What in interesting year this has been! I’m excited to share with you the events that have occurred during the 2019-2020 academic year. We have a lot of changes in store for our department! Regents Professor and former Department Head Dr. Duane Gill retired this year after fourteen years at OSU. Dr. Liesel Ritchie will leave us in July for a new position at Virginia Tech. We are grateful to Drs. Gill and Ritchie for their diligent service and will miss them as colleagues and friends. Please join us in wishing them well on their next adventures! Ms. Laken Pruitt, a MS graduate, of our program joined us in January as Sociology’s new academic advisor. Dr. Jared Fitzgerald, an environmental sociologist who recently completed his PhD at Boston University will be joining our faculty this summer. Welcome Ms. Pruitt and Dr. Fitzgerald! Starting in Fall 2020, our Minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice and Minor in Social Justice will be available as options for students. These changes reflect a series of upcoming curricular revisions for the Sociology Department intended to meet the needs of current and future students. Both minors are rooted in studies of inequality, offering an opportunity for students to understand social issues within the contexts of class, gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity. The department will be partnering with OSU PD to offer “Partnership Building Bridges: Applied Approaches to Community Policing,” an integrative addition to our Criminology and Criminal Justice course offerings. As many of you know, we quite quickly went online in Spring 2020 due to concerns regarding COVID 19. Our faculty, instructors, and students rose to this unprecedented challenge. We’re in the process of figuring out how to best move forward, and as we do so are learning more about how to create engaging online and face to face classes and experiences with the new dynamics that may be required. We were particularly sad that we didn’t have the opportunity to say a fond farewell in person to our graduates this year. I posted my thoughts to our social media accounts on May 9 of graduation weekend, opening with, “This is Oklahoma State University’s graduation weekend. Gallagher Iba stands quiet this year.” I closed with this note to our graduates: “In this topsy-turvy place we are in right now, I feel like I don’t know all that much. I do know this. You are ready. Ready to take on the unknown and uncertain. Ready to use the tools gained during the time here at OSU to succeed. Ready to take on (and change) the world. I look forward to the days when we can gather together again to celebrate your success. Until then, know that there are so many people who believe in you.” These are challenging times. We continue to be proud of our undergraduate and graduate students as they use the skills gained in our program to pursue careers in Sociology and a wide range of related occupations. As OSU Sociology looks forward to the next academic year, I welcome alumni to be in touch to tell us about your experiences, accomplishments, and life transitions. It is always a pleasure to hear from you! Feel free to visit our website at or visit us on social media. Best wishes for a wonderful summer! Tamara L. Mix Tamara L. Mix, PhD Dresser Professor and Department Head of Sociology The Department of Sociology Newsletter