Letter from the Chair by Reeve Vanneman, PhD

Letter from the Chair

Whew!  It’s been quite a year.  We interviewed 11 candidates for positions in Sociology and hired four.  The annual Rosenberg forum, this year with Sudhir Venkatesh, was one of the most exciting, varied (videos!) and best attended in recent memory.  The graduate program continues to move thoughtfully towards a more individualized mentor-based training program.  Our undergraduate majors continue to increase and improve in quality. Patricio Korzeniewicz was promoted. We bid farewell to Mady Segal and Bart Landry – who combined over 70 years of service to the department.   We initiated the William Form alumni lecture with Phil Cohen talking about the effects of women managers on occupational sex integration.  And all of these public, organizational events occurred alongside the steady rhythms of research, publication, teaching, studying, and professional service that have long characterized our thriving department.

For me, some of the best developments are those that emerge without any involvement of the chair – the organization of a “prosumer” theory group and planned conference; the military families conference that brought some of the leading Washington policy makers to campus;  the teas and happy hours that help build our sense of community;  and most of all this newsletter which I read from cover to cover to find out what’s happening in my own department!

Next year we can expect more of the same: more recruiting for open positions, a new talented cohort of graduate students, stimulating Rosenberg and Form lectures, etc.,  etc.  But I look forward most of all to the unexpected developments that we can’t predict now – those new initiatives that arise from student and faculty interests and from the social interactions among them. So, if you have an idea, tell somebody else about it, explore its possibilities, and let’s see if we can’t build something new in the coming year.

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