Letter from the Editors (Robert Reynoso & Megan Wilhelm)

The Fall 2014 semester has been bright with change and growth for the Sociology Department at the University of Maryland. This semester brought the addition of another wonderful cohort of PhD students whose keen insights and curiosity are only overshadowed by their amicable down-to-earth nature. The GSF is now co- led by the awesome Jessica Peña and Moriah Willow, who bring new energy and ideas to the GSF’s efforts to represent the voice and interests of current graduate students.

There have also been exciting changes in our faculty with the arrival of Dr. Andrés Villarreal and Dr. Wei-hsin Yu. We also welcome Milton Costen III as the new Graduate Program Coordinator and Dr. Liana Sayer in her newly minted role as Graduate Director. We celebrate the irreplaceable Karina Havrilla in her new position as Academic and Administrative Coordinator for the department and send well wishes to the always-pleasant and helpful Jessica Lee, as she leaves us to begin her new journey at UMD’s Office of Admissions.

Many thanks go to our contributors, whose stories we are excited to share with you. In this issue, look for a host of insights from our students on their favorite places to spend their working and non-working hours as well as their experiences with a variety of summer opportunities. You can also find tips from Melissa Brown on how to maximize your professional social media presence using Twitter. Don’t miss an interview with Dr. Dana Fisher on her history and dynamic work, as written by Joseph Waggle, PhD candidate and former Imagine editor.

This issue also highlights some of the wonderful work put forth by our own Mollie Greenberg, a second year graduate student. You can discover one of the Sociology Department’s inspiring undergraduates, Marcel Davelouis, and learn about Dr. Philip Cohen’s editorship of the American Sociological Association’s Contexts, another exciting development in the department this semester. Get to know Milton Costen III who has taken up the mantle as the Graduate Program Coordinator, and check out the profiles of the 2014 graduate student cohort and an update from one of our alumni, Dr. Sara Raley.

Warm wishes to all in this New Year,
Robert Reynoso & Megan Wilhelm
rreynoso@umd.edu wilhelmm@umd.edu

Co-Editors: Robert Reynoso  & Megan Wilhelm

Co-Editors: Robert Reynoso & Megan Wilhelm

Note: Newsmag version of Imagine Newsletter in post above.

Notes from Faculty & Students

We take great pride in the accomplishments of our faculty and graduate students. Here are the responses to our call for news and noteworthy events from the past semester:

 Dr. Sonalde Desai and Dr. Gheda Temsah published an article in Demography: Desai, Sonalde, and Gheda Temsah. 2014. “Muslim and Hindu Women’s Public and Private Behaviors: Gender, Family, and Communalized Politics in India.” Demography 51(6):2307-2332.

Dr. George Ritzer writes that he:

  • Participated with an architect and a musician on a one-hour radio program on BBC World Service’s Forum program on “uniformity”
  • The 8th edition of the McDonaldization of Society has just been published with a 2015 pub date
  • Published two articles on prosumption (Sociological Forum, Journal of Consumer Culture) with another major piece on prosumer capitalism forthcoming in Sociological Quarterly in 2015 (along with responses from five international scholars)
  • Gave a featured public lecture at the “Futura Festival” Civitanova Marche, Italy, July, 31, 2014
  • Gave the keynote address at the Academy of International Hospitality Research Conference, Stenden University, Netherlands, November 26, 2014

A Guide to Maximizing Your Professional Social Media Presence: Twitter (Melissa Brown)

Brown MelissaMelissa developed an interest in social media during her work as a social media associate for a marketing company in Georgia. She also spent the summer as the social media coordinator for UMD Dining Services. In addition to her continued work with Dining Services, this year she built our own Critical Race Initiative’s (CRI) social media accounts from the ground up and is helping CRI develop a strong social media presence. Based on her expertise, she has written a guide for graduate students and faculty interested in creating a professional presence on Twitter and engaging others in their research.

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Alumna Spotlight: Sara Raley (by Megan Wilhelm)

 Raley Sara -ProfessorDr. Sara Raley graduated from the department in 2007. She is now an Associate Professor of Sociology at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. Her research interests include demography and gender, work, and family issues. Dr. Raley has publications in a number of journals, including the Journal of Marriage and Family, the Annual Review of Sociology, and the American Journal of Sociology. In 2012, she received the ASAI SAGE Teaching Innovations & Professional Development Award.

 I was able to connect with Dr. Raley and ask her some questions about her time in the department, what it’s like to be a professor at a small, liberal arts college, and her advice for current graduate students who might be interested in following a similar career path.

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Graduate Student Spotlight: Mollie Greenberg (by Robert Reynoso and Megan Wilhelm)

 Greenberg MollieMollie Greenberg is a graduate student in her second year of the sociology PhD program. She originally hails from Lexington, Kentucky and studied Sociology and Women & Gender Studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Mollie brings a passion and systematic focus to examining the construction of disability and ability in society. Here we highlight Mollie’s research and recent efforts to address accessibility at UMD as a member of the President’s Commission on Disability Issues. 

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Faculty Spotlight: Dana Fisher (by Joseph Waggle)

                                     Professor Dana R. Fisher is approaching her fourth anniversary here at UMD SocioFisher Dana-Facultylogy, and it has been a busy four years for her and for the grad students she mentors. When she first arrived, she was kind enough to let our own Anya Galli profile her for Imagine. Now, four years later, we’re stopping by Dana’s office again to find out how her time here has been so far; what frustrates her and what excites her most about her work (spoiler alert: her answers will probably be familiar to grad students and faculty alike); and what she has planned next.      

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Contexts: Reframing Sociological Journalism (by Angie O’Brien)

Philip Cohen, the world-renowned sociologist and admired blogger, can add another accomplishment to his extensive CV: Contexts editor.

Contexts, a journal published by the American Sociological Association, is reputed by sociologists as an effective “catch-up” on the latest sociological news. It’s known for both in-depth features and concise summaries on the latest breakthroughs. However, Cohen plans to take the journal in a new direction.

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Advice from graduate Students: A summer well spent

The academic year is fairly easy to structure with assistantships and required courses. However, the three months of summer offer a variety of opportunities to advance your graduate work that aren’t in the Office of the Registrar’s schedule of courses. This past summer, several graduate students in the department were working hard and developing valuable skills as researchers, teachers, and students. We asked some of these students to share their experiences and advice for students interested in exploring similar opportunities this upcoming summer. 

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A Grad Student’s Guide to D.C. & Beyond

In general, if someone wanted to find a grad student, they’d have better luck in the library than a hopping coffee shop or restaurant in D.C. While there’s always work to be done, it is also important to make time to explore the vibrant neighborhoods in the city and its surrounding area.

We asked several graduate students about their favorite destinations and neighborhoods so that if you happen to find yourself with some free time or want to take a break for an adventure, you have some great choices with a grad student stamp of approval!

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Grad Student Spotlight: Lori Reeder and Valerie Chepp

This semester, we’re profiling two of our graduate students who have done the seemingly impossible: finished the program and moved on to amazing careers! Join us as we pick the brains of Lori Reeder and Valerie Chepp about academic training, the job market, and what they most look forward to AG (after grad school).

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Letter from the Editors


Joe, our co-conspirator and fellow grad student Ann Horwitz, and Anya

Once again, we have had a blast producing the newsletter for our department this semester. Our latest cohort has proven to be a bright and intellectually curious bunch. The many research centers housed in our department are producing some excellent research. And, as usual, UMd sociology remains a strong and supportive community. We hope this newsletter provides a snapshot of our department as we finish up another great school year.

Many thanks go to our all of our contributors, without whom we’d have no choice but to publish 20 pages of vegan-friendly comfort foods from feminist cook books like A Second Helping for the Second Sex or The Gluten Mystique.

So, thanks, everyone!

In this issue, contributors give us a review of this year’s William Form guest lecturer Alex Bierman; a profile on incoming faculty Andres Villarreal and Wei-hsin Yu, and; a look into the research and mentorship being done in our own Group Processes Lab. Our contributors also sat down with a fantastic undergrad, a fantastic alum, and the fantastic administrator responsible for making three of our newest and busiest research centers run smoothly. We also asked faculty and staff for their advice on how blogging and social media can improve our lot both professionally and personally. Look for all of that and more in this Spring 2014 issue.

Have a great summer!

Anya & Joe

Letter from the Chair (by Patricio Korzeniewicz)

pkorzeniewiczWhile the academic year ends in just a few days, we will have a busy Summer in our department. As usual, many of our faculty and graduate students will take advantage of the slower pace of campus responsibilities to advance their research. A few will be teaching Summer courses. But with the faculty who are responsible for administrative responsibilities, such as the Associate Chair (John Pease), our new Director of Graduate Studies (Liana Sayer), the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Linda Moghadam) and the Director of Research (Jeff Lucas), we will be working on coming up with strategies to address some of the concerns raised during our recent departmental retreat last March.

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