Sociology Academic News

The following graduate students and faculty members were inducted into the Virginia Tech Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence this academic year. Joining as members in Fall 2017 were: Si-Hua Chang, Philosophy; and Michelle Murray and Jameson Natwick, both Human Development and Family Science; as an associate: Katarina Krizova, Human Development and Family Science; as a fellow: Lindsay Whittaker, Philosophy; and as faculty scholars: Matthew Komelski, Human Development and Family Science, and Jordan Laney, Religion and Culture.

Inducted as members in Spring 2018 were: Allison Hutchison, English; Chelsea Lyles, Higher Education; and Jessica Stephen Premo, Human Development and Family Science; as an associate: Jarrod Blair, Philosophy; and as a fellow: Katherine Ayers, Sociology.

Members are graduate students with limited or no graduate teaching assistant experience. Associates have at least one semester of teaching experience and/or have participated in curriculum development. Fellows have more than two semesters of teaching experience and/or curriculum development and outstanding teaching evaluations. Faculty scholars are recognized for their commitment to teaching excellence, pedagogical innovation, and inclusive learning environments; they include instructors, faculty members, and postdoctoral scholars.


Anthony Peguero, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, co-edited the Routledge Handbook on Immigration and Crime (New York: Routledge, 2018), with Holly Miller.

He also published “Reflections of a Latino Associate Professor,” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 40.1 (2018): 73–80.

In addition, Peguero was the recipient of the Becky Tatum Excellence Award from the Minority and Women’s Section Awards Committee of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The award, which recognizes “substantial contributions to criminal justice education and scholarship concerning ethnicity, race, and gender in criminology and criminal justice,” was presented at a ceremony and reception at the academy’s conference, which was held February 17 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Peguero also was elected to serve as Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Trustee-at-Large.

The following graduate students in the College contributed to RE: Reflections and Explorations. A Forum for Deliberative Dialogue, ed. Max Stephenson, Jr., and Lyusyena Kirakosyan, RE: 4 Reflections and Explorations 2 (Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance, 2017): Amiel Bernal, ASPECT, “Politics, Prediction, and the Rise of Donald Trump,” pp. 134–37; Nada Berrada, ASPECT, “‘Hogra’ and Youth Exclusion in the MENA region,” pp. 227- 31; Robert Flahive, ASPECT, “The Act of Killing: Reckoning with the Violence of the Past and the Stories We Tell,” pp. 299–304; Johannes Grow, ASPECT, “Hashtag Revolutions, Spectacles, and Politics” and “Empires and Barbarians: The EU and Violence at its Margins,” pp. 31-35 and 86– 89 respectively; Jordan Laney, ASPECT, “Beyond (internal) Colonization, Blame and Binaries: Towards a Relational Economy,” “Keeping our Hands on the Plow: A Personal Reflection on Organizing and Empowering Mountain Youth,” “What Machine Kills Fascists? A Critical Reflection on the Political Power of Sound in the Trump Era,” and “The Unnoticed Contextual Realities of Hillbilly Elegy,” pp. 14–20, 148–54, 173–80, and 213–22 respectively; Pallavi Raonka, Sociology, “Social Movements, Neoliberal Policy and Indian Democracy,” pp. 167–72; Mary Ryan, ASPECT, “Surveilling to Remember: The Impact of Technology on American Democracy” and “Good Government, Community, and Policing: Police Brutality and Civic Peace,” pp. 255–60 and 293–98 respectively; and Alexander Stubberfield, ASPECT, “Extending an Olive Branch: The Oath Keepers and the Paranoid Style in American Politics,” “Beyond Interests: Symbiogenic Resonance and the Democratic Subject” and “‘Fake News’ in Informational Ecology,” pp. 103–10, 246–54 and 277–82 respectively.

All of these contributions were previously published.

Sociology doctoral students Stacey Clifton and Leanna Ireland presented “The Quality of Mixed Methods Research in the Policing Field” at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, which was held November 15–18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Leanna Ireland, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, presented “Orwell Goes to School: Privacy Awareness and Parental Support for Technological Security Measures” at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, which was held November 15–18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors recently conferred the emeritus title on the following faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences:

Frederic Baumgartner, a professor of  History, is a leading scholar of early modern France, military history, and the Reformation. His publications included nine books, one of which was recognized with the Charles Smith Book Prize from the Southern Historical Association, and he received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards for his research. In recognition of his teaching and research, the Virginia Social Sciences Association named Baumgartner Historian of the Year in 2002. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1976, he served on many committees and commissions at the university and was active in numerous professional organizations as well. Baumgartner earned his undergraduate degree from Mount Saint Paul College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Eric McCollum, a professor of Human Development, was recognized for his impact on the field of Marriage and Family Therapy through scholarship, clinical work, and teaching related to substance abuse, domestic violence, and mindfulness meditation; he was awarded grants and contracts for the implementation and assessment of intervention programs in the first two areas. He joined the Virginia Tech community in Falls Church in 1992 and served as clinical director and program director of the Marriage and Family Therapy master’s program in the National Capital Region. He was recognized with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Training Award for his clinical work. McCollum earned his baccalaureate and master’s degree from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University.

Marjorie Norton, a professor of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management and a professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, promoted the understanding of clothing and textiles through research on economic and trade policies, consumer economics, manufacturing, and merchandising as well as through service to professional organizations and journals in her field. She frequently provided expert testimony on apparel safety. Her teaching of undergraduate and graduate courses garnered her the William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence, and during her tenure at Virginia Tech, which began in 1980, she advised hundreds of undergraduates and dozens of graduate students. Norton earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Marlene Preston, an associate professor of Communication, made significant contributions to the field of teaching communication and was recognized as an authority in instructional development and innovation in oral and written communication. A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1993, she served the Department of Communication in numerous administrative capacities, including Assistant Department Head. For her teaching, advising, and service she received awards at Virginia Tech, such as the XCaliber Award for Technology in 2015, as well as from professional organizations, including two Communication Centers Section Service Awards from the National Communication Association. Preston earned her bachelor’s as well as master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Barbara Ellen Smith, a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, was honored for her contributions to Women’s and Gender Studies, sociology, geography, and Appalachian Studies; she was the author of four books and numerous articles and book chapters. She served as director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and played an important role in the transition of the program to the Department of Sociology. She taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, garnering a Department of Sociology award for her undergraduate teaching as well as awards from ASPECT and Sociology for her work with graduate students. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and a master’s degree as well as a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.

Michael Hughes, a professor in the Department of Sociology, published “Urbanism and Tolerance Revisited: Racial Attitudes in the United States,” Re-Imagining the City: Municipality and Urbanity Today from a Sociological Perspective, ed. Marta Smagacz-Poziemska, Krzysztof Frysztacki, and Andrzej Bukowski (Krakow, Poland: Jagiellonian University Press, 2017), pp. 155–66, with Steven Tuch.

Paula Seniors, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, was featured on the public radio show “With Good Reason” on its program titled “Listen Up:  Music and Politics,” which aired February 24. Seniors, who studies African-American and multiracial theater, film, and dance, was interviewed about the lives of composers Bob Cole, J. Rosamond Johnson, and James Weldon Johnson, whose work helped break down stereotypical portrayals of black Americans.

Anthony Peguero, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, published “Immigration, Extracurricular Activity, and the Role of Family,” Education and Urban Society 49.3 (2017): 314–40, with Jiang Xin; and “Gender-Based Violence in Schools” in Sourcebook on Violence Against Women, ed. Claire M. Renzetti, Jeffrey L. Edleson, and Raquel Kennedy Bergen, 3rd edition (Los Angeles, California: Sage Publications, 2017), pp. 123–43, with Laura Agnich and Jun Sung Hong.