Sociology Academic News

Suchitra Samanta, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, published “The American Community College as ‘Stepping Stone’: Opportunity, Agency, and Family in Asian and Asian-American Women’s Educational Histories,” Journal of Asian American Studies 21.3 (2018): 367–93.

Kaitlin Boyle, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, received a grant from the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment to support her project, “Identity, Masculinity Threat, and Propensity for Violence against Women.”

Maria Scaptura, a master’s student in Sociology, will be working with some of the data with Boyle.

Three students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were among the 15 recipients of a Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship award for 2018–2019.

The college’s recipients were: Thomas Hale, a senior in political science; Kelsey McMahon, a junior sociology major, and Sophia Textoria, a junior in human development and family science.

Each Fellow received $1,000 to conduct research with a Virginia Tech faculty mentor over the course of one academic year.

Graduate students Rob Flahive, from ASPECT, and Katherine Ayers, from the Department of Sociology, with Jonilda Bahja, organized a “Tools for Teaching” Workshop through the Academy for Graduate Teaching Assistant Excellence at Virginia Tech. The workshop took place September 19.

ASPECT doctoral student Mary Ryan published an interview with Wornie Reed, director of the Race and Social Policy Center in the Department of Sociology, in Community Change 2.1 (2018), with Jake Keyel. Community Change is a graduate student journal housed in Virginia Tech’s Institute for Policy and Governance; Ryan serves as one of the founding members on its editorial board.

In addition, she was one of ten individuals selected to participate in the Pre-conference Workshop on Pedagogy at the 2018 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, which was held from August 30 to September 2 in Boston, Massachusetts. She also presented “Race, Democracy, and the Kerner Commission” as part of Georgetown University’s Prison Scholars Program, which took place September 19 at the D.C. Jail in Washington, D.C.

Director in the Department of Sociology and Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, James Hawdon, and Sociology alumnus Robert Perdue published “Can Big Data Predict the Rise of Novel Drug Abuse?” in Journal of Drug Issues 48.4 (2018): 508–18, with Kelly Thames.

Nicholas Copeland, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, was awarded a Core Fulbright Scholar Program grant to study sustainable food programs in Guatemala. The University of San Carlos in Guatemala City serves as his Fulbright host institution, and he works as a consultant for FUNDEBASE, a nongovernmental organization that promotes sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty in the region. Copeland has expanded his research into a multiyear project, which includes collaborations with colleagues in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Ashley Reichelmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, was awarded an NSF RAPID Grant of $50,000 to study the impact of a newly developed large-scale memorial. Through a survey of the residents of the surrounding community, the project focuses on understanding how this memorial to victims of past collective violence affects individuals socially, emotionally, and politically as well as impacts interactions between group members at the individual and the community level. Nationally, the results provide the opportunity to determine the role and use of memorialization in intergroup relations. Co-principal investigators are Sociology faculty members James Hawdon, Director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, and John Ryan, department chair.

Christine Labuski, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, and Philip Olson, an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society, published “‘There’s Always a [White] Man in the Loop’: The Gendered and Racialized Politics of Civilian Drones,” Social Studies of Science 48.4 (2018): 540–63.

James Hawdon, director of the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention in the Department of Sociology, was awarded $170,000 over three years from the National Science Foundation for “ATD: Forecasting Threats Due to Polarization Using Patio-Temporal Topic Flows.” Shyam Ranganathan, Statistics, serves as Principal Investigator, with Hawdon, Peter Hauck, and Scotland Leman as co-Principal Investigators. The project is aligned with the Integrated Security Destination Area.