Sociology E-News

Summer 2014: Expressing appreciation and looking ahead

In this issue of Sociology E-News, you'll learn about graduate and undergraduate students whose accomplishments were recognized at the department's spring banquet attended by scores of students, faculty, and staff. You'll also find a new section, "Awards and achievements," highlighting specific accomplishments of department members during the last academic year. Other articles cover a range of issues—from global experiences for WSU undergraduates to an alumnus' help in understanding the development of “Meth Mania” in the United States. A current faculty member also provides insight into how economic phenomena influence social organization, and new faculty are introduced as preparations for the fall semester begin. We hope you enjoy reading and will share your news with us at!


In this issue...

Outstanding students, faculty member honored at Sociology Awards Banquet

More than $26,000 in scholarships and awards were presented to 24 Sociology students at the department’s annual awards banquet this spring. These awards are important investments for helping students advance to the next phases of their careers in sociology.


'Meth Mania' in perspective

Alumnus Nicholas L. Parsons, now associate professor of sociology at Eastern Connecticut State University, authored the book Meth Mania: A History of Methamphetamine. Dr. Parsons seeks to answer why public concern about methamphetamine use bears little connection to objective assessments of actual use.


Keeping up with alums and former faculty

Alumni featured in this issue of WSU Sociology E-News provide examples of some of the quite diverse ways our sociology graduates are making a difference in the world.


Awards and achievements

The work of WSU Sociology faculty and graduate students makes a positive impact on many lives and in many ways. Listed here are some recent accomplishments that were brought to our attention, including recognition from outside the department. 


Balaev investigates influence of economic phenomena on social organization

Using longitudinal analysis (also known as panel analysis or cross-sectional time-series analysis), Dr. Mikhail Balaev's research explores the time dynamics of the effects of economy, education, and gender equality on political democracy.


Global Case Competition takes innovative students to India

Sixteen interdisciplinary and globally engaged WSU students and faculty did something different this spring break. They traveled to Bangalore, India, for “the experience of a lifetime.”


Remembering Ivan Nye (1918-2014)

Dr. Ivan Nye, who for many years was a member of the departments of Sociology and Rural Sociology at WSU, died March 1, 2014, at the age of 96.


Your E-News Editors

Jordan RinehartJordan Rinehart is a third-year Sociology graduate student at WSU. He joined the program after spending five years in nonprofit management, including working to increase civic participation in underserved communities across the United States. As a new co-editor, Rinehart hopes to highlight the growing importance of sociology graduates' work in the labor force. Rinehart's research interests include labor markets, organizations, and quantitative methods.

Don Dillman

Don Dillman has been a Sociology faculty member at WSU since 1969. He describes his WSU journey as being just long enough to track many Sociology graduates throughout their careers from graduation to retirement. As co-editor he hopes to find ways to link alums now scattered throughout the world with the excitement of current happenings in the Department of Sociology.

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