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Sociologist part of new NSF-funded project to evaluate partner accommodation policies

Julie Kmec
Julie Kmec

WSU sociologist Julie Kmec is part of a research team recently awarded a three-year, $449,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the effects of partner accommodation policies (PAPs), including their implications for increasing the number of female faculty teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Working with faculty in the WSU School of Economics, she will help provide theoretical and empirical evaluations of PAPs, as well as a description of their presence and scope in major U.S. universities.

Read more about the project

March changed lives of former WSU employees

We were there …

Elaine Zakarison, Pullman resident and daughter of Fred Yoder, founder of the sociology department, and LeRoy Ashby, retired history professor, are among members of the WSU community who have special memories of attending the March on Washington (D.C.) in 1963, when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Read the article and find related stories at WSUNews

Text corrected 9:35am 8/30/2013

Race, class, and William Julius Wilson’s world of opportunity

By Eric Sorensen

In the middle of the last century, a Tennessee preacher-turned-sociologist, Tolbert H. Kennedy, found a relatively untapped pool of doctoral students among the nation’s black college graduates. Between 1944 and 1965, when Washington State University barely had a few dozen black students, he and fellow ex-preacher Wallis Beasley helped produce more black doctors of sociology than all but two schools, the University of Chicago and Ohio State.

Among them was a young man who went from the hardscrabble coal country of western Pennsylvania to graduate first in his class at Wilberforce, the oldest black college in the country, and get a master’s degree at Bowling Green University. Casting about to study for his doctorate, he fielded fellowship offers from nearly half a dozen universities.

Kennedy, then the head of the Division of Social Sciences, told the student over the phone what it was like at WSU and made it clear that he took pride in having so many outstanding black graduate students. He followed up with letters and calls offering to answer any questions.

“I was so impressed with that attention that I decided to go there,” recalls William Julius Wilson, sitting in one of three offices he keeps at Harvard University. “You have to understand, I didn’t get that kind of attention at the other universities.”  Continue story →

Financial support for young adults can strengthen family ties

By Hope Belli Tinney, WSU News

When parents support their children financially well past the point that they themselves became financially independent, the resulting parent-child relationship is:

A. Fraught with tension and resentment.
B. Detrimental to the child’s leap into adulthood.
C. Closer and more loving than before.

While individual results may vary, Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, a sociologist at Washington State University, has looked hard at the data from more than 11,000 surveys of young people ages 18 to 34 and says the answer is a qualified C.

“What parents are doing today is different than what parents were doing 20 or 30 years ago,” she said. Baby boomers might remember putting themselves through college, or supporting themselves with their first full-time job, but that isn’t the world their children have inherited. Continue story →