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Letter from the Department Head

Greetings! The Department of Sociology and Anthropology remains a busy and successful place to be.  In addition to seeing the retirement of a longstanding member of the Department family, we also open the 2010-2011 year with new faculty and staff. The 2009-2010 academic year was filled with successes for our faculty and students alike.  Sociology and Anthropology faculty taught over 5,000 students including 130 students in independent studies, internships, research practica and honor theses.  Our faculty received $352,000 in new grants during 2009-2010; six books were in print, in press or under contract and 16 articles were written, in print or accepted for publication in our disciplines’ leading peer reviewed journals. It was, in short, an exciting year, and we look forward to continuing on that success in 2010-2011.

We begin the fall with a major initiative – reconnecting with our alumni.  We are emailing all alumni, inviting them to our webpage to learn more about sociology and anthropology at JMU.  There is now an easy way to stay in touch with the department and the university.  Our webpage provides a link to an alumni information form to update your contact information.  Please take a moment to complete this form.  We are seeking to partner with our alumni so we may continue to create and implement innovative educational experiences for our majors.  Such partnerships may foster a dialogue with our current students, faculty and among alumni, provide access to data for student research, contribute internship programs, create job networks, and so much more.

In closing, I hope that you will read through our entire fall 2010 Newsletter. And, I ask you to consider the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in your annual giving.  Your gifts to our Foundation account will go directly to supporting student activities.

If you are in the Harrisonburg area, please take the time to call or drop by the department.  Our doors are open.

Sincerely,

Tim


New Faces in the Department

We begin this year with two new additions to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology:  Ms. Amanda Reedy and Dr. Chris Colocousis.  Ms. Reedy is the department’s new Administrative Assistant.  Many of our alumni and friends will fondly remember Mrs. Ginger Usry, who served as the department’s Administrative Assistant for the past 32 years.  Mrs. Usry, Ginger, retired July 1, 2010.  She will be missed, but we enthusiastically welcome Ms. Amanda Reedy to the department.  Before joining us, Ms. Reedy was an Administrative Assistant with JMU’s College of Business.  We are fortunate to have Amanda assist in our way forward in the coming years.  We are also proud to welcome Dr. Chris Colocousis to our faculty.  Dr. Colocousis received his Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire, 2010.  Dr. Colocousis is an award winning teacher who will make important contributions to the sociology curriculum and to the fields of environmental sociology, community studies and stratification.

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Awards and Honors

Faculty Recognition

Special congratulations are due to Dr. Kerry Dobransky and Dr. Bethany Bryson.  Dr. Dobransky received two prestigious awards from the American Sociological Association:  The 2010 Roberta G. Simmons Outstanding Dissertation in Medical Sociology and the 2010 Outstanding Dissertation for Mental Health.  Dr. Bryson was the 2010 recipient of the Chris L. Gatesman Award by JMU’s LGBT and ALLY Education Program.

Student Accomplishments and Academic Presentations

Special congratulations are also due to Ms. Alie Wood and Ms. Laura Rogers.  Alie won the student paper competition at the Mid-Atlantic Archaeology Conference last year.  Her paper will be published in the Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology.  Laura placed 2nd in the Alpha Kappa Delta nationwide student paper competition and received an expenses paid trip to this year’s American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.  Alpha Kappa Delta is the International Honor Society for sociologists.

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Field Programs

During the summer, 2010, student good works continued in our field schools in Montpelier, VA, Salinas, NM, and Kenya, Africa.  At James Madison’s Montpelier archaeological field students worked to recover evidence of the stable complex dating back to Madison’s presidency.  A site often visited by foreign dignitaries, the stable is a historically important location.  Work continues on the slave quarter thought to have been connected to the stable.

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