A-to-Z Index

New Faces in the Department

After 32 years of service to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, we said goodbye to Ginger Usry with a mix of sadness and excitement for this next phase of her journey. We are lucky to have Amanda Reedy, who joined us in June 2010, as our new Administrative Assistant. After growing up in the Shenandoah Valley, Amanda attended JMU as an undergraduate student, graduating with a degree in psychology in 2007. She reflected on her time as a student as “a time in life when opportunities are endless.  JMU opened many doors, as well as many interests.” She joined the staff of JMU the year she graduated, working in the JMU College of Business. Having taken a few sociology courses during her time as a student, she was excited to join us in Sheldon Hall: “I feel very fortunate to be part of this Department, the faculty and students have been welcoming and I look forward to the time ahead.”

In fall 2010 Chris Colocousis came to JMU from the University of New Hampshire, where he earned his Ph.D. in sociology, specializing in environmental sociology, social stratification, and community change and development.  His dissertation combined these three areas, focusing on the course of economic redevelopment in a small town in northern New Hampshire that depended on the pulp and paper industry for more than a century.  Specifically, his dissertation focused on the ways in which the community’s built and natural environments combined with elements of community identity to constrain its options for the future, showing how place matters for processes of change.  Chris is excited to explore the mountains framing the Shenandoah Valley, and he commented on the blend of qualities that make JMU particularly attractive: “I’m especially excited for the chance to start my career at an institution that values both teaching and research highly, and I’ve found JMU to be a remarkably warm, friendly environment in which to work.”