Kerry Dobransky started teaching at James Madison in the fall of 2009. He conducted his graduate studies at Northwestern, specializing in medical sociology—more specifically, the social construction of mental illness and treatment. Other areas of interest include cultural sociology, the sociology of organizations, and information and communication technology. Kerry’s dissertation focuses on the changing organizational and cultural dynamics of mental health services. He devotes particular attention to the idea of patient empowerment versus the general view of patients as incompetent. Thus far, Kerry says he is enjoying his time at JMU. He especially likes the area, he says, as it is in sharp contrast with the terrain of his hometown in Ohio.
Clarence Geier is the senior editor, in collaboration with Douglas Scott recently retired from the National Park Service, Lawrence Babits from East Carolina University and David Orr from Temple University, of a book titled The Historical Archaeology of Military Sites, to be published by Texas A&M University Press in 2010.
Clarence and JMU students are also winding up a large project of interpreting a 154 acre section of the Battle for Cedar Creek in Frederick County. They recovered two sections of Union encampment and gathered data to interpret the course of the battle.
Next up, Clarence and his students will move to a Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation project that will investigate a 100 acre plus section of the Fisher's Hill Battlefield in Shenandoah County.
Finally, its hard to believe but planning for the summer 2010 archaeological field school at Montpelier has begun. This summer the field team will return to the north yard and work in the area of a slave quarter-stable complex that is believed to have been in use at the time of the Madison Jr. occupation.