Newsletters and Announcements
A new edition of the newsletter is now available.
- Download your copy of the 2020 Department of Sociology Newsletter today!
- 2019 Department of Sociology and Social Work Newsletter (pdf)
- 2018 Department of Sociology and Social Work Newsletter (pdf)
- 2017 Department of Sociology and Social Work Newsletter (pdf)
We would like to commend and recognize the following students and staff for their hard work and outstanding achievements.
In search of reading material relevant to current events? All COVID-19 and pandemic-related content published by Brill is now free and open access. Included in the collection is the novel “October Birds: A Novel about Pandemic Influenza, Infection Control, and First Responders,” written by TWU’s own Jessica Smartt Gullion, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology and associate dean of research for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Sociology doctoral student Vanessa Ellison is keen on greens. Through a recently awarded Pioneer Center for Student Excellence experiential learning grant, she will launch her passion project, “Power of Your Plate: A Juneteenth Summit.”
Aubree Evans, a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in sociology with a concentration in social stratification and the sociology of higher education, will receive the 2020 Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarship from the College of Arts and Sciences. By fall 2021, Evans plans to complete her dissertation, which focuses on power in higher education.
Great Value Colleges recently ranked TWU's online sociology bachelor's program as one of the most affordable programs in the nation. Students have the option to add a concentration in social inequality to their online BS in sociology degree program at TWU. This sociology major provides students with a strong foundation for careers in such fields as law, management, journalism, human services, urban and environmental planning, government and education.
Dian Jordan-Werhane, Ph.D., started doctorate work in sociology at Texas Woman's University, focusing on qualitative research methods such as content analysis and oral history. A one-hour oral history project about "someone interesting in your community" led her to artist Harold Stevenson. Stevenson's eclectic, challenging and unconventional art found its way to the Louvre, Guggenheim, MoMA, Smithsonian and other famous galleries.
Recent graduate Morgan Villavaso chose to attend TWU because she was inspired by its purpose and mission, which is “rooted in the truth that educating women empowers the world.” She chose to study sociology because of its humanitarian focus. “Sociology taught me to move through the world with a conscientious and critical lens,” said Villavaso.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and Legacy Museum, located in Montgomery, Alabama, is dedicated to teaching Americans about the harsh realities of race in the country. TWU sociology graduate student and Denton local Hollie Teague volunteered to collect soil from the county to send to the museum, in honor of two Pilot Point lynching victims. “I wondered what it would be like to know I was about to be murdered by an officer,” she said. “I tried to be thoughtful and honor him. Then we said a prayer and collected the soil and sent it back.”
In a recent rankings review by College Factual, TWU’s undergraduate degree program in sociology ranked #31 out of 523 programs at colleges and universities in the United States and #2 out of 31 programs in Texas reviewed as “Best for the Money.”
Book-in-Common Essay Contest
Ph.D. sociology student, Vanessa Ellison, received first place in the Fall 2018 Book-in-Common Essay Contest, for her essay titled “Black Girl, White Words.” Petina Powers, Ph.D. sociology student, received second place for her essay titled “Misnomer: The Invisible Older Woman.” The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, was this year’s Book-in-Common.
Ph.D. sociology student, Hollie A. Teague, won first place in the Social Science/Humanities Division at the Federation Symposium held on the UNT campus, April 5, 2019. Her poster presentation is titled “‘Almost Jealous’: A Study of Race, Class, and Gender in Jim Crow Texas.”
22nd Annual Student Creative Arts & Research Symposium
William Smith, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology
Platform Presentation, “It is not About the Sex: A Qualitative Study of Male Instructors’ Perceptions of Female Supervisors”
Allison Ray, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology
Poster Presentation, “The Sociology of Teaching and Learning Undergraduate Social Statistics: Access, Assessment, and Arts-Based Pedagogy”
Selected by the Research Committee of the Graduate Council as a 2019 Chancellor’s Student Research Scholar. The CSRS program honors outstanding achievement by select students in research and creative art endeavors.
Hollie Teague, Ph.D. Student in Sociology
Poster Presentation, “Lynching the Young in Texas: Toward a Modified Status Transgression Theory
Tanya Faglie, Ph.D. Student in Sociology
Poster Presentation, “Obstetric Procedures and Childbirth: Educated Women’s Perceptions of Patient Autonomy”
Madyson Plummer, MA Student in Sociology
Poster Presentation, “A Global Comparison of the Incarceration of Women and Societal Punitiveness"
Heather Gerling, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology
One of three students selected for the 2019 Graduate Council Award for Exceptional, Original Scholarship
Her dissertation focuses on the relatively new and promising field of the Sociology of Human Rights. Ms. Gerling is interested in both quantitative comparative historical comparative sociology and qualitative sociology of inequality, stratification, and urban sociology in the international context. Besides her presentations in regional and national workshops and conferences, Heather has published three articles in professional journals.
Graduate Student Council Pioneering Spirit Awards Banquet
Heather Gerling, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, 2019 Doctoral Student Award of Excellence
Sociology Ph.D. Candidate Receives Funding to Support Dissertation
Mia Kirby, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, was awarded the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health Frances Fowler Wallace Memorial for Mental Health Dissertation Award of $1,500, to support her dissertation titled “Cranes in the Sky: Exploring the Relationship between the Strong Black Woman Archetype and the Mental Health Help Seeking Behaviors of Black Women.”
Lin O’Neill was the first woman to be a corporate officer at Continental Airlines. Overseeing several thousand employees, she led its inflight services division through a reorganization. As a consultant, she has worked with both Fortune 100 companies and entrepreneurs. “Sometimes processes need to be re-evaluated,” she has written. O'Neill earned her bachelor's degree in sociology at Texas Woman’s University.
TWU associate professor of sociology Jessica Gullion, Ph.D., has been awarded Honourable Mention for her book, Diffractive Ethnography. The 15th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry grants this award annually to a member of the qualitative and ethnographic community who has published the English-language book that best represents an important contribution to qualitative inquiry.
Morgan Villavaso, who graduated from Texas Woman’s University in fall 2018 with a degree in sociology, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to teach English in Malaysia in early 2020.
Villavaso becomes TWU’s sixth student to be selected to participate in the Fulbright program, which is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange initiative. About 1,200 students from across the country are selected each year to participate in the program and are chosen based on their academic merit and leadership abilities.
“I have chosen Malaysia because immersion in a richly multicultural society with a culture quite different from my own will prepare me for my international career goals,” Villavaso said.
Mahmoud Sadri, a professor of sociology at the Texas Woman’s University, agrees with the idea that restrictions enabled Iranian cinema to make progress and establish a strong international reputation.
“The old adage that art thrives under repression and censorship may have something to do with this phenomenon. The most iconic example of this situation is the flowering 19th-century literature during the two consecutive repressive tsarist and Bolshevik regimes in Russia,” he told Asia Times.
The bachelor's degree program in sociology at TWU ranks in the top 13% of similar programs nationally in 2018, based on 67 criteria that Sociology-schools.com employed to gauge educational quality. The website weighed each program's excellence with an algorithm that considers "academic, financial, and organizational factors and metrics, as well as faculty profiles, student retention rates, and alumni job prospects." TWU ranks as #157 out of 1,197 U.S. degree programs and #9 out of 82 degree programs in Texas.
Page last updated 10:25 AM, June 4, 2020