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Talking about diversity

Popular courses give students a way to examine various issues

Two courses at East Carolina University are giving students a way to examine and discuss diverse issues in a safe environment. Race, Gender, Class and the LGBT Identity, Society and Politics courses have increased in popularity since they were first established.

“I think ECU benefits from having courses like this. I know for me, institutions that have this type of coursework signal to the larger public, potential students and potential faculty that this is an institution that treats these issues seriously,” said Dr. Melinda Kane, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences associate professor of sociology.

 To read the full article, click here. 

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Knox: Text revisions, publication, presentation, and new research
In 2017, 4th ed of M & F and 5th ed of Human Sexuality: Making Informed Decisions (with Sue Milstein) were published as well as lead article on “Romantic Love and Desire for Children” in  Romantic Relationships: Perceptions, Social Influences and Gender Differences (with graduate student Brandi Bragg and colleague Joyce Chang).“The Future of the Family: Costs and Benefits of Robot” will be presented at Annual Meeting of National Council on Family Relations” in November 2017 with former ECU Sociology Major Stacy Huff and colleague Chang.New research interests include the interpersonal experience of international students (with sociology major Taylor Hilliard) and pornography preferences (with graduate student Hannah Morris).

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Pearce Co-Edits
Dr. Susan Pearce is co-editor, with Dr. Nora Fisher-Onar and Dr. Fuat Keyman, of the forthcoming book, Istanbul: Living with Difference in a Global City, from Rutgers University Press, due out January 2018.

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Community Service

Dr. Mamadi Corra and Dr. Arunas Juska recently did community outreach at EB Aycock. They spoke to students about living with a disability.

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Gender and the Next GEN

On March 23, 2017 the Sociology Department hosted a provocative event showcasing emerging advocacy. Academic and cultural leaders spoke about why gender matters today. This Wellness Passport Event was sponsored by the Department of Sociology to celebrate the launch of ECU's Gender Studies Program (GENS) next fall.

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Knox and Powers share their love for Sociology

Sociology professors Dr. David Knox and Dr. Rebecca Powers were interviewed by the American Sociological Association on why they #lovesociology. Click the link above to see Dr. Knox's interview profiled on the ASA site. Dr. Powers' interview can be seen here .

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Policing Protests Research

Dr. Bob Edwards (Department Chair) recently traveled to Cleveland and Philadelphia to research the policing of protests at both major political party conventions. Read about his observations here (http://www.ecu.edu/news/PolicingProtestsResearch.cfm).

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ASA Annual Meeting
Five faculty members and a graduate student from the sociology department traveled to Seattle, Washington to present their research from August 20-23, 2016. Thea Cox (MA student) and Drs. Corra, Edwards, Kane, Pearce and Powers joined over 4,600 presenters at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). The meeting theme was “Rethinking Social Movements: Can Changing the Conversation Change the World?". Other meeting details are available on the ASA website (http://www.asanet.org/annual-meeting).

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Rollins Evaluates Early College Second Life Program
Jordan Rollins, a sociology MA student, conducted an evaluation of ECU’s Early College Second Life Program as part of his MA degree requirements. ECU’s Early College Second Life Program uses an innovative online platform to provide students with the opportunity to take college courses from their high schools, accruing free college credits. Using both quantitative and qualitative data from survey responses and focus group interviews, Jordan was able to report students’ perceptions of the program and its courses to Dr. Sharon Kibbe, the program’s director. His report assessed the program’s content, structure, and the impact it has on students’ future goals and ambitions.

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Pearce and Kane on Public Radio East’s “Down East Journal”

Drs. Susan Pearce and Melinda Kane were interviewed by Down East Journal for the “Beyond Binary” series with Chris Thomas. The series explores the changing demographics and lifestyles of Eastern North Carolina. Hear Dr. Pearce discuss living a secular life in the Bible belt (http://publicradioeast.org/post/beyond-binary-living-secular-life-bible-belt#stream/0) and Dr. Kane discuss ways non-conforming members of the LGBTQ+ community seek community acceptance and recognition (http://publicradioeast.org/post/beyond-binary-non-conforming-members-lgbtq-community-seeking-recognition#stream/0).

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Supreme Court Ruling

Dr. Melinda Kane of the Sociology Dept. was interviewed by WCTI12 news in New Bern regarding the potential implications of a ruling by the Supreme Court on the issue of same-sex marriage. Dr. Kane has built a career researching patterns in and implications of laws and policies related to the LGBT community. Her work has been published in a variety of sociological journals. See the entire WCTI12 piece here.

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Mosaics of Change
ECU Sociology professor, Dr. Susan C. Pearce, and Masters of Sociology graduate, Anne Saville,  travelled to Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland in 2015 for the conference Mosaics of Change, Revisited: Creating Cultures in the "New Europe" and Central Asia. Organized by Dr. Pearce and Dr. Eugenia Sojka, the event was sponsored by the Institute of History, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland; Institute of the English Cultures and Literatures, Canadian Studies Centre, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland; and the Department of Sociology, East Carolina University. The conference was a success and an edited volume from the papers is in process. To learn more, you can visit the Mosaics of Change website.

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Global Understanding

ECU Sociology instructor and professional photographer Maria McDonald took her students on a tour of key landmarks on campus this Spring, taking photographs to share with students in India, Russia, and China. McDonald’s Global Understanding: Sociology course is linking with students in these countries, allowing ECU students to share their experiences living in the US and learn how that experience compares with that of students around the globe. The course is part of the Global Understanding curriculum on campus which links ECU students to students in over 30 countries. McDonald’s students enjoyed the chance to show their global partners the landmarks which they associate with their ECU experience. The photo tour culminated in a rare opportunity to walk onto the ECU stadium field – a treat for these hard-working students who dedicated their efforts to this early morning class!

For more information on the Global Understanding curriculum: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/globalinitiatives/course.cfm 

Yanira Campos
Lakes-Linking Applied Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability

Yanira Campos, a sophomore Sociology major, has received an NSF REU (Research Experience for Undergrads) summer internship. She will be working on the LAKES project at The University of Wisconsin-Stout. Yanira was selected out of hundreds of applicants from around the country. She will be working with Dr. Nels Paulson, a sociologist, who is "researching farmers' social networks, social capital, and land use practices." This is part of the larger, interdisciplinary project on Environmental Sustainability. You can follow the researcher's work on the LAKES blog website (http://lakes-reu.blogspot.com/).