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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 .

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 (

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 (

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.

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 ( and Dr. Kane discuss ways non-conforming members of the LGBTQ+ community seek community acceptance and recognition (

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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.

Susan Pearce
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: 

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 (

Dr. Leslie Hossfeld Presentation: For Engagement

The ECU Department of Sociology and its Center for Diversity and Inequality Research hosted Dr. Leslie Hossfeld on November 17th, 2014. If you were unable to attend you can find the presentation here.

Dr. Hossfeld is trained in Rural Sociology from North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She has extensive experience examining rural poverty and economic restructuring and has made two presentations to the United States Congress and also to the North Carolina Legislature on job loss and rural economic decline.

ECU Alum Publishes Study on Gender Bias in Student Evaluations

Student ratings of teaching play a significant role in career outcomes for higher education instructors. Although instructor gender has been shown to play an important role in influencing student ratings, the extent and nature of that role remains contested. While difficult to separate gender from teaching practices in person, it is possible to disguise an instructor's gender identity online. In this experiment, assistant instructors in an online class each operated under two different gender identities. Students rated the male identity significantly higher than the female identity, regardless of the instructor's actual gender, demonstrating gender bias.

Adam Driscoll is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He received his Master's degree in Sociology at East Carolina University and his Ph.D. in Sociology at North Carolina State University. His research and teaching focus upon the environmental impacts of industrial agriculture and effective online pedagogy.