A Message From Our Chair

Dear Friends,

The trees and spring flowers are in full bloom in Iowa City and it is lovely!  I hope that your spring is equally pleasant.  We are happy to bring you an update on the activities of our department, in a new and improved format.  I would like to thank Professors Marina Zaloznaya and Jennifer Glanville, who have been chairing our communications committee, for moving us into this new format and creating such a wonderful newsletter. 

Karen Heimer
Professor Karen Heimer, Chair

Since we wrote to you last year, the department has continued to develop new initiatives and build on our established undergraduate programs, directed by Professor Mary Noonan.  Beginning in the fall of 2016, we will be offering two majors in the department: We will continue to offer our major in Sociology and will add a new major in Criminology, Law and Justice.  You will read about the new major in this newsletter. We are offering two new tracks in the Sociology major -- Family, Health and Well-Being and Organizations, Networks and Careers.  We are at the end of our first year of participation in a new certificate for undergraduates in Social Science Analytics, and this program is growing, as well.  Also, we recently hosted the Iowa Sociological Association annual meeting, and as the article in this newsletter notes, it was a smashing success.  Professor Michael Lovaglia, the current president of ISA, coordinated the organization of this event, which was attended by undergraduates and faculty from our own department as well as from other colleges and universities around the state. 

We also are proud of our strong graduate program, under the directorship of Professor Steven Hitlin.  Our students continue to be active in research, publishing papers, presenting at conferences, and winning awards.  Please read the article featuring some of our graduate students’ research in this newsletter.   Once again we have recruited a fantastic new cohort of graduate students who will begin our program this fall.  We look forward to helping our current students continue to soar and to welcoming our new students this fall.   

In addition to being strongly committed to our teaching mission, our faculty continue to publish and present top scholarly work on a range of diverse topics. I invite you to read the articles in this newsletter about some of this exciting research.  Also, please visit our department webpage at http://clas.uiowa.edu/sociology/  and read news about the other recent accomplishments of our faculty, as well as take a look at our faculty page where you can find information on each of our faculty member’s current research and teaching activities.  The range of research projects underway in the department truly is impressive, and we are incorporating graduate and undergraduate students in many of these projects.  One current highlight is that the department is the home of one of the American Sociological Association’s journals, Contemporary Sociology, which is edited by Professor Michael Sauder (http://csx.sagepub.com/).

I hope that you enjoy reading more about our department’s activities over the past year in this newsletter.  Once again, I thank you for your past generous donations.  These gifts allow us to expand and move forward in new and creative ways. We greatly appreciate all continued and new support!

Please feel free to contact us.  We would love to hear from you.

Very best regards,  

Karen Heimer, Professor and Chair   

Other articles in this Newsletter

  • SIP Award Winner

    Sociologically Imaginative Pictures (SIP) awards are presented for the best pictures capturing a sociological perspective. The winner of this year's award, James Year, describes the sociological theme of his photo.

  • Engines of Anxiety

    UI Sociology Professor Mike Sauder and his co-author Wendy Espeland describe their new book on rankings in higher education, Engines of Anxiety.

  • Iowa Sociological Association

    In the end of April, department of Sociology hosted the annual meeting of the Iowa Sociological Association (ISA), that brought together students from University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Central College, Luther College, Cornell College, Loras College, Grinnell College and Kirkwood Community College. 

  • Sociology Students

    Beginning in the fall of 2016, the Sociology Department will provide students the opportunity to major in Criminology, Law, and Justice with a Bachelors of Arts or Bachelors of Science degree. 

  • This past October, the Public Policy Center, College of Education, and UI Sociology Department co-sponsored a research symposium attended by 75 graduate students and faculty from the University of Iowa and several other Midwest universities.

  • TILE Classroom

    In 2010, in an effort to encourage student-centered teaching, the University of Iowa created the TILE (“transform, interact, learn, engage”) program.  To practice interactive teaching, many sociology professors use TILE classrooms in their courses.

  • Sociology Club

    This has been an exciting year for the Sociology Club! From lectures by renowned sociologists to career development opportunities, the Club hosted a range of useful and fun events for anyone interested in the discipline. 

  • Power of Film

    Sociology Professor Vasi is first to use Internet and social media to show how a documentary shaped public perception and influenced political change. 

  • Natalie Veldhouse

    Alumna Natalie Veldhouse (Class of 2015) has been using skills developed in sociology classrooms in her work at the Crisis Center of Johnson County, where she conducts research on food insecurity. We interviewed Natalie about using sociological imagination in her new job.

  • Graduate Student Presentation

    University of Iowa sociology graduate students engage in a variety of research projects. Their work includes qualitative, quantitative, individual and macro-level analyses, in a variety of subareas within sociology including social psychology, crime, social capital, education, gender and ethnicity. 

  • Dr. Alison Bianchi and team of researchers at the Center

    Professor Bianchi, along with undergraduate and graduate research assistants, investigates the problems facing the growing population of Chinese students at Iowa.