Note from the Chair: Welcome to Iowa Sociology!

Dear Friends,

Greetings!  We hope that you are enjoying a lovely spring.  Welcome to our second annual newsletter in the online format.  I would like to thank our communications committee, chaired by Professor Marina Zaloznaya, for bringing you news from our department.   

Karen Heimer
Karen Heimer
Professor and Chair

We have had a busy year further developing our undergraduate program.  We added a second major in our department in August 2016, and we now offer BA and BS degrees in Sociology and in Criminology, Law & Justice.  As a result, the number of majors in the department has increased. Our two tracks in the Sociology major, Family, Health & Well-Being and Organizations, Networks & Careers, have also attracted new students to our department.  Professor Freda Lynn served as Director of Undergraduate Studies this year, helping faculty to develop internship programs, add new courses, and offer career fairs. Our students report appreciating the additional choices and new educational opportunities.   

Our graduate program continues to thrive, under the directorship of Professor Steven Hitlin.  Iowa sociology graduate students are actively publishing papers and presenting at national and regional conferences, including the meetings of the American Sociological Association, American Society of Criminology, and Midwest Sociological Association, among others.  We are very proud of the wonderful work of our graduate students.  Please read about some of their research in this newsletter! 

This issue also highlights some of the recent research by our very active and engaged faculty.  You will read about the work of our newest faculty member, Bryce Dietrich, appointed in the Department of Political Science, as well as in our department.  In addition, you will read descriptions of our two latest books, published by Assistant Professors Marina Zaloznaya and Jessica Welburn.  As a group, our faculty have been incredibly productive this year, publishing numerous articles and books, winning awards, and landing federal funding for their research.  Sadly, we cannot feature all of this work in a newsletter like this. We invite you to visit our webpage and check out the news section, as well as the faculty profiles, to read about some of our latest scholarly work and public engagement ( ). 

Finally, this year we hosted a series of vibrant research presentations by scholars from other universities as part of our colloquium series. This series is open to all students and faculty from around campus.  Our last presentation of the year, by tradition, features the winner of the Marian Rees Alumni Award, funded by a generous donation from Ms. Rees.  This year’s recipient is Professor Darrell Steffensmeier of the Pennsylvania State University, who in 1972 earned his Ph.D. in Sociology at the UI.  Professor Steffensmeier is a world-renowned sociologist and criminologist.  We were delighted to host him as the Rees Award winner and to hear him speak about his research, as well as how much he has valued his education at the University of Iowa. 

This will be my last note to you as Department Chair, as my term ends this summer.  I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous donations to the Department of Sociology.  These gifts allow us to expand our reach in new and creative ways. We greatly appreciate all continued and new support!

Please feel free to contact us.  We are always eager to hear from you.

Very best regards,  
Karen Heimer, Professor and Chair   


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