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Anthropology Major Trey Spadone ’20 Reflects on SRS Trip to San Francisco

By Chris Henke on March 20, 2018

Exploring San Francisco with a Sociological Lens
by Trey Spadone ’20

What happens when you send thirteen students and one professor to the city of San Francisco?

Students traveled to San Francisco in Fall 2017 with Prof. Meika Loe’s course, SOCI 224: Immigrant and Sexual Cultures in San Francisco, part of Colgate’s Sophomore Residential Seminars curriculum.

During the fall semester, my peers and I took SOCI 224 or Immigrant and Sexual Cultures in San Francisco. Our reasons for applying varied, but in some way or another we all were interested in how gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, and citizenship status create identity-based communities in the various districts of this global city. Some of us knew each other from our first-year, Washington, D.C. excursions, and even middle school, but everyone had at least one person they didn’t know. Living, learning, and traveling are the core aspects of the Sophomore Residential Seminars program. My class embraced these goals and became rather close because of it.

The class was an Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) course which meant we were expected to deeply engage with each other. A lot. At first, there was natural hesitation to discuss our identities and the complexities that make us who we are. However, as time passed we began to become more comfortable with each other and were able to more freely discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly. Maybe it was because we had seen each others’ just woke up look, but I also think it had to do with the fact that everyone felt committed to the class and committed to each other. We all made the conscious decision to join the program and wanted to get the most out of it.

Memories were made in San Francisco that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Before we left, each of us researched a neighborhood in the city and a site that is focused on social justice in that neighborhood, so we each facilitated discussions on everything from gentrification, to the importance of independent bookstores, to ending homelessness, preventing suicide, liberating sex work, cultural preservation, and sustaining LGBTQ communities. Then we went to see what we researched. We gazed at beautiful murals in the Mission, took a Tai Chi class in Chinatown, and visited the ruins of the Sutro Baths in the Richmond/Sunset District.

We also had the opportunity to meet so many individuals whose stories and words really inspired me. We spoke with Krissy Keefer, a dancer, choreographer, activist, and co-founder of Dance Brigade the nation’s first feminist dance troupe. We visited San Francisco’s Tibetan Cultural Center and learned about the work they are doing with Tibetan-American families to preserve their heritage. We attended a service at social-justice focused Glide Memorial Church where we celebrated life, sang together, and heard a sermon about the white-washing of MLK Jr. Being a part of SRS San Francisco has truly been a rewarding and moving experience and I am so thankful for every part of it.

Students traveled to San Francisco in Fall 2017 with Prof. Meika Loe’s course, SOCI 224: Immigrant and Sexual Cultures in San Francisco, part of Colgate’s Sophomore Residential Seminars curriculum.

SOAN Honors Students Present their Work at Eastern Sociological Society Conference (and on Campus)

By Chris Henke on March 19, 2018

Students in the SOC Honors seminar visit Baltimore for the 2018 ESS meeting. From left to right, Lucy Stan, Lien Caputo, Sarah McDaniel, Hunter Filer, Tim Englehart, Mason Jones, and Emily Palermo (all ’18) with Prof Chris Henke.

When the SOAN Department developed our new major in Sociology, we created a year-long seminar for students pursuing honors in the SOC major.  This year I have the great privilege of working with seven Sociology students, who have been stuck with me since last August.  Before Spring Break, we took a road trip to Baltimore for the 2018 meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society, a regional conference that brings together sociologists from throughout the eastern U.S.  The students each created a poster about their thesis topics and participated in a poster presentation session at the ESS meetings on Friday, February 23.  Each student shared the preliminary results of their work with attendees at the conference and had a chance to sit in on some of the other panels and lectures held at the meeting.  Once back on campus, the honors crew did it all over again for a poster session held in the SOAN lounge on the fourth floor of Alumni Hall.  Please stop by the lounge to see the results of their honors work!

Many thanks to Colgate’s Office of Undergraduate Research, the Office of the Dean and Provost of the Faculty, and the SOAN Department for support of our trip to Baltimore!

SOC Honors student Lucy Stan (’18) presents on her thesis research at the 2018 ESS meeting.

SOC Honors students present their thesis posters back on campus, in the SOAN lounge.

Sian-Pierre Regis ’06 is 2018 Honorary Degree Recipient

By Department of Sociology and Anthropology on March 5, 2018
Colgate has announced that one of its  Honorary Degree Recipient at the 2018 Colgate Commencement in May will be Sian-Pierre Regis. Regis graduated with honors in Sociology and Anthropology in 2006.  Since his years at Colgate, he has become an award-winning journalist, on-camera personality, and cultural critic.   

Regis is founder of Swagger, an online cultural magazine and social media presence for millennials. He has also worked as a social responsibility and eco-consciousness correspondent for MTV News and an on-camera contributor to CNN Headline News. In 2008, Regis created YOU(th) VOTE!, BET Networks’ award-winning multi-platform voting initiative. He was the keynote speaker for the graduating Class of 2018’s Sophomore Connections career exploration program.

Regis is currently producing the documentary, Duty Free. The film follows the story of his mom, a 76 year old woman who, after being fired from her job, goes on a bucket list adventure to do all the things she never had the time to do.  

More information about Colgate’s commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients can be found here:  https://www.colgate.edu/offices-and-services/commencement/speakers

SOAN Professor Jon Hyslop Publishes Book Chapter on Early 20th Century Political Protests

By Chris Henke on January 26, 2018
post submitted by Prof Hyslop

SOAN Professor Jon Hyslop has a chapter in a new book, 1916 in Global Context: An Anti-Imperial Moment, edited by colleagues from the University of Galway in Ireland. The book deals with the transnational impact of the Dublin Easter Rising. The photo below shows editor Róisín Healy presenting a copy of the book to the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins (who happens to be a sociologist). Hyslop’s chapter, “Johannesburg’s Green Flag: The Contemporaneity of the Easter Rising and the 1922 Rand Rebellion,” looks at links between Ireland and southern Africa. He argues that there are two major modes in which the study of global history has been pursued: a long tradition of comparison and a more recent trend toward the exploration of connections. However, there may be a third mode of analytical linkage between events, which one might name as the study of contemporaneity. This consists in the identification of ways in which spatially separated events are the products of a shared global conjuncture of social forces, political cultures and institutions. Distinct events manifest common characteristics which are part of a much wider, structural global pattern. And in turn, these commonalities enable participants in events in different parts of the world to recognize, or creatively misrecognize, each other as representing similar political projects. In the social and military conflicts which battered both societies between the 1890s and the 1920s, Ireland and South Africa were significant reference points on each others’ mental political maps.

Editor Róisín Healy presenting a copy of *1916 in Global Context* to the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins.










SOAN Professor Janel Benson Coauthors Journal Article with Sociology Alum Anastassia Bougakova ’16

By Chris Henke on January 22, 2018

Congratulations to SOAN’s Professor Janel Benson and Sociology alum Anastassia Bougakova ’16, who recently published a coauthored article in the journal, Advances in Child Development and Behavior.  The article, entitled, “Kin Networks and Mobility in the Transition to Adulthood,” is based on collaborative research that Prof Benson and Anastassia conducted using a longitudinal study of young women’s educational experiences in the Philadelphia area.  They argue for the importance of studying extended family networks (beyond parents) for understanding the impact of kin support for the transition from adolescence to early adulthood.

Anastassia double-majored in Sociology and English and was awarded High Honors in Sociology for her thesis on the experiences of LGTBQ students at Colgate.  Since graduating, Anastassia has worked as an Associate at Notch Partners.

SOAN students participate in a wide range of summer research opportunities

By Chris Henke on December 12, 2017

On a snowy December day, it’s a good time to think about summer.  Several students majoring in Anthropology or Sociology spent Summer 2017 conducting research, often right alongside SOAN faculty.  The most recent issue of the Colgate Scene features a cover story on Professor Kristin DeLucia’s research in San Miguel Xaltocan, Mexico—the story features details of Anthropology majors Cameron Pauly, Hannah Post, and Audrey Swift (all class of 2019) working on an archaeological dig central to Prof. DeLucia’s research.  The article also includes many great photos of the site and the team’s work, so make sure to check out the gallery of images.

Earlier this semester, Colgate also featured the work of Sociology major Tim Englehart ’18, who spent the summer researching the impact of college on students’ altruistic behavior, including volunteerism.  Tim worked under the supervision of Professor Janel Benson, and is now continuing his research this year as part of the honors program in Sociology.  Click through the link to read about Tim’s project and reflections in his own words.

Finally, Vanessa Escobar and Jolene Patrina (both class of 2019) worked with Professor Elana Shever over the summer and supported her ongoing research project on the cultural and political significance of dinosaurs in contemporary life.  Vanessa and Jolene wrote this reflection on their work with Prof. Shever, and we hope that all SOAN students consider their advice to pursue summer research experiences with our faculty:

This summer we worked with Professor Shever with her ongoing research, which is entering its later stages as she begins a rough draft of her book. Most of the work we did was focused on transcribing audio files from the field and finding themes amongst data she had collected over the several years of fieldwork. On a day-to-day basis we worked from 9 to 5 and did all our work on a computer. From this, we realized the best part of this summer job was the exposure to new software.

Being introduced to several software programs and using most of them throughout these past weeks is great preparation for future jobs involving research and technology. Additionally, we had independence and free time to direct our projects ourselves and dictated what we would focus on any given day. When it came time to make a poster based on our summer research findings, we realized how enjoyable it is to make a poster however you want, with no strict guidelines, and when you don’t have classwork diverting your attention or even stressing you out. We found it very exciting to work with the data and do our own analysis of this research as well.

Although neither of us major in anthropology, we both had some interest in the field and spent a lot of time in the computer room discussing our findings and having fun devoting so much time to research that didn’t end after we wrote a paper on it like it would during the school year. We were immersed in the investigation and got to know Professor Shever’s field sites and informants on a deeper level without having to travel there.

We bonded in the lab, but we were highly encouraged by Professor Shever to leave the SOAN computer room to get some sun and breathe the fresh air outside. The summertime in Hamilton aided these interactions, because usually the weather was pleasant and the campus was beautifully desolate. Without students constantly roaming the school and without the piles of snow and mud, we got to experience a peaceful, almost meditative campus environment. Additionally, the SOAN workspace, its professors and students, and the campus-wide activities, such as ice cream socials and lunch at Merrill House, were almost ideal for bonds to be built on a small scale within the department and on a bigger scale with the friends we previously had or met around the whole campus.

Ultimately, summer research at Colgate with the wonderful SOAN department was an amazing experience for us both. We got to experience Colgate in a new and less stressful way while still engaging with academics. We encourage anyone who gets the opportunity to work at Colgate for a summer.

SOAN Professor Alicia D. Simmons on Her New Article in *Social Forces*

By Chris Henke on September 12, 2017


This post submitted by Prof Alicia Simmons.

I am a social psychologist studying the intersections of media, race, and politics in the United States. My scholarship focuses on the nature of Americans’ racial attitudes toward blacks and their opinions about public policies that obviously or tacitly invoke race. I further explore how these attitudes are created, triggered, altered, and reinforced by exposure to the news media. One branch of my research uses surveys and experiments to investigate the nature and causes of racial attitudes and racialized policy preferences.

My latest publication, “Cultivating Support for Punitive Criminal Justice Policies: News Sectors and the Moderating Effects of Audience Characteristics,” appears in Social Forces. It proposes and tests a model describing how news exposure might shape support for punitive criminal justice policies. Instrumental theories of punitiveness propose that opinions are the result of individuals’ perceptions of crime. In contrast, expressive theories suggest that punitiveness is a socioemotional response to the unsettling processes of modernity; in other words, people support punitive crime control measures as a way to reestablish social order in a world undergoing transformation. I argue that news exposure might affect instrumental and expressive concerns, and thus audience members’ punitiveness. I further propose that this process varies based on audience members’ characteristics. Using data from an original, nationally representative survey, I replicate previous research demonstrating that expressive concerns outweigh instrumental concerns in predicting punitiveness. I further show that local, cable, and radio news exposure are positively associated with punitiveness, and print newspaper and Internet news exposure are negatively associated with punitiveness. Moreover, I demonstrate that these relationships hinge on audience members’ characteristics. Although news exposure shapes whites’ punitiveness, it has no impact on non-whites’ attitudes. In addition, news exposure generally decreases punitiveness among liberals while increasing it among conservatives. I discuss the results in the context of the social construction of reality, highlighting the interplay between experienced and vicarious sources of knowledge, and in terms of selective exposure, emphasizing that audience members’ news outlet choices have profound implications for their worldviews.

Professor Kristin De Lucia’s Xaltocan Archaeology Research

By Department of Sociology and Anthropology on July 26, 2017

This wonderful article titled “Xaltocan Found Traces that Would Have Celebrated the New Fire” appeared in the newspaper Cronica from Mexico.  Professor of Archaeology Kristin DeLucia spent 8 weeks in the town of Xaltocan, located in the municipality of Nextlalpan, State of Mexico, where she worked on excavations this summer. The article appears originally in Spanish and features De Lucia who is entering her second year of teaching this fall.   The Colgate Scene is doing an article on this project as well.  Below is the original article which you can read in Spanish, and the translated version enjoy!!

The Spanish Newspaper version is here.

The English translated version is here.

Tim Englehart ’18 studies patterns in student volunteerism

By Department of Sociology and Anthropology on July 26, 2017

Tim Englehart is a Sociology major from Newburyport, MA.  He has been working hard this summer in the 4th floor Alumni Hall resource room doing research with Professor Janel Benson.  Tim is looking at patterns in student volunteerism at Colgate and across selective liberal arts colleges and universities.

Read about Tim’s research here.

SOAN Student Awards 2017

By Chris Henke on June 16, 2017

SOAN is incredibly proud of our student award winners in the Class of 2017, including our Award for Excellence in Anthropology, Award for Excellence in Sociology, and the Ramshaw Service Award.  Our Awards for Excellence in each discipline recognize the students who attained the highest scholarly achievement in their majors; this year the award for Anthropology was earned by Hope Di Paolo, and Julia Taibl earned the award in Sociology.  Our Ramshaw Service Award is named after SOAN Professor Emeritus Warren Ramshaw, and the award recognizes our students who have excelled both in academics as well as through community service.  This year Sociology majors Sally Langan and Alison LePard were awarded the Ramshaw Service Award.  In addition to these awards, several other SOAN majors and minors also bagged important campus awards this year, and we are very proud of them all.

Congratulations to all our seniors and best wishes for postgraduate life!

SOAN students winning awards include (l to r) Chelsea Mohr (Upstate Institute Award), Alison LePard (Ramshaw Service Award), Sally Langan (Ramshaw Service Award), Hope Di Paolo (Award for Excellence in Anthropology), and Julia Taibl (Award for Excellence in Sociology, not pictured).