Department News, Fall 2014

Fall 2014 Sociology Department NewsletterTo view the full Fall 2014 Sociology Department Newsletter, click on the thumbnail to the right. For individual feature stories and department updates, click on the links below.

Spotlight on Daniel Martínez: Immigration, Borders, and Mentoring
Fran Buntman Wins Kenny Award for Excellence in Teaching
Jackie Robinson: More Than A Baseball Player
Is Equitable Development Possible in the 21st Century?
In Memoriam: William J. Chambliss (1933-2014): Speaking Truth to Power
Faculty Highlights
Student News
Alumni News

Spotlight on Daniel Martínez: Immigration, Borders, and Mentoring

Daniel MartínezProfessor Daniel Martínez has been active in disseminating findings from several research projects that focus on unauthorized migrants' border-crossing experiences and their encounters with the U.S. immigration enforcement system. He and his colleagues released several policy reports in conjunction with the American Immigration Council’s Immigration Policy Center: Bordering on Criminal: The Routine Abuse of Migrants in the Removal System (Parts I and II) and No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse.

The reports have received notable media attention in outlets including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, The Arizona Republic, The Arizona Daily Star, The Albuquerque Journal, The El Paso Times, The Brownsville Herald and on National Public Radio. No Action Taken was also featured on an episode of the Rachel Maddow Show. Professor Martínez’s collaboration with the Immigration Policy Center is an example of finding a balance between academic research and public sociology. This work illustrates that rigorous, empirically-based academic research has a place in the policy realm, and reveals how findings can be utilized to inform policy changes.

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Professor Martínez often invites sociology and criminal justice students to collaborate on his research projects. He asserts, “gaining applied research experience is an extremely important part of the university experience and helps supplement class room-based learning. These experiences position our students to stand out in an extremely competitive job market and to open up opportunities as they apply to graduate programs or law schools around the country.”

Professor Martínez has also collaborated with GW student groups such as the Organization of Latino American Students (OLAS) and the Mexican Student Association, and currently serves as the advisor for the D.C. Latino Student Partnership, a group that brings together Latino student leaders from universities around the D.C. metro area. He notes, “Having positive role models and mentors played a crucial role in contributing to who I am today as a researcher and scholar. I feel it is important for me to pay this forward and serve in the capacity for the current generation of students.”

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Fran Buntman Wins Kenny Award for Excellence in Teaching

Fran BuntmanCongratulations to Professor Fran Buntman who received the 2013-14 Robert W. Kenny Award for Excellence in Teaching an Introductory Course. This honor is given to a CCAS faculty member who encourages students to think differently, allowing them to take advantage of their academic experience at GW. Students nominated Professor Buntman’s Introduction to Criminal Justice course (SOC 1003) in recognition of her imaginative and innovative teaching methods and approach to the material. This award honors former Dean Robert Kenny and his special dedication to stimulating experiences for students at the beginning of their experience at GW.


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Jackie Robinson: More Than A Baseball Player

Jackie Robinson: More than a Baseball Player coverThe Jackie Robinson Project has been a hallmark of the sociology curriculum since 1996 when the department was awarded a grant from the D.C. Humanities Council to commemorate Jackie Robinson’s integration into baseball. A major component of the project is an annual lecture series and events schedule, including Jackie Robinson Night at GW, which honors those who emulate Robinson’s dedication to athletics, civil rights and community leadership. This year, one of the Jackie and Rachel Robinson Society Appreciation Awards was presented to GW alumnae Sherika Brooks (BA, SOC ’12) and Sarah-Jo Lawrence (BA ’08, MTA ’10), both former presidents of the Jackie and Rachel Robinson Society.

Another result of this project has been the development of one of our more unique course offerings in the Sociology Department taught by Professor Richard Zamoff, Jackie Robinson: Race, Sport, and the American Dream (SOC 2151).

This fall, under the direction of Professor Zamoff, the Jackie Robinson Project staff has published Jackie Robinson: More Than A Baseball Player—a children’s book emphasizing Robinson's impact both on and off the playing field as a community leader and activist. With the support of GW’s Division of Creative Marketing, the project’s staff field tested the book in schools participating in the Jackie Robinson Project educational initiative. The text has also been translated into Spanish. Both versions can be purchased by sending a completed order form and check made out to GW Jackie Robinson Project to the attention of Richard Zamoff in the GW Sociology Department (801 22nd St NW, Phillips Hall 409, Washington D.C. 20052). All sales will be reinvested in the GW Jackie Robinson Project's educational initiative to enable us to reach more students and teachers with the story of Jackie Robinson and his impact on America.

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Is Equitable Development Possible in the 21st Century?

Professor Gregory Squires, along with GW's Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service and the community organization ONE DC sponsored a conference, "Is Equitable Development Possible in the 21st Century? Prospects and Possibilities in Washington, DC" this past spring. Angela Glover Blackwell, executive director of PolicyLink, gave the keynote address followed by presentations by a range of D.C. area organizers, academics and residents on strategies for pursuing more equitable and sustainable development of D.C. neighborhoods. Professor Squires and two of the conference organizers, Dominic T. Moulden and Kalfani N. Ture, wrote a summary of the event, "Equitable Development Moves Forward in the Nation's Capital," published in Social Policy (Summer 2014).

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In Memoriam: William Chambliss (1933-2014): Speaking Truth to Power

William ChamblissThe Department of Sociology and the entire GW community lost a dear friend and colleague this year. William Chambliss, professor of sociology at GW for over 25 years, died on February 22, 2014. Professor Chambliss was a towering figure in sociology whose work transformed the scholarly worlds of social theory, the sociology of law and criminology. Widely known internationally as a leading conflict theorist, he was always quick to point out that he was a sociologist whose interests included criminology. Among his “associates” were leading and petty crime figures, officials who enabled their behavior and the victims of predatory policies and practices.

Boxman: A Professional Thief's JourneyAs his longtime friend and fellow sociologist Richard Applebaum stated, “Bill repeatedly went to the streets. He hung out with such notorious organized crime chiefs as Meyer Lansky as well as low-level drug dealers and petty criminals in Seattle; poppy growers, heroin traffickers and CIA chiefs in Thailand’s Golden Triangle; pirates of many stripes, whenever he could find them.” His research examined the elites of many segments of society. But his sympathies and messages were always for those who were often criminalized primarily because they happened to be poor. As Applebaum observed, “Bill loved to be among those who were on the receiving end of an exploitive social system shaped by race and class.”

On the Take: From Petty Crooks to Presidents coverIn a career spanning over 50 years Professor Chambliss produced almost two dozen books, countless articles (frequently reprinted in digests for decades) and popular pieces. He received his PhD at the University of Indiana in 1962, held faculty positions at several universities and was in constant demand as an invited lecturer at universities on almost every continent. He came to GW in 1986. His many awards and accolades include the following: he was elected president of the American Society of Criminology in 1998; he was President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems in 1993; he received Lifetime achievement awards from the American Sociological Association Sections on Criminology in 1985 and the Sociology of Law in 2009; and from the American Society of Criminology he won the society’s Major Achievement Award in 1995 and the Edwin H. Sutherland Award in 2001. In 2012, the Society for the Study of Social Problems created the William J. Chambliss Lifetime Achievement Award and he was the first recipient.

Power, Politics, & Crime coverProfessor Chambliss’s life was filled with scholarly achievement and joy, both of which he shared with all around him. At his side during his last few days were his wife Pernille, his sons Jeff and James, his daughter Lauren and his grandchildren. He will be missed greatly by his family and many friends. As the outpouring of messages we received within hours of his passing confirmed, he was loved by his many students, colleagues, and dear friends around the country. Professor Chambliss truly “spoke truth to power” before that phrase became a cliché. His voice has been stilled, but his influence will live on.

Note: To honor Professor Chambliss’s legacy we have created a fund that will help us provide graduate student packages, financial aid and other support for our most deserving students. More information can be found here. And if you would like to make a gift in his honor, please visit

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Faculty Highlights

Professor Buntman at Brasilia Without Borders, second from rightFran Buntman served as faculty director for the Brasilia Without Borders Program which brought hundreds of pre-college students from Brazil to GW’s campus this summer to learn about global governance and innovative leadership. This past year, as a scholar of prisoner resistance to apartheid, Professor Buntman was invited to speak about the life and legacy of South Africa President Nelson Mandela for numerous media outlets and commemorative events. At GW’s annual Day of Service, she provided the keynote speech, drawing on parallels between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. She also served as an expert witness for the Convention Against Torture Hearing held by the Board of Immigration Appeals in Baltimore, MD. This summer she was interviewed in “Creating a Criminal” (7/21/14) for the podcast series History Repeating Itself. (Photo: Professor Buntman at Brasilia Without Borders, second from right.)

Robert Cottrol published “Second Amendment: Not Constitutional Dysfunction, But Necessary Safeguard” in Boston University Law Review (May 2014) and “Positive discrimination/Affirmative action with respect to gender and race” (with Megan Davis) for the Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law (2013).

Cynthia Deitch’s research on Title VII was mentioned in a New Yorker article, “The Sex Amendment,” by Louis Menand (7/21/14). She also presented her paper “Mistreatment of Immigrant Workers in U.S. Workplaces: Are Discrimination Lawsuits a Viable Remedy?” at the International Sociological Association meetings in Yokohama, Japan, in August 2014.

Daina Eglitis is the recent recipient of the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Visiting Fellowship at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She will be completing her fellowship during her sabbatical in Spring 2015.

Amitai Etzioni recently authored "To End One-Dollar, One-Vote" and "The Cantonization of Iraq" for The Huffington Post. He was also interviewed on "White House Chronicle" (video: 1, 2, 3).

Professors Ishizawa Antwan JonesHiromi Ishizawa and Antwan Jones received a publication grant from Robert Wood Johnson. The resulting article, “Immigrant Neighborhood Concentration, Acculturation, and Obesity among Young Adults,” is forthcoming in Journal of Urban Affairs. They also presented a poster on this project at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America. (Photo: Professor Ishizawa (l) and Professor Jones (r) pictured with their research poster.)

Michelle Kelso’s documentary film Hidden Sorrows: The Persecution of Romanian Gypsies During WWII (2005) was featured in three European film venues during the past year: the Douarnenez Film Festival in Douarnenez, France (August 2013), the One World Film Festival in Bucharest, Romania (October 2013) and the Romanian Cultural Center Roma Cultural Festival in London, England (June 2014).

Ivy Ken was interviewed by The New York Times op-ed writer Mark Bittman, who quoted her prominently in his article "Parasites, Killing their Hosts” (6/17/14). This was in response to Professor Ken’s article "A Healthy Bottom Line: Obese Children, a Pacified Public, and Corporate Legitimacy," published in Social Currents (March 2014).

Patricia Lengermann and Gillian Niebrugge-Brantley have recently published “Charlotte Perkins Gilman” in The International Library of Essays in Classical Sociology (Ashgate 2013); “Debating Service Sociology: The Settlements, The Academy and the Social Work Profession (1890-1930)” in Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems (Ashgate 2014); and “The Explanatory Power of Ethics: The Sociology of Jane Addams” in The Palgrave Handbook Of Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity (Palgrave 2014). They also revised their entry on “feminism and sociology” for the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. This year, they are serving on the History of Sociology Committee for the District of Columbia Sociology Society.

Daniel Martínez presented papers at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Society for Applied Anthropology, Southern Sociological Society, and Population Association of America. He gave invited talks at the University of Texas A&M and El Colegio de la Frontera del Norte. He also appeared on Al-Jazeera America’s Fault Lines and PBS’s This is America & The World.

Emily Morrison has concluded her project of revising the objectives and curriculum of the Human Services program at GW. Now called Human Services & Social Justice, the program is designed to deepen student learning, to address community-identified issues and to weave theory, research and practice together in relevant ways. Professor Morrison has also completed a paper discussing her cross-cultural study on U.S. and Pakistani students’ perspectives on service-learning which she conducted last year with Innovations in Civic Partnerships and the U.S. State Department in Pakistan.

Lynette Osborne has developed an online Introduction to Sociology course (SOC 1001.DE) for GW students, which she facilitates from her new home-base at the University of Texas, Austin. Formerly only scheduled during summer semesters, this is our first distance-education course offered during the fall and spring. Professor Osborne’s online curriculum provides students with alternative approaches to learning and allows them more flexibility during their busy semesters.

Male Peer Support & Violence Against Women: The History and Verification of a TheoryMartin Schwartz published Male Peer Support and Violence Against Women: The History and Verification of a Theory (Northeastern 2013), co-authored with Walter DeKeseredy. Professors Schwartz and DeKeseredy have, with Molly Dragiewicz, signed a contract with the University of California Press for a new book on violence against women during separation and dissolution of relationships. He is also working on the 12th edition of the textbook, Deviant Behavior (Pearson 2013) with Jim Taylor, and a chapter on critical criminology for a book edited by Alex Piquero.

From Foreclosure to Fair Lending coverGregory Squires co-authored "Underwater America: How the So-Called Housing 'Recovery' Is Bypassing Many American Communities," released by the Haas Institute at UC Berkeley. This report documents the impact of the foreclosure crisis affecting millions of metropolitan area families most at risk of losing their homes. Professor Squires also received the 2013 Lester F. Ward Distinguished Contributor to Applied and Clinical Sociology Award. The award was presented at the AACS annual conference where he gave the keynote address, "Inequality, Advocacy, and the Foreclosure Crisis," published in the Journal of Applied Social Science (October 2013). He also published, From Foreclosure to Fair Lending: Advocacy, Organizing, Occupy and the Pursuit of Equitable Credit, co-edited with Chester Hartman (New Village Press 2013).

Steven Tuch is working on a national study of African American and Hispanic intergroup relations in the U.S. He is also teaching the inaugural version of the department’s new capstone course, Senior Research Seminar (SOC 4195), which is required of all Sociology majors.

Ronald Weitzer spent this past spring on sabbatical in Belgium at Ghent University where he was a visiting researcher. He recently co-authored an article, with former graduate student Kenneth Leon (MA, CRIM ’13), entitled "Legalizing Recreational Marijuana: Ballot Outcomes in Four States," in The Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology (October 2014). He also wrote an essay “Miscounting Human Trafficking and Slavery” for the Open Democracy website.

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Student News

Professor Antwan Jones and Shaun Harrison; Cameron Hopkins and Bianca ValenciaSociology major and Luther Rice Fellow Shaun Harrison presented his project, "Mental Health as a Societal Process and Problem” at GW Research Day in April 2014, and was also asked to give a research presentation to GW alumni donors. Shaun’s study explores how mental health is affected by the imbrications and intersections of race, SES and residential status/location at individual and neighborhood levels. (Top photo: Shaun Harrison with his advisor Professor Antwan Jones)

Criminal justice majors Cameron Hopkins and Bianca Valencia, took leading roles in organizing the Junior Justice Forum held by the GW chapter of Justice For Juniors in February 2014. Bianca chaired the evening and moderated the panel, and Cameron gave an opening talk about the disproportionate impact of the juvenile justice system on African American youth in Washington DC. (Bottom photo: Bianca Valencia and Cameron Hopkins.)

Criminal justice major and Luther Rice Fellow Emily Messing spent the summer conducting research in Tucson, Ariz., with Robin Reineke and the Tucson-based NGO Colibri Center for Human Rights. Emily co-authored an op-ed “The Urgent Humanitarian Crisis Doesn’t Begin or End at the Border” in The Huffington Post this June. She was also the recipient of a Luther Rice Fellowship this past spring.

Alexandria Thompson, double major in criminal justice and human services & social justice, has been selected to be a member of the 2015 Teach for America corps, as well as an Equity Fellow in Miami-Dade, Florida. Her service work was recently highlighted in GW Today.

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Alumni News

Lola Ajayi, BA, CJ ’10, recently left her position with the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection Agency to begin full-time graduate study at New York University this fall. She is an MPA public and nonprofit management and policy student with the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Donald B. Ardell, BA, SOC ’63, is a speaker and author on quality lifestyles. His focus is skill building in the dimensions of reason, exuberance, athleticism and personal freedoms. He keynoted at the Global Spa & Wellness Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, in September. At the 2014 American Humanist Conference, he delivered excerpts from Robert Ingersoll orations that reveal the humanist vision espoused by the 19th century speaker. Don reports that his “fond memories of sociology, varsity basketball, student council and friends from GW years remain strong.”

Victoria Marquez Bonasera, MA, SOC ’02, currently works at the U.S. Department of State as a victim assistance specialist. Vicky and her husband Andy live in Washington, D.C., where they welcomed their first child Sebastian Anthony this past June.

Matthew Brault, BA, SOC ’04, recently left his position of nine years in the Health and Disability Statistics Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau to begin a PhD program in health policy at Harvard University.

Merrill Cohen, BA, SOC ’77, works as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and lives in Seattle, Washington.

Claire Cook, MA, SOC ’13, is the administrative organizer with ONE DC, a nonprofit group whose work centers on popular education, community organizing and alternative economic development projects in Washington, D.C.

Susan C. Dessel, BA, SOC ’67, continues to apply her sociology study at GW as she raises awareness of social issues through visual art. Her most recent work was exhibited this summer at the Gomez Mill House in Marlboro, N.Y. Entitled Brick in a Soft Hat, this series of drawings celebrates the life of Martha Gruening (1889-1937): suffragist, lawyer, civil rights activist, journalist and single parent.

Priya Dhanani, MA, SOC ’14, was awarded a GW Columbian Women's Scholarship last fall and a ShivKrupa Scholarship this spring. Both prizes reward outstanding academic achievement, leadership and civic involvement. For more about Priya's research on violence against women and human trafficking click here.

Denise Dizzine, BA, CJ ’05, received an MA in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York, N.Y.) in 2011 and an MPA with a dual specialization in court administration and management and operations also from John Jay in 2013. She currently works for the New York State Unified Court System as the Child Welfare Court Improvement Project liaison to the Bronx Family Court.

Carolina Dubon, BA, SOC ’13, has relocated to New York City where she works as a public relations associate at SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Grace Friedberger, BA, SOC 07, is working at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in Washington, D.C. on numerous projects related to the Healthy Schools Act.

Marjorie Kossoy Fuhrmann, BA, SOC ’73, has enjoyed a career in data security and project management, and is now dedicated to a variety of volunteer efforts. Her projects range from heading a local chapter of a national social group to raising funds and heading a team for an international charity.

Tina R. Goel, BA, CJ ’05, co-wrote the article "The Post-DOMA Immigration Law Landscape" published in The Federal Lawyer (December 2013). She is currently working on a chapter regarding ethics in immigration law for an upcoming American Bar Association (ABA) book and a chapter about the L-non-immigrant visa for an upcoming D.C. Bar Association legal practice manual.

Priyanka Gogia, BA, HMSR ’14, was recently hired as an instructor/case manager for Project Place. Located in Boston’s South End, this community-based, nonprofit organization assists homeless and low-income individuals secure housing and employment. Priyanka coordinates services for individual students that will lead to classroom-based training and credentialing in an effort to assist clients with securing employment.

Clara Hanson, BA, SOC 12, has entered the MLA program in Gastronomy at Boston University.

Allison Suppan Helmuth, MA, SOC ’14, co-authored (with Jane M. Henrici) a review of John Arena's book, Driven from New Orleans: How Nonprofits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization for Sociological Inquiry (August 2014).

Jeffrey Holth, BA, CJ ’06, taught high school special education on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota for three years after graduating from GW. He then attended William Mitchell College of Law (JD 2012) with a focus in federal Indian law and tribal law. From 2012-13, he served as a judicial law clerk for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan C. Page (a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a former "Purple People Eater" on the Minnesota Vikings). Jeff is currently a law clerk for Judge Myron H. Bright of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in his home state of North Dakota.

Aaron Kramer, BA, SOC ’10, works for the new University Teaching & Learning Center at GW.

Kenneth Leon, MA, CRIM ’13, is currently pursuing a PhD in Justice, Law, and Society at the American University School of Public Affairs. He has co-authored with Professor Ron Weitzer the article "Legalizing Recreational Marijuana: Comparing Ballot Outcomes in Four States,” published in The Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology (October 2014).

Jean Ferrick Loxley-Barnard, BA, SOC ’72, is CEO/publisher of the online magazines, Doctor to Doctor, Main Street and Shopper in Coastal Virginia and northeast North Carolina. She also owns a commercial property company, Barnard Properties, LLC, and was awarded First Citizen of Chesapeake in 2011. Jean and her husband, Terry Barnard, share seven children and seven grandchildren.

Marquita M. Melvin, BA, CJ ’99, earned an MA in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University in 2003. She is in her twelfth year at the D.C. Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. Throughout her career, Marquita has worked with the latest in evidence-based practices and cognitive behavioral interventions in order to promote change in the lives of offenders and returning citizens with the goals of reducing recidivism and increasing public safety.

David Schoen, BA, SOC ’80, reports that he fondly remembers his studies and professors in the department. After completing law school he clerked for a federal judge in Alabama who served as a mentor and supported David’s long-time interest in civil rights. Since then he has practiced law on his own in Alabama, addressing myriad issues related to the constitutionality of social systems and institutional practices, such as the foster care system, public school standards, prison conditions, and the treatment of indigent criminal defendents.

Minozka King Silber, BA, SOC ’02, is program director at Community of Hope, Inc., and is currently pursuing an MSW at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Andrea W. Stewart, BA, SOC ’70, retired in January 2014 after a career at the GW Libraries, where she also served as interim university librarian in 2012-2013. She is now beginning a second career as an organizational management consultant.

Catherine A. Tatum, BA, CJ ’10, is an assistant public defender at the Public Defender's Office in Newport News, Va., where she represents indigent clients in criminal court.

Lamar Thorpe, BA, SOC ’07, moved from the D.C. area three years ago to the San Francisco Bay area with his family. He is currently serving as the chief advancement officer for the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District. He is also a 2014 candidate for city council. He is proud to report that his daughter Kennedy started kindergarten this year; alas, it will be a few more years until she can vote for her dad!

Jeffrey M. Tienes, MA, SOC ’10, is pursuing his PhD in sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently writing a dissertation grounded in his ethnographic research on the formations of identity and music scenes in the rap music industry.

Cheryl Walton, BA, SOC 11, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for 2014. She is teaching English in Malaysia through a Department of State Exchange Program. Click here for Cheryl's story and her list of accomplishments at GW and beyond.

Robin Pickholtz Wilson, BA, SOC ’82, has spent the past 11 years in the long term care industry as director of human resources for a not-for-profit organization in Alexandria, Va.

Christiane I. Zeichner, BA, SOC ’68, is a retired chief of forensic legal service of the D.C. Department of Mental Health.

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