Department Newsletter, Spring 2017

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Department Announcements
Alumni Updates/Class Notes
Donor Recognition

Message from the Chair

Hilary Silver
Department Chair Hilary Silver

I would like to introduce myself as the new chair of the Department of Sociology at GW since January 2017. I earned my PhD in sociology at Columbia University and then rose through the ranks in sociology and the interdisciplinary programs in urban studies and public policy at Brown University. A longstanding affiliate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, I have worked on and off as a consultant for a range of international agencies, mainly on the topic of “social exclusion.”  My interests in urban poverty and exclusion led me to serve as editor of the ASA journal, City & Community, and to make two feature-length documentaries that aired on Rhode Island Public Television. I have received many fellowships and grants, including four Fulbrights to France, Germany and Israel, and have been a visitor at many universities abroad, including Oxford, EHESS, Jawaharlal Nehru and Korea Universities.

It has been exciting to move to our nation’s capital after a lifetime in Little Rhody. I have high hopes for our department. The faculty are productive scholars who devote much energy to the classroom and the community, and our students are passionate about the city and the society we live in. Our course offerings in sociology, criminology and human services are diverse but build upon one another, providing a superb grounding for careers in social research, criminal justice, nonprofit endeavors and civic activism. We are always looking for opportunities for departmental community building, so you are warmly invited to propose new ideas for programming. Alumni will always be welcome at our events. Please “like” our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, visit our website and send your news to [email protected]. I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you!

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Department Spotlights

Reflection on Holocaust Education and Collective Memory in Romania

Professor Michelle Kelso is spending this academic year on sabbatical at the University of Bucharest in Romania where she is teaching and continuing her research on the Holocaust and Roma survivors. She has received a Fulbright Fellowship to examine how Roma remember and commemorate the Holocaust as it played out on territories under Romanian control. The Nazis and their collaborators viewed Roma as a threat to racial purity ideals, putting them in ghettos and camps where an estimated 500,000 were killed during the genocide. However, little research has yet delved into the fate of Roma. In Romania the pro-fascist regime deported 25,000 Roma to camps in the east beginning in 1942. Horrid conditions, brutality and killings meant that fewer than half of those deported survived the war. Soon thereafter the Soviets imposed communism on Romania and crimes of the Holocaust were nearly silenced for the next 40 years, coming to light after the transition to democracy in 1989. Dr. Kelso’s research extends her previous work on Roma and the Holocaust* by examining how the Holocaust was viewed during communist and post-communist periods. She also is traveling the country to document how survivors have transmitted their experiences to their families and how commemoration happens in Romani communities.

Professor Michelle Kelso on Romanian television
Professor Michelle Kelso on Romanian television
Professor Michelle Kelso on Romanian television with hands raised


In addition to her research, Dr. Kelso had made numerous appearances on Romanian television news channels as a commentator on the 2016 United States election process. She discussed the socio-economic factors contributing to voting outcomes, the rise of frustration among Americans with political parties and post-election protest movements, such as the women’s march the day after the inauguration.

Steven Tuch: Examining Racial Attitude Change Among the Nation's Youth

Professor Steve Tuch
Professor Steve Tuch

Professor Steven Tuch is working on a research project that is supported by a Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Research Chair award. The study, “Intergroup Contact and the Racial Attitudes of Youth: Does Contact Matter?” examines intergroup relations among African American, Latino/a and white high school youths over the past several decades with a focus on the factors that promote or hinder positive intergroup attitudes and experiences. Few domestic issues are as salient to America’s past, present and future as race and ethnic relations—or as potentially divisive. Although the past half century has witnessed declines in race-based social, economic and political inequalities and decreases in whites’ overt expressions of racist sentiment, we need not look very far for signs that deep-seated racial and ethnic cleavages endure in 21st century America. Professor Tuch is examining nationally representative survey data from the mid-1970s to today in order to determine whether these cleavages have trickled down to the nation’s youth or, instead, if youth are at the vanguard of a movement toward greater racial tolerance. Surprisingly little empirical evidence presently exists to definitively support or refute either of these possibilities.

During the 2017-18 academic year, Professor Tuch will be a visiting scholar in the Institute of Sociology at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. While abroad he will work on a study of Poles’ popular beliefs about inequality, opportunity and the prerequisites for success—the “Polish American Dream”—during the late communist and early and later post-communist periods using four waves of International Social Survey Program data. In doing so, he hopes to gain new insights into how the macro-level changes that are transforming post-communist nations affect mass attitudes and beliefs.

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Department Announcements


Fran Buntman continues to serve as director of graduate studies for the Sociology and Criminology MA programs as well as director of the Law and Society Minor. She was recently invited to give a keynote address at the International Conference on Colonial Incarceration in the 20th Century in Lisbon, Portugal. She was chosen as a Mount Vernon and Honors Faculty Fellow for the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year when she will continue her research about Nelson Mandela and the law while on sabbatical.

Daina Eglitis recently published the third edition of her introductory textbook, Discover Sociology (Sage, 2017). In 2016, she co-authored (with colleagues Fran Buntman and Dameon Alexander) the article, “Social Issues and Problem-based Learning in Sociology: Opportunities and Challenges in the Undergraduate Classroom,” which was published in Teaching Sociology.

Hiromi Ishizawa returned to GW in fall 2016 from her sabbatical in Japan. She has continued to work on civic engagement among immigrants in the United States. In summer 2016, she presented a research project at the ASA with a former graduate student, Renee Stepler (Pew Research Center), titled, “Immigrant voices: How do patterns of expressive forms of civic engagement differ across and within immigrant generation.”

Antwan Jones has been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure. He is currently on sabbatical completing projects on neighborhood effects on cardiovascular outcomes in Appalachia. He has been contributing to the public discourse on race, place, and health in media outlets such as WalletHub, Democracy Journal and The Huffington Post.

Michelle Kelso spent the fall semester working on her manuscript about Roma and collective memory of the Holocaust in Romania as well as teaching as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bucharest. She was also interviewed on several national Romanian news program on Digi TV and Realitatea TV regarding the sociological aspects of the United States presidential election. This April, she will be speaking at the British Sociological Association on "Reflections on Holocaust Education of the Roma Genocide in Romania." Michelle also became a contributor for The Huffington Post and University World News.

Ivy Ken published an article in the 2016 issue of the Yearbook of Women's History (Jaarboek voor Vrouwengeschiedenis), a special edition on “Gendered Food Practices from Seed to Waste.” The article, written with Benjamín Elizalde, focuses on the neoliberal harms and political possibilities experienced by women in a rural, southern Chilean town who received technical assistance from the state on organic farming techniques and personal development. Professor Ken, who serves as GW Food Institute faculty coordinator, has also co-authored a paper with Kenneth León (MA, criminology, 2013) on state-corporate crime in the food industry.

Daníel Martinez co-authored a study with Kenneth León that was published at the end of last semester. It is a study that examines the risk factors associated with non-prescribed stimulant use among adolescents, and is published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Available here. He also has articles forthcoming in the journals Social Problems and Population Studies. Martinez also recently accepted a position in the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona and thanks his colleagues and students for a great experience at GW. We wish him the best of luck in his new position!

Emily Morrison directs the Human Services and Social Justice Program and is receiving a Morton A. Bender Teaching Excellence Award this April. She has published three articles this academic year that address faculty approaches to community-engaged scholarship, service and service-learning experiences among Pakistani students. She also continues to lead the multi-course, multi-semester research project on understanding the experiences of aging in D.C. with a focus on well-being and changes to one's community, working with Professors Sharon Lambert, Amy Parks, Sara Pula and Wendy Wagner. In November 2016, she was honored with the Maryland-DC Campus Compact 2016 Early Career Engaged Scholar Award for her approach to research, teaching and service. 

Hilary Silver joined the GW faculty in January 2015 as professor of sociology and public policy and public administration. Her most recent publications include "National Urban Policy in the Age of Obama,” pp. 11-44 in James DeFilippis, ed. Urban Policy in the Time of Obama (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and “Youth Exclusion in the Middle East.” The Muslim World 107, 1 (2017): 13-40.

Greg Squires’ co-authored book (with Larry Kirsch) Meltdown:  The Financial Crisis, Consumer Protection, and the Road Forward,  tracing the first five years of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in action, was published by Praeger in March 2017. His op eds on the CFPB have appeared in the American Banker, The Hill and Social Policy. This past April, he was awarded the George Washington University Jackie and Rachel Robinson Society Appreciation Award in recognition and support to the sociological and historical connection between race and sports in America.

Steven Tuch is continuing work on his Dean’s Research Scholar project examining the racial attitudes and intergroup experiences of high school students. A book chapter, “The Color of the Dream: Latinos, African Americans, and the American Dream,” recently appeared in Latino/a American Dream (S.L. Hanson and J.K. White, eds.) published by Texas A&M University Press. His coauthored article with Michelle Kelso, “Exploring the Nexus Between Human Services and Sociology Through Engaged Scholarship,” recently appeared in Zeszyty Pracy Socjalnej (Issues in Social Work). During the 2017-18 academic year he will be a visiting scholar in the Institute of Sociology at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland, working on a study of causal attributions of inequality among citizens in post-communist and capitalist nations.

Ron Weitzer was featured in a debate, in Congressional Quarterly Researcher, on whether pornography has implications for public health. He was quoted by The Christian Science Monitor in the article “ shutters 'adult' ads section: Did it do enough to stop child sex trafficking?


The End of the World as we know it ESS 2017 February 23-26 Philadelphia

Four graduate students presented papers at the Eastern Sociological Society meeting in Philadelphia, Penn., in February. Congratulations Bo DonoghueSijing LuMarwa Moaz and Lauren Walker!



Cisnero Charla Series

Professor Hiromi Ishizawa presents her paper on Volunteerism Among Mexican Youth.
Professor Hiromi Ishizawa presents her paper on Volunteerism Among Mexican Youth.
Cisneros Institute Scholars and Sociology faculty members participating at the seminar.
Cisneros Institute Scholars and Sociology faculty members participating at the seminar.

Wednesday, March 8, 6:15 p.m. in Tompkins Hall 306. A reception followed. Sponsored by the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute at GW. Professor Hiromi Ishizawa spoke on March 8 as part of the Cisneros Institute Charla series. Dr. Ishizawa discussed patterns of volunteerism among Mexican immigrant and Mexican origin youth, a rapidly growing segment of the population. Through her research she found that volunteerism varies by immigrant generational status.

Town Hall on College Student Hunger and Homelessness

Wednesday, March 15, 12:00 p.m. in Duques Hall, Room 151. An increasing number of college students are going hungry and even homeless. Several sociology faculty and students were on hand for the release of the biggest and most detailed study ever of food and housing insecurity in higher education. More than 33,000 students at 70 community colleges in 24 states participated in the study to reveal the challenges that American higher education now faces, and inspire action from institutional leaders and policymakers. Together we learned to create, and advocate for better policies and practices to address basic needs security campuses nationwide.

Fulbright Scholar Talk: “What is the Immigration Museum? Representations of Immigration in France and the United States”

Professor Jui-Hua Chen
Professor Jui-Hua Chen

Monday, April 24, 4:00-5:30 p.m. in Phillips 411. Jui-Hua Chen is an associate professor in the Institute of Sociology and the Interdisciplinary Program of Humanities and Social Sciences at National Tsing Hua University (Hsinchu, Taiwan). He is currently a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University where he is working on a research project entitled, “Cultural Politics in the Representation of Immigration: A Comparative Study of Immigration Museums in Different Countries in the Global World.” This project is part of Professor Chen’s broader research agenda focused on the cultural politics of land and of migration. His previous work has dealt with the National Museum of Immigration History in France, the agrarian movements in Taiwan, the realist cultural movement in postwar Taiwan and the transformation of the relations between the state and the local society in the political framework of the Republic of China.

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Alumni Updates/Class Notes

Highlighted Alumnus: Officer W. Scooter Slade BA '00

Criminal Justice and Emergency Health and Medical Services

Officer W. Scooter Slade
Officer W. Scooter Slade

Following stints on Capitol Hill at the Departments of Education, Agriculture and the White House, Officer W. Scooter Slade, BA ’00, has been employed since 2009 with the Justice Department as a security specialist serving the United States Federal Courts of primarily the 5th and 9th Circuits. Additionally, Officer Slade joined the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., as a reserve police officer in 2011. Since that time, he has  received numerous department commendations, including two Lifesaving Awards and the Second District Reserve Officer of the Year award. With MPD, in addition to patrol duties, he serves as a certified crime scene search officer and Special Liaison Division affiliate officer, having received specialized training, as well as an adjunct instructor at the MPD Police Academy. Recently, Officer Slade also served as a recruiting liaison between MPD and GW!  

Tiffany Aguiar, BA ’13, is a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and is currently deployed to the Middle East as an assistant operations officer.

Lorena Americano Valente, BA ’13, is the associate director of career and professional development at Johns Hopkins SAIS, where she graduated her MA with honors in May 2016. Previously, she worked with political risk consulting at Albright Stonebridge Group and McLarty Associates.

Leslie Anderson, BA ’78, is healthy and enjoying life in Las Vegas, Nev.

Donald Ardell, BA ’63, has promoted mental wellbeing with books, newsletter and his websites since graduating from GW. He has two patents for a revolutionary running shoe design and is an outspoken freethinker dedicated to keeping religion out of state.

Madison Calvert, BA ’08, is a global account manager at Sprinklr, a pre-IPO technology company headquartered in New York City. He recently completed a 12-month rotation in the London office where he executed the company's largest banking partnership to date.

Renee Carlson, BA ’82, ran a private practice of family therapy for 16 years before she retired at age 70 for travel and to enjoy family. She is mother to seven, and grandmother to 27.

Lauren Chisholm, BA ’12, currently works as a clerk at a law library.

Evan Cohen, BA ’96, began his 17th year in January as the cantor of Kehilat Har-El, the founding synagogue of the Israeli Reform Movement.

Merrill Cohen, BA ’77, lives in Seattle, Wash., and works as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and life care planner. Outside of work she enjoys (beginning) figure skating.

Juan Cos, BA ’97, works for the FBI as an information technology specialist in San Diego.

Thomas DeLay, BA ’12, is currently in his fifth year of teaching social studies in a high-needs school at KIPP: Believe College Prep, in New Orleans, La. He was on the 2017 Fishman Prize Honor Roll, an award given to 100 teachers out of thousands of applicants by TNTP.

Alan de Vries, BA ’64, retired after many years as a "Wall Street" professional. “Retirement is the best.”

Susan C. (Suzi) Dessel, BA ’67, authored an essay and drawings about Martha Gruening: suffragist, lawyer, journalist and civil rights activist. They are currently appearing on the University of Edinburgh's web site.

Barbara Eubanks, BA ’96, was recently promoted to director of the Akal Group of Companies' (AGC) Innovation and Talent Acquisition Department for domestic and international security services.

Johanna Fishbein, BA ’04, is currently the head of university advising at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore (Dover Campus). She loves living in and exploring Singapore and has several students each year apply to GW to be future Colonials!

Howard Frank, BA ’79, is professor of public administration at Florida International University where he serves as chair and director of the Metropolitan Center, Miami's urban "Think Tank."

Carolyn Giambusso-Yi, BA ’07, is currently a licensed clinical social worker working in a community mental health center as an outpatient psychotherapist.

Mary Guindon, BA ’63, is now a grandmother to three boys. She earned a PhD in counseling from the University of Virginia. She retired from academia after serving as chair of the department of counseling and human services in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University.

Jeffrey Gulko, BA ’99, is CEO of The Gulko Group, a national agency specializing in public relations, media strategy and artist management. Prior to this he spent the majority of his career in national level politics including the White House and other federal agencies

Tametria Johnson, BA ’98, decided to pursue contracting instead of law after graduation. She is married to a wonderful husband who also loves the Lord.

Michael Jones, BA ’91, has been a police officer for 26 years at the Delaware River Port Authority Police Department in Camden, N.J.

Jean Loxley-Barnard, BA ’72, is CEO and publisher of Doctor to Doctor Magazine, Main Street, The Business to Business Magazine and 10 upscale community shoppers in Hampton Roads, Va., and northeastern North Carolina founded in 1981.

Neal Lubetsky, BA ’74, has been teaching high school-level students with disabilities in New York City public schools for the past 10 years. He will be traveling the country and Canada throughout the year, documenting his impressions by text and photography for a travel blog.

Reem Mahmud, BA ’95, shares: “Every day, one is reminded of how sociology can be intersected with any specialization to lay an effective groundwork for any career. One remains grateful for laying that foundation so well at CCAS.”

Greggor Mattson, BA ’00, published his first book, The Cultural Politics of European Prostitution Reform: Governing Loose Women. He is associate professor of sociology at Oberlin College and chair of the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program.

Amanda McLaughlin, BA,MA ’00, married Frank McLaughlin in January, 2017. She works as a graduate assistant and is currently enrolled at Seton Hall University for her PhD in higher education leadership, management and policy.

Eric Nell, BS ’06, resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and works in business development for a global events company, Maritz.

Michael Nemerof, BA ’08, is an associate attorney at Shaked Law Firm, P.A. in Aventura, Fla. The firm handles first-party property, medical malpractice and personal injury cases.

Sara Ortega Roliz, BA ’03, has been working in international development and nonprofit management since graduating from GW. She went on to attain an MSW at UC Berkeley and concurrently directs two community based organizations.

Carol Plew, BA ’70, has used dramatic presentations and script-writing for 30-plus years to educate youth (ages 8-19) about issues such as drug abuse, teen pregnancy, bullying and self esteem in order to empower themselves to make healthy life choices.

Yeshaya Reiter, BA ’03, lives in New York City with his wife of 10 years, and three sons. He is CEO of International Inspirations Group, a global leader in fashion jewelry.

Chunnong Saeger, MA ’97, is deputy consular chief at the United States Embassy Singapore. She has served in Indonesia, Taiwan and Afghanistan since she joined the Foreign Service in 2008.

David Schild, BA ’01, currently works for Raytheon Company in Rosslyn, Va., and teaches as an adjunct with GW's Graduate School of Political Management.

David Schoen, BA ’80, is a lawyer primarily practicing in the fields of criminal defense and civil rights plaintiffs' litigation in Alabama and New York. David was honored in 2016 with the Honorable David Nelson Public Interest award.

Robin Sherman, BA ’73, is a freelance business-to-business publication editor and designer. He also is on the board of directors for the American Society of Business Publication Editors and is interim chair of its ethics committee.

Marisa Swartz, BA ’03, lives in Atlanta with her husband and 17-month-old son after 11 years in D.C. She is the associate director of admissions for Georgia Tech's MBA Program and serves as co-chair of the GW Atlanta Alumni Committee.

Anita Timrots, BA ’81, is a program manager with the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

Mary Williams, BA ’78, is the network marketing coordinator for the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center. Her office is located on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Rami Zahr, BA ’00, is a senior case manager at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) handling domestic and international child abduction cases.

Lisa de Saxe Zerden, BA ’02, is currently the senior associate dean for MSW Education at UNC at Chapel Hill. Lisa is the principal investigator for a $1.4 million grant from HRSA to train and expand the behavioral health workforce.

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Donor Recognition

The Sociology Department would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the school from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.


Elliott Abramson *

Jacqueline M. Byrd, BGS ’84

Howard M. Cohen, BA ’72

Yumi D. Cosbert, BA ’05

Laura S. Dean, MA ’12

Melissa B. Dishart, BA ’13

Robert S. Donoghue, BA ’16

Joseph Dorinson, *

Kim Fendley, BA ’77

Howard A. Frank, BA ’79

Samantha N. Free, BA ’12

Ernell Graham, *

David A. Green #

Amy M. Hayenhjelm, MA ’93

Patrick Henry *

Kate A. Hornyan, MPA ’12

David E. Hubler *

Andee Jorisch #

Henry Jorisch #

Dawn T. Landon, BA ’98

Alexandra S. Liggins, BA ’16

Paige E. Lyons, BA ’16

Liddell L. Madden, BA ’69

Greggor C. Mattson, BA ’97

Shannon M. McGuire, MPA ’17

Marwa T. Moaz, BA ’16

Daniel P. Mulhollan *

Rachel M. Oberly, BA ’16

Christopher R. Percopo, BA ’05

Melinda J. Pollack, BA ’97

James D. Pollitt, BA ’13

Katharine C. Rhodes, BA ’66

Kathleen A. Rodrigues, BA ’16

Martin Roeber *

Victoria A. Rowe ~

Karen A. Segal, BA ’79

Rochelee Shing, BA ’13

Connie Song, MPA ’17

Gregory D. Squires +

Ms. Stephanie St. Clair, BA ’12

Ms. Nicole J. Sweeney, BA ’10

Lamar A. Thorpe, BA ’07

Alexa N. Tzarnas, BA ’16

Rory Veevers-Carter #

Patricia E. Veevers-Carter #

Alan I. Weinstein *

Gregory Williams *

Carolyn J. Winje, BA ’92

Corey J. Zagone, BA ’16

Barry R. Zamoff *


+ Faculty/Staff

# Parent

~ Student

* Friend

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