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Faculty News

Our sociologists are taking leadership roles in campus and state-wide programs. Lisa Pellerin has been appointed Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at BSU. She continues to teach sociology courses, however, and will be dividing her time between the program office in Burkhardt and the sociology office in North Quad. Ione DeOllos has been active as chair of the Statewide Transfer and Articulation Committee (a committee of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education), whose work is integral helping students make important decisions regarding their transfer options for coursework taken at more than one university. Dr. DeOllos led the development of a computer assisted on-line transfer aid for students call TransferIN. While chair of STAC, Indiana moved from being behind other states in the country to being recognized as a leader in computerizing transfer information.

Faculty have also been very involved in obtaining funds to enhance scholarship and teaching activities. Mellisa Holtzman recently received a National Science Foundation grant ($81,671) for her project, "Precipitating Legal Change: Children's Rights, Family Definitions and Judicial Decision Making. The project runs through November of 2010. She has also served on the ASA taskforce on the master's degree in sociology. Carolyn Kapinus received a Discovery Grant with Jim Connolly to fund resources for the department's capstone course (SOC 492), which is the department's immersive learning experience. The grant paid for a graduate assistant, allowed the department to buy more recorders for the research project, and funded interview training for the students. Fang Gong has received both the Junior Faculty Research Grant and the Start-up Research grant from Ball State University. She also had coauthored publications accepted in American Journal of Public Health and Public Health Reports.

Other faculty members have also been very active in scholarship activities. Richard Petts published his article, "Family and Religious Characteristics' Influence on Delinquency Trajectories from Adolescence to Young Adulthood" in a recent issue of American Sociological Review (the most influential journal in sociology) and has a forthcoming article on trajectories of religious participation from adolescence to young adulthood in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. He has several other projects on religion and fatherhood in development. Rachel Kraus's article, "Straddling the Sacred and Secular: Creating a Spiritual Experience Through Belly Dance," appeared in a recent issue of Sociological Spectrum. She expects that another work from this project will be published in the near future, and will soon begin work on a related book. She is also very pleased to have been part of the founding of a belly dance club at BSU, which has been active in hosting workshops with nationally recognized instructors and other events that have been available to the local community.

Chadwick Menning has several research projects published and in process that cover topics ranging from adolescent and young adult health and well being to race, gender, and media. His most recent publication is entitled, "Unsafe at Any House? Attendees' Perceptions of Microlevel Environmental Traits and Personal Safety at Fraternity and Nonfraternity Parties", which appears in a forthcoming issue of Journal of Interpersonal Violence. He has also been working recently with Freshman Connections and the BSU Martial Arts Club to develop a novel self-defense program for women that is based on sociological and other social science research.

Department of Sociology
North Quad Room 222
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Phone: 765-285-5977