Rajeev Taranath, Indian classical musician, performs Tuesday night at 7:30 in Rausch. Free! Come!

Hello, sociologists and anthropologists!

Our very own Sunil Kukreja, along with ASUPS, have helped to organize a concert by acclaimed Indian musician Rajeev Taranath tomorrow, Tuesday, April 15th at 7:30pm in Rausch. More details in the poster, but it promises to be a really great show. Tell your friends, and I hope to see you there!


Annie Ryan wins award for her thesis research

Hi all,

Annie Ryan, SOAN senior, winner of the Pacific Sociological Association's Distinguished Undergraduate Paper Award for 2014

Annie Ryan, SOAN senior, winner of the Pacific Sociological Association’s Distinguished Undergraduate Paper Award for 2014

Annie Ryan, a senior Sociology and Anthropology student, has won the Pacific Sociological Association “Distinguished Undergraduate Student Paper Award” for 2013/2014. The awards committee commended Annie for an “excellent submission” that was “incredibly well-written, creative, thought-provoking, and compelling.” Annie’s paper, “Finding the Feminism in Self-help: Postpartum Support Groups as Mechanisms of Resistance” argues that contrary to common perceptions among feminist scholars, such support groups empower women, challenge normative conceptions of motherhood, and represent forms of political engagement and resistance. Her research, conducted as part of her senior thesis work, included participant observation of support groups, in-depth interviews, and a survey of scores of group participants from across the United States.

A Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN) student from the University of Puget Sound has won this prestigious award three times in the last five years. Annie received the award at the 85th Annual Meeting of the PSA, held over the weekend of March 28-30 in Portland, Oregon.

Congratulations, Annie!

Catching up with Cassie Marshall

Hi all,

Cassandra Marshall, at her new position at Mercy Corps.

Cassandra Marshall, at her new position at Mercy Corps.

We heard that Cassie Marshall, one of our recent graduates (2013), had just taken on a new job in Portland that was making use of some of the skills she developed in the SOAN department. We asked her for an update, and here it is!

I recently took on a new internship and I thought SOAN students might be interested in hearing about it, since I am using many of the skills I learned in the Research Methods and other SOAN classes.

About a month ago, I started interning with Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian relief and development organization in their headquarters office in Portland, Oregon. Through my internship I am working on an initiative titled Recruitment for Diversity, in collaboration with Sahar Alnouri, the Global Gender Advisor, and Cathy Rothenberger, the Senior Director of Global Talent Acquisition. As the “Recruitment for Diversity” intern, I am doing research in order to support increased recruitment of female national team members in country offices in over 40 different countries, many of which are considered developing nations. 

For many NGOs finding qualified women who grew up in the countries Mercy Corps operates in, and who are willing to work away from family in remote locations, can be a big challenge. Women in many developing countries have few opportunities for education thus the pool of experienced female applicants is small. Even though these are large challenges, one of the defining characteristics that makes Mercy Corps’ programs successful is the fact that more than 93% of field staff are from the countries where they work. Field teams are already familiar with the customs, language, and needs of local people. Also, the makeup of field teams directly affects the impact of programs; many places have strict cultural lines drawn between women and men, even in times of political or environmental disaster. Having more balanced field teams, whether this be in terms of gender, ethnicity or religion, allows programs to effectively reach more beneficiaries.

As part of this project I am gathering data through desk research, as well as surveying and interviewing of Mercy Corps employees around the world. With these methods, I am seeking to identify the challenges and best practices of increasing female staff. So far, I have distributed surveys to over 40 different persons, and I have interviewed individuals working in Guatemala. Soon I will be talking to staff in Afghanistan. Ultimately, once my interviews are complete I will be synthesizing all of my work into an HR “Recruitment for Diversity” guide which will be available to all Country Offices to use as a handbook.

While I have a little over a month left at my internship, I have already learned so much about international development and the challenges NGOs face in their efforts to make the world a better place. I can truly say that Mercy Corps provides its interns with real world experience and pushes them to learn as much as they can about development and relief work. My experience as a SOAN student prepared me well for the work I am doing here and I highly encourage students to look into opportunities with Mercy Corps and other NGOs in the Pacific Northwest.

It’s great to hear from you Cassie, and thanks so much for the update. We’d love to hear from you again when you’ve finished your research project, and good luck getting your project to the finish line.




Summer Research Opportunity in Wisconsin


Phosphorus pollution produces algal blooms in freshwater. If you look closely at this frog, it’s obvious that he’s not happy with the human impact on his environment, and you’ll note at least a hint of the frog’s awareness that social scientists are part of the solution to this problem.

Here’s an interesting opportunity for students in the department. This research project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is investigating phosphorous pollution and potential solutions, and has multiple opportunities for students. From what I can see, it would be ideal for students interested in environment, political ecology, ethnography, and applied anthropology/sociology. It runs from June 15 to August 8, and it looks like there’s a stipend involved as well, which is always welcome. The deadline for applications is March 1. Below are the details and a link to even more information:

Dear Colleagues,

Please let your undergraduate students know about an opportunity to
participate in a new summer research internship with the NSF-sponsored
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site at University of
Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

The LAKES (Linking Applied Knowledge in Environmental Sustainability) REU
focuses on water quality and phosphorus mitigation in an interdisciplinary
manner over an 8 week program (June 15-August 8), with projects in
sociology, microbiology, economics, geology, anthropology, mathematics, or
communications.  Students will be provided with room and board and a
generous stipend during their participation in the LAKES program.

This program prioritizes under-represented students, pairing them with
mentors in individual projects that collectively will contribute to a more
complete understanding of the dynamic interactions of our political
economy, our social networks, and our ecosystems.  The deadline to submit
applications for the 2014 summer program is March 1st.  Complete program
information can be found here: http://www.uwstout.edu/lakes/.

Questions can be directed to: lakes@uwstout.edu

Research Funding for Study Abroad Students

All students on study abroad this fall or next spring are eligible to apply to the Bill Campbell Fund of Phi Beta Kappa, the academic honor society, for research funding or continued study after their study abroad program. The Campbell Fund enables students to extend the period of their study abroad program in order to complete a special academic project or a course of study for increased cultural awareness.  Awards typically range from $500-$1,500.

The application form is online at http://www.pugetsound.edu/academics/international-programs/study-abroad/students/applying/Scholarships/

It requires a two-page description of the research project or course of study, and the budget. If the research project involves human subjects, applicants must submit an application to the Institutional Review Board for approval, and must also include the submitted IRB application with the Campbell application. Students should apply directly via e-mail to Greta Austin (ggaustin@pugetsound.edu) by November 15, 2012.  

Summer Training Program in Social Science Research

Hi all,

The University of Michigan is renowned for its methodological contributions to social science and to the academy as a whole. This internship, which comes with many interesting opportunities and a substantial stipend, might be of interest to some of you. Here are the details:


Summer Undergraduate Internship Program

Last year's interns?

Last year’s interns?

Applications are being accepted now for the 2014 ICPSR Summer Undergraduate Internship Program, an intensive, 10-week program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for students interested in social science research.

Apply now through the ICPSR online application portal. To complete the application form, students must answer a few questions; upload a cover letter, resume, and list of relevant courses; and provide contact information for two recommending college faculty or staff members, or employer references. The recommendations must be completed through the ICPSR recommendation portal.

The deadline for all materials is January 31, 2014.

About the Internship
The NSF-funded Research for Undergraduates (REU) internship program (Grant No. 1062317) matches students with mentors at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and supports exploration of a research question from start to finish — including literature searches, data analyses, and creation of conference-ready posters summarizing students’ research findings. Interns can attend graduate-level courses in quantitative methods at the University of Michigan taught by leading faculty across various research fields. Additionally, all ICPSR interns learn valuable data-management techniques using statistical packages such as SPSS, Stata, and SAS. Visit our website or view the flyer (PDF, 466 KB) for more information.

For examples of research projects done by past ICPSR interns, please see these videos.



A new essay on Doha, urbanization, and an art exhibit

Hi friends,


A Billboard in Doha. Photograph by Kristin Giordano

So I’m on sabbatical this semester, and with a bit of extra time here and there, I put together this essay about the urbanism and urbanization I’ve encountered in Doha and other parts of the Arabian peninsula. I also use the essay to discuss Kristin Giordano‘s recent exhibit (Landscape and Transformation: Photographs of Doha, Qatar), which showed earlier this fall at the Kittredge Gallery at the University of Puget Sound. If you’re interested, you can have a look at the essay on the Cities page of the relatively new Jadaliyya website.