April 30, 2021

Reconstructing Reality through Research, Teaching, and Activism

All topics are welcome. You may propose sociology, criminology, or interdisciplinary sessions. The 2021 MSSA meeting is welcoming of all scholars! Given this year’s theme, we encourage you to consider organizing a paper session, poster session, roundtable, workshop, or panel discussion that incorporates this year’s theme regarding how sociology and the social sciences can reframe reality in fact and incorporate it into teaching and research.  Papers, posters, etc., discussing different medium’s role in contributing to the reemergence of basing decisions on facts are highly encouraged.  Please feel free to propose any session of your choosing—all are welcome here!

Please send Dr. Shelly A. McGrath ( your ideas for organizing a session , including a brief description (or working title if you have one), type of session desired, whether you would prefer an online or in-person session, and your contact information no later than April 30, 2021. We look forward to working with you to create a successful and inspiring conference!

Types of Sessions:
Paper sessions: 3-5 individuals present their research with Q&A after
Roundtables: held at a round table; intended to have people interested in a particular topic discuss ideas, ongoing research, or ask questions
Workshops: directed sessions with the goal of participatory learning
Poster Sessions: presenters display a poster version of their research and describe it briefly to viewers
Panels: led by a group of experts who lead a discussion with attendees about a particular topic


The Fall/Winter 2020 of Forum, our official newsletter is now available, HERE.


MSSA Ensuring the Future Campaign

Greetings MSSA members and friends,

As some of you may know, the Mid-South Sociological Association faces a very challenging environment where hotel and venue costs continue to increase. The Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges. In fact, there is a possibility that the MSSA may be required to cover all costs for Charlotte 2021, even in the event of cancellation, if the COVID-19 crisis persists. This possibility, on top of budget cuts implemented by state governments and college/university administrations, have put the MSSA in a precarious situation. Because of these fears and a desire to have a long-term goal of modernization of the association, we are now asking you, our members, for help.

To that end, several anonymous members will match donations dollar for dollar up to $8,500.  For example, a donation of $100 will yield the MSSA $200. By raising $8,500 we will be able to match for a total of $17,000!!!  For quick donation link, please click here:  Donate to MSSA

While we appreciate large donations, all donations, no matter the size are important for our success. Indeed, having 75% of our membership donate $5.00-10.00 would yield ~$4,200 after matching! But more importantly having a plurality of members donate also signals a broad-based support that will truly ensure our ability to sustain and grow.

The variety of cutting-edge topics, quality of networking and mentorship, as well as the way we were able to build our sociological community and continue our tradition of connecting our members to important resources in this last virtual meeting is a testament to the importance of sustaining the MSSA. In addition, MSSA rewards excellence of our members through numerous monetary awards, including:

  • Graduate Student Paper of Distinction Award
  • Undergraduate Paper Award
  • Stanford Lyman Memorial scholarship
  • Committee for Racial and Ethnic Minorities Travel/Registration Scholarship
  • Women, Gender, and Sexualities Committee Travel/Registration Scholarship

On top of those monetary awards and scholarships, the MSSA has been integral to networking and mentoring in the Mid-South region and beyond.If you have benefited from the MSSA or its related activities, please consider contributing to our matched funds Ensuring the Future campaign! 

The campaign will end on December 11, 2020. Though donations of at least $1000 automatically result in Silver-Level Lifetime Membership, any amount is greatly appreciated!  For those of you who can, please consider giving up that weekly cup of coffee or lunch to ensure that the MSSA continues to thrive and provide valuable opportunities to its members, including many graduate and undergraduate students!


Past President Jessica Abbott Committee on Nominations Kirsten Ostergren Clark
Current President Tina Deshotels Committee on the Profession Andrea Hunt
President-Elect Shelly McGrath Committee on Small & Community Colleges Ashraf Esmail
Vice President Lauren Norman Women, Gender & Sexualities Committee Sarah Donley
Vice President-Elect Nicola Davis Bivens Spectrum Editor Kevin Breault
Secretary-Treasurer Jessica Pardee Forum Editor Andrew Tatch
Committee on Membership Cassidy Cooper Technology Committee Ruth Chananie
Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities Melencia Johnson


Contact us

Dr. Tina Deshotels, MSSA President
Dr. Shelly McGrath, MSSA President-Elect
Dr. Jessica Pardee, MSSA Secretary-Treasurer

Organizational Identity Statement

The Mid-South Sociological Association, Inc. (MSSA, Inc.), founded in 1975, is a 501-C-(3) non-profit organization providing both professional support to, and a forum for sociologists who teach, conduct research and reside in the Mid-South region of the US. Through its publications, annual conference, academic support and collegial networks, MSSA, Inc. promotes the advancement of sociological research, the diffusion of knowledge, innovative service and teaching.  From its inception, MSSA, Inc has been and continues to be committed to mentoring and enabling the growth of the next generation of sociologists in the value of high-quality research and engagement, and ethical, professional service.

Organization Inclusion Statement

The Mid-South Sociological Association Inc. embraces diversity and promotes inclusion by recruiting, including, and valuing people of all races, genders and gender identities, sexualities, ethnicities, religions, economic and employment statuses, abilities, and other dimensions. The MSSA celebrates all expressions of diversity and identity and strives to provide an environment conducive to free expression of ideas without fear of judgment in any way. Moreover, the MSSA does not tolerate any action from any member or conference participant that encourages or promotes hatred and/or intolerance in any form. Further, to the extent that the Board determines that it is not detrimental to the best interests (financial and otherwise) of the association, the MSSA will use the economic power of the annual conferences and other activities to select locations and enter into agreements with businesses that have policies and practices that reflect the values of the MSSA.

Contact MSSA:
Tina Hebert Deshotels, President