MSSA Forum: December Announcements


Greetings MSSA Members and Friends

Well, the year is almost over.   The 2012 conference in Mobile was a wonderful event filled with intriguing papers, conversations and activities.  An exciting addition to the daily schedule (one we hope we might continue) was the free breakfast on Thursday and Friday where members were able to get a good start to their day and spend time catching up with each other.  What fascinated me most as I wandered through the room, was to hear the ideas on project, papers and sociological practice that were already being discussed – from the very start of our day we were deep into intellectual pursuits.  With such an excellent conference, it’s hard to know where to start and what to include, but we certainly need to provide you with the highlights.

Stanford M. Lyman Distinguished Book Award

Dr. Dennis McSeveney and Dr. Dennis Peck had the honor of co-chairing the committee and presenting  year’s Stanford M. Lyman Distinguished Book Award.  During the awards banquet, they took the time to talk about the many excellent submissions and a link to their discussion is on our website (2012 Stanford Lyman Book Award Presentation).  This year’s winner is:

Hazardous Wastes, Industrial Disasters and Environmental Health Risks: Local and Global Environmental Struggles by Francis O. Adeola, University of New Orleans.  (Palgrave MacMillan).  You can find it on

Drs. McSeveney and Peck will continue on as co-chairs of this committee for 2013, and, following the MSSA procedures, President-Elect Tim Gongaware announced that Dr. David LoConto will serve as chair of that committee in 2014.

Sociological Spectrum Paper of the Year Award

Although Dr. John Lynxwiler, Editor of Sociological Spectrum, was unfortunately unable to attend this year’s conference, as always he provided his detailed and informative end of year report, and we were able to announce at the banquet that the winner of this year’s Sociological Spectrum Paper of the Year Award is Dr. Amy Chasteen-Miller, from the University of Southern Mississippi, for her paper “On the Margins of the Periphery: Unassisted Childbirth and the Management of Layered Stigma” (Sociological Spectrum 32(5): 406-23).

Stanford M. Lyman Memorial Scholarship

Graciously stepping into the position as Interim Chair of the Stanford M. Lyman Memorial Scholarship, Dr. Stan Hodges made presentations to not one, but two scholarship award winners.

  • Basudhara Sen (Jhumi), Oklahoma State University, Ethnic Identity Formation and Ritual Dynamics: An Analysis of First Generation Asian Indian Immigrants in the United States.
  • Kristi L. Stringer, University of Alabama – Birmingham, Motherhood Stigma and Illicit Substance Use: The Impact of Socially Constructed Ideas of Motherhood on Treatment Seeking among Substance Using Women.

We thank Dr. Hodges for his efforts and for quickly filling this position when asked.  Going forward, Dr. J. David Knottnerus, Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University, has agreed to serve the four year term of Chair for this important scholarship committee.

Student Paper Awards

Vice-President Ruth Chananie-Hill and Vice-President-Elect DeMond Miller indicated that the student paper competitions went very well and they thanked all of their judges for their considerable help in choosing a winner from what sounded like excellent groups of papers.  The winners of the awards are:

  • The Graduate Paper of Distinction was awarded to Melani Duvall, from the University of Louisville for her paper “Peer versus Professional Trainers: Educating Fraternities about Rape and Sexual Assault.”
  • The  Undergraduate Paper Award was presented to Mary Wygle, from Centenary College of Louisiana, for her paper “Sex Toys, Child-raisers, and Home-makers: Hegemonic Gender Norms and College Women’s Sexual Experiences.”

Congratulations to both of these scholars!!

Other Announcements

Always important to the health of our organization are the leaders we choose from among our membership.  Nominations Chair, Tina Deshotels, announced the names of those recently elected to office:

  • President-Elect:  Dr. Timothy B. Gongaware
  • Vice-President Elect: Dr. Jon Epstein
  • Women’s Chair: Dr. Claire Norris
  • Professions Chair: Dr. Jackie Eller
  • Nomination Chair: Dr. Nicole Carr

In addition to these elected positions, Dr. Tina Deshotels was appointed to take over the dual position of MSSA Forum Editor and Webmaster. She will be transitioning into this position over the course of the next two months.

A full list of all Executive Committee members can be found on the website (Council Members).  Please remember that all committee chairs will need to put together their committees over the course of the next few months.  If you are interested in serving on a committee (and we sure hope you are), please do not hesitate to let the chair of the committee know.  They are always on the look out for people to help fill or round out their committees.

Related to this, our new Chair of Nominations, Nicole Carr, is not only putting together the nominations committee, but is hard at work soliciting and compiling nominations for next year’s elections. Please contact her directly with nominations and/or if you are able to serve on the committee.

The Executive Committee will hold the mid-year meeting on February 16, 2013. If you have anything that you would like to have addressed at this meeting, please feel free to contact one of the board members so that they can make sure it’s on the agenda and they can get all the information together that would be needed.

Finally, MSSA President-Elect and Program Chair, Dr. Timothy B. Gongaware, announced that the theme for next year’s conference (in Atlanta, Georgia!!!!) is “Action Sociology: Opportunities in a (Post) Modern World.” As the call for sessions and papers come out, as well as any other pertinent information, we will be sure to post it to the website and send announcements to the listserve.

We all sincerely hope that everyone’s year is winding down nicely and that this next year finds you as productive and engaged as you want to be 😉

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