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It Department Newsletter

Posted on July 21, 2015 – 09:00 am

I: The Helpdesk Reality
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Program Updates

Chair's Corner

Robert Kaufman, Professor & Chair

Hello and welcome to our annual Spring newsletter! I am almost at the end of my sixth and final year as Department Chair. I cannot express how pleased and grateful I am that this position is passing into the very capable and energetic hands of Professor Kimberly Goyette. Later in this newsletter you can read a profile to learn about Professor Goyette and her plans and accomplishments.

In addition to briefly touting the many achievements of our faculty and students this past year, I want to take this opportunity to highlight a few things accomplished during my tenure as chair. None of these would have been possible without the willingness of my colleagues to not just suggest ideas but to take on the necessary work to bring them to fruition. In particular, our graduate program structure continues to evolve, and we have seen improvements in the time it takes for students to move through the stages of the program (prelims, proposal defenses, dissertation completion). At the same time, we have created a better funding system to support our doctoral students, lengthening the time we can offer them guaranteed funding from 3 years to 5 years. We have also had great success in recognizing and rewarding the efforts of our faculty in research, teaching and service by fostering their tenure and/or their promotion. During the past six years, four of our tenure-line Assistant Professors were tenured and promoted to Associate Professor and 4 of our teaching/instructional Assistant Professors were promoted to Associate Professor. We also initiated a system to provide multiyear contracts for our teaching/instructional faculty. Coming to Temple has also afforded opportunities for my own professional development. I was able to complete a book published by Lynne Rienner publishers and to write another published by Sage in its "Green Book" series. Some of my colleagues might add that I have also been able to develop my professional skills as a baker, providing sustenance to the department during department meetings. But enough of that.

The department has had a busy and productive year. We were joined by a new cohort of 7 talented graduate students in our masters and doctoral programs. And at the other end of the cohort lifecycle, 5 students completed their PhDs and 1 was awarded an MA since our last update. As detailed elsewhere in this newsletter, our faculty were very active in publishing and presenting their research in 2014-15. 4 new books were added to the display in our showcase – with a number more in contract or in progress. In addition, 7 faculty published 14 articles in scholarly journals or edited collections on a wide range of topics. Noteworthy service and awards this last year included: Professor Pablo Vila's receipt of the Temple University Research and Creative Achievement Award and Professor Michael Altimore's receipt of the CLA Eleanor Hofkin Award for Teaching Excellence.

Not to be outdone, our graduate students were also very research productive this last year. 14 of our students presented papers at national or regional conferences. Moreover, 5 students published or had accepted for publication a journal article or book chapter. And I would like to recognize Dr. (recently defended) Sarah Pollock's receipt of a CLA Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching Award. Congratulations to everyone!

Our colloquium series featured engaging presentations by both outside speakers and our own faculty. And we just enjoyed the presentations at our annual student conference highlighting current research by both graduate and undergraduate students in the department.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank those alumni who have responded generously to our fundraising appeals in this and earlier years. Your donations help support current and future research in the department by faculty and graduate students alike.

Finally, we are delighted to welcome Associate Professor Robert L. Wagmiller Jr. who is joining us beginning Fall 2015. And we wish Professor Anne Shlay success as she moves to Georgia State University to become department chair.

Keep reading for updates and details on our student associations, our undergraduate and graduate programs, and other news about our faculty and students.

Notes from the Incoming Chair

Kimberly Goyette, Associate Professor

I am delighted to be the new chair of the Department of Sociology! I have been at Temple fifteen years, coming straight from my PhD at the University of Michigan. Temple was my first home as a professor, and I am happy to be able to take on a new role here.

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