Sociology Conference Brings Together Faculty, Alumni, and Current Students

LVC’s Sociology Department was well-represented on multiple levels during the recent Pennsylvania Sociological Society conference in Bloomsburg. Attendees included two alumni—including one who is also an adjunct instructor—a current student, and a faculty member from the department.

Durrell Martin ’08 delivered the keynote address, presenting national research and data on the rates of fatal law enforcement encounters, broken down by race, gender, and state. With a conference theme of social justice, Martin, a descriptive statistician at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, said he spent three months deciding on a topic.

“It is a topic that is greatly impacting society—killings of civilians by law enforcement in America—and I wanted to present research in a way that academia could aid police departments/agencies to eradicate this epidemic with education being the power sources for change,” said Martin. “I created my own model, HOPE (holistic/openness/perspective/efficacy), which outlines ways in which academia can become a partner in the fight against injustice on a broader scale.”

Dr. Marianne Goodfellow, the recently retired associate professor of sociology, approached Martin about the keynote role, as he has a varied background in social justice endeavors and as a student was active with the College’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (now the Office of Intercultural Affairs and Inclusive Programs). 

Along with Martin’s keynote, fellow LVC graduate Theodora Sakellarides ’12 participated in the conference by hosting a roundtable discussion focusing on how to teach masculinity studies in the sociology classroom. Sakellarides, an adjunct instructor in the College’s English and Sociology departments, said this opportunity will benefit her teaching.

“The conference offered me the chance to speak with sociologists from all around the state about how they teach gender in their classrooms, and how they specifically confront and address the issue of masculinity,” she said.  

On the student side, Tamara Baldwin ’18 presented her research poster, which examined if staged scenarios of racism impact a student’s willingness to be an engaged bystander. The cover design for the program was produced by LVC Digital Communications undergraduate Matthew Healy '16.

Also as part of the conference, Dr. Goodfellow was honored for her service to the group. She served as president from 2010–2016 and as treasurer for several years prior.

“It was very cool to see so many LVC connections at the conference. It makes you feel like you're part of a small academic family of people who all care about the same issues you do, and talk about them in the same way,” Sakellarides said.