News

Sociology seniors achieve top scores on Major Field Test

University of Evansville sociology seniors, as part of their senior seminar course, completed their Major Field Tests and scored in the 97th percentile among comparable institutions. Congratulations on this accomplishment.

Plikuhn presents at International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Norway

Mari Plikuhn, University of Evansville associate professor of sociology, presented a paper co-authored with Kevin Gray, UE associate professor of criminal justice and sociology, titled, "Principles and Principals: Using Reflective Narratives to Inform Curriculum and Recruit Majors" at the annual meeting of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, in Bergen, Norway, on October 25.

Conference travel assistance was supported through an Eykamp Center for Teaching Excellence Teaching Conference grant.

Wehr presents at Indiana Academy of Social Sciences

Hannah Wehr, a junior majoring in sociology, presented a research paper co-authored with associate professor of sociology Mari Plikuhn titled: "Attractive Traits in Potential Mates: Similarity and Gendered Preferences in Social, Physical, and Personality Characteristics" at the recent Annual Meeting of the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences.

Collaborators for research design and data collection were: Bre Engle (CJ/SOC '18), Mackenzie Kochell (CJ/SOC), Oli Ross-Musick (creative writing '18), Melia Schnefke (theatre management '18), and Katherine Williams (business '18).

Research construction and data collection for this project were completed as a course project in SOC 371: Love and Attraction during Fall 2017.

Shelby presents megachurch research at the annual ASR meeting

Rob Shelby, University of Evansville  assistant professor of sociology, presented a paper titled Isomorphic Effects among Modern Megachurches in the U.S. at the annual meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion in Philadelphia. Shelby also convened a session on “Clergy Exit and Work.”

Plikuhn publishes chapter in new edited volume

Mari Plikuhn, associate professor of sociology and director of the Eykamp Center for Teaching Excellence, has published a chapter, entitled: "Courting Controversy and Allowing for Awkward: Strategies for Teaching Difficult Topics."

The chapter is part of the new edited volume, "Learning from Each Other: Refining the Practice of Teaching in Higher Education," set for release on August 10, from University of California Press.

Pi Gamma Mu Welcomes New Members

The Indiana Alpha chapter of Pi Gamma Mu, international honor society in social sciences, welcomed six new members at their Induction Ceremony on December 7. The newly inducted members are: Hunter King, Sylvia McFadden, Justine Moore, Hunter Sandage, Bailey Schnur, and Blake Simmons.

In addition, the chapter’s new president, Sylvia McFadden, and new vice president, Bailey Schnur, were inaugurated as officers.

Professor Kretz presenting on ethics and social change major

University of Evansville assistant professor of philosophy Lisa Kretz is attending the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum conference. She will be presenting on the University of Evansville’s new ethics and social change major, the only one of its kind in the United States.

Shelby presents paper at Annual Meetings of Association for the Sociology of Religion

On Monday, August 14, Rob Shelby, assistant professor of sociology, convened a session on religious change at micro, meso, and macro level at the Annual Meetings of the Association for the Sociology of Religion in Montreal, Canada.

Shelby also presented his paper, "The Spread of Modern Megachurches in the U.S. from 2005 to 2013."

Plikuhn presents paper at Annual Meetings of American Sociological Association

Mari Plikuhn, associate professor of sociology, presented her paper "Teaching and So Much More: Experiences and Opportunities at a Liberal Arts University" at the Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association in Montreal, Canada, on Sunday, August 13.

Johnson and Serafino receive Senior Research Award

Senior sociology major Logan Johnson and senior international studies and criminal justice major Hayley Serafino have been awarded the 2006-17 Hanns G. Pieper Sociology and Criminal Justice Senior Research Award.

The honor is awarded annually to the outstanding independent research project conducted, written, and presented by a major in sociology, anthropology, gerontology, and criminal justice.

Johnson’s senior research project was entitled “Influences on Perception of Authenticity in Sports Fandom;” this fall, he will be pursuing a graduate degree in film and media arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Serafino’s senior research project was entitled “Views on Criminals and the Criminal Justice System: The Differential Treatment of Terrorists and Traditional Offenders;” this fall, she will be pursuing a graduate degree in security studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

The award is named for emeritus professor of sociology Hanns G. Pieper in honor of his foundational work in the program’s research sequence and for his dedication in promoting independent student research in sociology and criminal justice at UE for over two decades.

Shelby interviewed about nationwide church mergers

Rob Shelby, University of Evansville assistant professor of sociology, was recently interviewed by the Evansville Courier & Press about national trends in church mergers. Part of his interview was featured in an article in the paper’s March 8 edition.

UE Professor Mari Plikuhn to Speak at February Andiron Lecture

Mari Plikuhn, University of Evansville associate professor of sociology, will be the speaker for UE’s Andiron Lecture on Wednesday, February 1. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 4:00 p.m., in Eykamp Hall, Room 252, in Ridgway University Center.

The topic of Plikuhn’s lecture will be “Alpha Scholars and First-Generation Families.” Students who are the first in their families to attend college represent a growing presence on college campuses nationwide, yet research on concerns and challenges their families face with their college attendance is virtually non-existent. During her talk, Plikuhn will present information from a study that bridged this gap in research by examining family experiences of 400 first-generation college students.

Plikuhn is associate director of UE’s Eykamp Center for Teaching Excellence. She was named the University of Evansville Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2012 and currently serves as the Governor of Indiana for Pi Gamma Mu, International Honor Society in Social Sciences. She earned her PhD and MS degree in sociology from Purdue University. She also earned MS degrees in sociology and marriage and family therapy and a graduate certification in survey research from Purdue University Calumet. Her area of research specialization is in family sociology, specifically in the successes and challenges of first-generation college students.

Other lectures in this series include:

March 1, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center

“Toward a New Nostalgia for Public Libraries: Engaging, Inquiring, and Empowering” – Cynthia Sturgis Landrum, director of the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library

April 5, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center

“Diggers, Farmers, and Townsmen: Irish Immigrants in Southwestern Indiana” – Daniel Gahan, UE professor of history

The Andiron Lectures in Liberal Arts and Sciences series is sponsored by the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences and supported by a generous gift from Donald B. Korb. For more information, call 812-488-1070 or 812-488-2589.

UE Andiron Lecture Series for 2016-17 Announced

The University of Evansville’s annual Andiron Lecture Series begins October 5 in Eykamp Hall, Room 252, in Ridgway University Center. UE associate professor of archaeology Jennie Ebeling will be speaking on “It Takes a Village: The Realities of Directing an Archaeological Excavation in the 21st Century.” A social hour with beverages precedes each lecture at 3:45 p.m. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Other lectures in this series include:

November 9, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 253, Ridgway University Center

“Evansville History in Motion” – Joe Atkinson, UE digital multimedia specialist in residence

February 1, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center

“Alpha Scholars and First- Generation Families” – Mari Plikuhn, associate professor of sociology

March 1, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center

“Toward a New Nostalgia for Public Libraries: Engaging, Inquiring, and Empowering” – Cynthia Sturgis Landrum, director of the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library

April 5, 4:00 p.m., Eykamp Hall, Room 252, Ridgway University Center

“Diggers, Farmers, and Townsmen: Irish Immigrants in Southwestern Indiana” – Daniel Gahan, UE professor of history

The Andiron Lecture series is sponsored by the William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences and supported by a generous gift from Donald B. Korb. For more information, call 812-488-1070 or 812-488-2589.

Plikuhn Presents at American Sociological Association Workshop

Mari Plikuhn, assistant professor of sociology, presented her paper “Connecting Non-Majors to Sociology” last month at the Section on Teaching and Learning workshop at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association in Chicago. Travel for this presentation was supported by the Eykamp Center for Teaching Excellence Teaching Conference Grant and the Ridgway Faculty Excellence Grant. 

University of Evansville Announces Berger Awards for 2016

University of Evansville professors Ralph Larmann and Mari Plikuhn were honored recently with the Sadelle and Sydney Berger Awards for service and scholarly activity. The two were presented with the awards by Charlie Berger during UE’s Fall Conference.

Larmann, professor of art, was given the Berger Award for scholarly activity. He is very involved with the publication of educational texts, and is the co-writer of Gateways to Art, the best-selling art appreciation text in the United States. It has been adopted at approximately 400 universities and is required reading for many programs.

The London Times called the book’s third edition” one of the best books of 2015.” The London Times also featured it in a full-page review.

Larmann is also an accomplished artist. His work is often displayed in exhibitions at such prestigious galleries as the Swope Art Museum. His work “A Neighborhood of Citizens United” was accepted for exhibition in the Swope’s 69th Annual Wabash Valley Juried Exhibition and received a Nancy and Fred Nation Award of Recognition. In 2014 he exhibited as part of the ENW Exhibition that celebrated the opening of the renovated Evansville Museum.

Plikuhn, associate professor of sociology, was given the Berger Award for service. During her time at UE, she has worked tirelessly to serve the University and her department. She is Grand Marshall for UE’s commencement ceremonies, and co-chair of the Ceremonies Committee. She is also a member of the University’s Faculty Senate’s curriculum and athletic committees.

In addition, Plikuhn serves as faculty advisor for the Society of Social Research and the Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society for the Social Sciences. She is a department representative for UE’s Open House academic fairs and academic sessions. Plikuhn serves as an advisor for the Major Discovery Program and is part of the Student Success Team.

In 2012, Plikuhn was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the UE Alumni Association.  One of those nominating her for the honor noted that she “is willing to help students in any way possible.”

Knoester and Plikuhn Publish Article in Journal of Literacy Research

Matthew Knoester, assistant professor of education, and Mari Plikuhn, assistant professor of sociology, have had an article published in the Journal of Literary Research. The article, titled "Inquiry into the Independent Reading Development of First-Generation College Graduates with Advanced Degrees," can be found here.

UE Student Mackenzie Gammans Receives Senior Research Award

Senior sociology and psychology major Mackenzie Gammans was awarded the 2015-16 Hanns G. Pieper Senior Research Award in Sociology and Criminal Justice for her senior research project entitled, "Media and Stigma of Mental Illness."

The honor is awarded annually to the outstanding independent research project conducted, written, and presented by a student majoring in sociology, anthropology, gerontology, and criminal justice.

The award is named for emeritus professor of sociology Hanns Pieper, for his dedication to promoting independent student research in sociology and criminal justice at UE for over two decades.

Kevin Gray Named Outstanding Teacher of the Year at UE Commencement

Kevin Gray, associate professor of sociology in the Department of Law, Politics, and Society at the University of Evansville, was named the 2016 Outstanding Teacher at the University during UE’s 158th Commencement Exercises on May 7.

UE alumni value the exceptional education they received here. To encourage continued excellence, the Alumni Association sponsors this award honoring distinguished service in teaching.

Gray came to UE in 2005. He earned his undergraduate degree from Spring Hill College in sociology, his MS in criminal justice from the University of Alabama, and his PhD in criminal justice from Michigan State University.

He maintains academically rigorous classes and continually updates his courses. Gray serves as advisor to all criminal justice majors and supervises internships for criminal justice and sociology majors. As a member of the campus community, Gray serves as chair of the University’s admissions and standards committee. 

Gray was nominated for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award not only by students but also alumni, faculty members and administrators. Those nominating him described him as a brilliant and witty teacher who has a genuine interest in his students. His teaching style was described as both entertaining and challenging.

Gray is a dedicated professor and a collegial department member,” said Robert Dion, chair of UE’s Department of Law, Politics, and Society. “He is a strong representative to the broader Evansville community.”

Kevin Gray Named Outstanding Teacher of the Year at UE Commencement

Knoester and Plikuhn publish article in Journal of Research in Reading

Matthew Knoester (assistant professor of education) and Mari Plikuhn (assistant professor of sociology) have published an article entitled "Influence of Siblings on Out-of-School Reading Practices" in the Journal of Research in Reading, the flagship journal of the United Kingdom Literacy Association. The article has been published online and will appear in print in an upcoming issue of the journal.

Paul Klein Receives Senior Research Award

Paul Klein was awarded the Hanns G. Pieper Senior Research Award in Sociology and Criminal Justice for his senior research project entitled, "Binge Drinking in College: Peer Influence on College Students' Drinking Behavior"

The honor is awarded annually to a Sociology or Criminal Justice major, chosen by the program faculty, for his or her outstanding research. The award is named for emeritus professor, Hanns Pieper, who developed and taught the Sociology research sequence at UE for over 2 decades. The Department of Law, Politics, and Society congratulates Paul on this accomplishment. 

Plikuhn and Long Present at Midwest Sociological Society Meetings

Mari Plikuhn, assistant professor of sociology, and Elizabeth Long, junior sociology and psychology major, presented their paper, "When the Baby Never Comes: Stillbirth, Miscarriage, and Social Support" at the annual meetings of the Midwest Sociological Society in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 27. Long also presented her single-authored paper, "Intersexuality and Feminism: Who Will Fight for the Intersex?" at the MSS meetings.

Senior criminal justice and sociology majors score well in major field tests

Senior criminal justice majors scored in the 99th percentile of comparative institutions on the CJ major field test. Senior sociology majors scored in the 98th percentile of comparative institutions on their major field test.

New Members Inducted into Society for Social Research

The Society for Social Research welcomed nine new members at its induction on Thursday, March 27. New members are: Chelsea Clifton, Mackenzie Gammans, Sabrina Kordes, Jenna Koschmeder, Elizabeth Long, Mallory Mooney, Tyler Plogher, Arwen Plunk, and Calli Pugh.

Stephanie Underhill Wins Pieper Award

Senior anthropology major Stephanie Underhill was awarded the 2013-14 Hanns G. Pieper Sociology and Criminal Justice Senior Research Award for her research entitled, "The Effect of Residential Background on Oral Health Attitudes and Perceptions."

This award is given annually to the outstanding independent research project conducted, written, and presented by a major in sociology, anthropology, gerontology, and criminal justice.

This award is named in honor of Emeritus Professor of Sociology Hanns G. Pieper for his dedication to promoting independent student research in sociology and criminal justice

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