News Archives

2010-2011 CHSS Faculty/Staff Meeting

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences held their annual Faculty/Staff meeting on Monday, September 26, 2011. The Sociology Department was honored with a number of awards including the College-wide award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship.

Individuals receiving awards are as follows:

Dr. Lee Miller received the College-wide Engaged Scholarship Excellence Award

Dr. Jin Young Choi received the College-wide award for her poster presentation

Dr. Douglas Constance - Departmental Excellence in Instruction

Dr. Douglas Constance - Departmental Excellence in Research

Dr. Gene Theodori - Departmental Excellence in Service

Dr. Alessandro Bonanno was awarded the Administrative award for Excellence in Research

Congratulations to all who received awards for 2010-2011; and a special congratulations to the Department of Sociology as whole for a job well done!



Center for Rural Studies Welcomes New Research Associate

Dr. Colter Ellis is joining the Center for Rural Studies team in August 2011 as a Research Associate. Ellis earned his Doctorate from the University of Colorado. There, his research used interview-based research to understand how those in animal agriculture struggle to balance the demands of animal welfare and environmental sustainability within the restraints of difficult agricultural markets: “My interest in agriculture and animal related issues is something I hope to incorporate into my work with the center.”Dr. Ellis also has interests in human-wildlife conflicts, habitat conservation efforts, and human dimensions of invasive species control.

My interest in agriculture and animal related issues is something I hope to incorporate into my work with the center.

Dr. Ellis’ experience in qualitative research will guide his primary focuses within the Center:  “My primary research expertise is in interview-based data collection that focuses on people’s everyday experiences. This approach makes the voices and opinions of community members and stakeholders its driving force and allows those who understand issues best to guide the research. The outcomes of this in-depth method are policy recommendations based on the everyday experiences of actual community members.”

The outcomes of this in-depth method are policy recommendations based on the everyday experiences of actual community members.

When asked about his vision for the Center, Dr. Ellis replied: “I am especially enthusiastic about providing rural communities with independent and rigorous research that can help them achieve their cultural, economic, and environmental goals. It is my hope that through partnership with community leaders the center can foster evidence-based programs and practices that will have lasting and positive outcomes for rural areas.”

It is my hope that through partnership with community leaders the center can foster evidence-based programs and practices that will have lasting and positive outcomes for rural areas.

Theodori's Research on the Public Perception of the Oil and Gas Industry Featured at Energy Expo and on Local News Station

Dr. Gene L. Theodori, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Rural Studies, presented his research on the Public Perception of the Oil and Gas Industry on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 in Center, Texas at the East Texas Energy Expo hosted by the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and City of Center Economic Development Corporation. Theodori is a program manager of the Environmentally Friendly Drilling (EFD) program. The EFD program is managed by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), integrates advanced technologies into systems that significantly reduce the footprint of petroleum drilling and production in environmentally sensitive areas. The objective is to identify, develop and transfer critical, cost effective, new technologies that can provide policy makers and industry with the ability to develop reserves in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. For more information on the EFD program, please visit: KTRE featured the story which can be viewed below.


Dr. Mary Ann Davis Receives Research Recognitions

Mary Ann Davis received two recognitions of her research in the social demography of child adoptions. First, On March  10th she received the notice from International Migration Review, the top fourth Demography journal, of acceptance of her solo article "Intercountry Adoption Flows from Africa to the U.S.:  A Fifth Wave of Intercountry Adoptions". Second, she received the Southwest Sociological Association's Distinguished Paper Award at Southwest Sociological Association conference, March 17-19 for her paper titled “Gay Male and Lesbian Same Sex Couple Adoptions in the United States”. Research conducted on adoptions which contributed to these papers will be included in her forthcoming single authored book titled: Children for Families or Families for Children: The Demography of Adoption Behavior in the U.S.

Gloabalization Book

Dr. Bonanno Publishes New Book

Dr. Alessandro Bonanno published his latest book. Co-edited with Dr. Salete Cavalcanti of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, this volume probes salient consequences that the reshaping of the use of time and space under globalization has for agriculture and food in the Americas. Contributing chapters explore pertinent issues in North and South America. Dr. Doug Constance of SHSU Sociology Department is one among the book contributors.



Dr. Walter Bennett Inducted into the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Wall of FameBennet

Dr. Walter Bennett was recognized for his lifetime service to the Sociology Department, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Sam Houston State University. He was inducted to the CHSS Wall of Fame during a formal ceremony on the February 11, 2011. A plaque in honor of Dr. Bennett's academic contributions was permanently placed in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building. Dr. Bennett is the first member of the Sociology Department to be inducted in the CHSS Wall of Fame. 


Chair Awarded Texas State University System Regents Professorship


Dr. Alessandro Bonanno was appointed Texas State University System Regents Professor. He received this prestigious award at The Texas State University Stem Board of Regents meeting on February 11, 2011. Dr. Bonanno is the first member of the Sociology Department at SHSU to receive this honor.

Pictured with Dr. Bonanno is the Chancellor of the Texas State University System, Dr. Brian McCall and the Chairman of the Board of Regents, Mr. Charlie Amato.

Theodori Received 2011 SRSA Research Award

Srsa 2011

Dr. Gene Theodori received the Excellence in Research Award for 2011 from the Southern Rural Sociology Association. Recipients are selected on the basis of their outstanding work respectively in areas of teaching, research, extension, and public service in the Southern United States.  A fundamental interest of the SRSA is social justice, as seen through various disciplinary lenses and approaches, with focus  upon the South.  SRSA believes this focus to be particularly appropriate and poignant, given the social-economic context of the region, and the various legacies left in a history of oppression, (e.g. race, class, gender).  The 2011 Awards Committee found Dr. Theodori's dedicated research at Sam Houston State University to exemplify these commitments, and therefore acknowledged his work and dedication with the 2011 Award.   

Sam Houston Receives National Recognition for Community Engagement

Sam Houston State University has been selected by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive the 2010 Community Engagement Classification.

Under Provost David Payne, faculty from across the university joined together for the community engagement initiative including our very own Lee Miller, representing the Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as Joyce McCauley (College of Education and Chair of the Engaged Scholars Committee), Sanjay Mehta (Business Administration), Sergio Ruiz (Arts and Sciences), and Raymond Teske (Criminal Justice).

The award is based on evidence that community engagement is incorporated into the university's mission, campus culture, institutional assessment, resource allocation, academic research, teaching, student-learning outcomes, faculty evaluations and activities of student organizations. Students from various disciplines have not only become more engaged, but have also personally benefitted from their involvement with local entities. Sociology students use program evaluation skills to study public school lunch programs and pilot recycling programs. SHSU faculty members are successfully combining their community engagement activities and research projects with external funding support and resulting publications.

For the full article featured in the Huntsville Item, click here.

"All Stressed Out: Pressures in Today's Society", HOUSTON 8

We see it everywhere: recession and work anxieties building up to cause depression and uncertainty in both our home and work lives; school students acting out in a harassing manner; local, national and international unrest creating fear and pressure within ourselves; the worry of natural disasters from flood, hurricanes and earthquakes. How is all of this pressure affecting us as a people and a community? How do we cope with the mounting stress? And what can be done to bring our lives back into balance? Guests: Dr. Britta Ostermeyer, Chief of Psychiatry, Ben Taub General Hospital/Harris County Hospital District; John Vincent, Ph.D, Psychology, University of Houston; Lee Miller, Ph.D, Sociology, Sam Houston State University; original broadcast date April 16, 2010.

Sociology Club and AKD help with Community Center for Missionary Endeavor Fundraiser COME Fund

Two department based student organizations participated in the Community Center for Missionary Endeavor (C.O.M.E.) Fundraiser on November 13, 2010. C.O.M.E. is working to construct a new headquarters that will only be half the size they had planned for, but the group hopes to expand the facility as more funds are raised. The C.O.M.E. organization has been serving Walker County since 1962, and provides financial assistance, emergency assistance and other programs to local families and other residents. Dr. Mary Ann Davis, AKD Advisor, received this letter of appreciation:

COME Letter

Distinguished Alumnus Visits Department

HarrisonOn Friday October 15th the SHSU Department of Sociology welcomed back its honorable alumnus Dr. Calvert Harrison and his wonderful wife Charlene Harrison. Renowned Atlanta Dentist, businessman, and dedicated humanitarian, Dr. Harrison presented a fantastic example of the places and the impact our SHSU Sociology students have on the world. In his discussion with faculty and students, Dr. Harrison provided us with inspirational stories of perseverance, success, and dedication to charitable avenues that make him a particularly wonderful inspiration for present SHSU Sociology students. Dr. Harrison was honored as a Distinguished Young Alumnus at the the Distinguished Alumni Gala that evening.

Pictured here is Dr. Calvert Harrison and Dr. Walter Bennett.

Two Major Journals Housed at SHSU

Rural Sociology


Journal of Rural Social Sciences


Alessandro Bonanno, Distinguished Professor and chair of the sociology department, has been appointed the next editor of Rural Sociology, one of the major journals in the field. With his appointment and the current transition of the journal to the university, SHSU now houses two major journals in the field, the other being The Journal of Rural Social Sciences (JRSS). Editors for JRSS are also from the SHSU Sociology Department: Dr. Gene Theodori and Dr. Douglas Constance. SHSU is the first non-land grant university to host the office of the editor.“It is remarkable that SHSU sociology houses these two journals,” Bonanno said. “No university has ever housed Rural Sociology and The Journal of Rural Social Sciences together in the past. This is a first.”

faculty award

Department Receives College of Humanities and Social Sciences College Wide Research Award for 2009-2010


On behalf of the Department of Sociology, Dr. Alessandro Bonanno accepts the 2009-2010 College of Humanities and Social Sciences College Wide Research Award. Congratulations!
To the left: Dean of the college, Dr. John deCastro presents the award.

CHSS Award

The department also received the College Wide Research Award for 2007-2008.

Sociology Faculty Receive Departmental Excellence Awards

AwardDepartment faculty presented with 2009-2010 awards were: Dr. Gene Theodori, Excellence in Research/Scholarship; Dr. Douglas Constance, Excellence in Teaching; and Dr. Lee Miller, Excellence in Service.

To the right: Dean Dr. John deCastro presents the awards to Dr. Contance and Dr. Miller. Dr. Theodori is not pictured.


Sam Houston State Logo

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866)BEARKAT Member TSUS
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | Contact Web Editor