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Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Sociology & Anthropology


8th Annual Careers in Aging, April 2, 2012

MU's Department of Applied Socio-Behavioral Studies and Pi Gamma Mu (social science honor society) again hosted a program for Careers in Aging Week. Careers in Aging Week is sponsored by GSA (Gerontology Society in America) and AGHE (Association of Gerontologists in Higher Education) to bring awareness of the need for professionals to enter careers that work with older adults and the needs of older adults. The U.S. population is living longer and there is a growing need for people to work in the field of aging. Some people work directly with older persons in a wide variety of programs and services in the community. Others work on behalf of older persons in areas such as research, advocacy, and teaching about aging. The goal of Careers in Aging Week nationwide is to showcase these types of work to bring people to the field that will work toward increasing the quality of all our lives as we age.

The Careers in Aging program this year had a presentation from Dr. Mary Ann Erickson, Chair of Ithaca College Gerontology Program. Dr. Erickson addressed the housing issues of older adults. Her talk covered a wide variety of themes, including the meaning of home, aging in place, age-friendly communities, and issues in senior housing.

Marx in Soho

The Sociology/Anthropology Club and the Political Science Club hosted a presentation of Marx in Soho on March 23 in Straughn Auditorium.

This is the critical acclaimed performance of Howard Zinn Marx in Soho performed by Bob Weick. The presentation was about the life and writing of Karl Marx and how that would be experienced in modern society. The play was more than just a political discussion; it was the experience of the life and mind of Karl Marx. Weick's powerful performance portrayed the largeness of the ideas and the human nature of man. The 90 minute performance was followed by an open discussion. Free t-shirts were available for the first 100 students through the door.

tim w harmonicaDr. Madigan's Spring 2011 Sabbatical

In the spring of 2011 I went on sabbatical to pursue four goals. First and most important, I wanted to conduct research on mathematics achievement and creativity of 1st and 3rd grade students in Pennsylvania, Taiwan, and China. Second, I planned on teaching the sociology of education to students at Central China Normal University. Third, I wanted to improve my Chinese. Finally, I desired to have Dr. Gale Largey's documentary movie on the founding father of American sociology, LESTER WARD, translated into Chinese. For the most part, I achieved all my goals and learned even more about the bustling new China.

To read more about Dr. Madigan's sabbatical, please click here.

Gwendolyn ZugarekSociology/Anthropology student studies abroad.

My name is Gwendolyn Zugarek. I am a 25 yr. old non-traditional, sociology/anthropology major with a minor in political science. I love traveling abroad, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures.

In the fall of 2010 I was able to go for a semester in Volgograd, Russia. This is when I got hooked on studying abroad and learning Russian. This school year, 2011-2012, I am excited about my next study-abroad adventure; the University of Tartu, Estonia, through ISEP (International Student Exchange Program). This awesome university has been open since the seventeenth century and not only allows me to study a new culture, but also to continue my Russian language studies. Though many people do speak Russian there, the main language is Estonian, which means I will be learning some of another language as well. Immersion is a huge part of getting to know other societies, as well as gaining a global perspective.

I would recommend study abroad to every student, and I am grateful to be a part of such a helpful, encouraging, and exciting department!

MU Sociology majors at the Eastern Sociology Society meeting

Students from the Sociology/Anthropology program again travel to the Eastern Sociology Society meetings. This year they were in New York City held at the Millennium Hotel on Times Square. Three students presented posters on their research:

Sarah Mickey presented her work on Rediscovering Feminist Perspectives: A detailed Analysis of the Past and Present Issues of Feminism.

Erika Focht presented her research Satisfaction of University Students with 15 Services Provided on Campus

Kristen Badeau- Hauptmann presented her preliminary work on Compassion and Wellbeing.

The students were able to attend conference sessions to increase their understanding of the discipline.

Both Sociology faculty attended as well. Dr. Madigan presented a paper entitled Exploring the Gap Between Chinese and American Students’ and Dr. Purk presented a paper entitled Seusslogy, Using Dr. Seuss to Teach Sociology: a content analysis.

Peter and Gabby

PI GAMMA MU, October 2011.

Mansfield University students Gabriella Bottone and Peter Westcott represented MU's chapter of Pi Gamma Mu at the Triennial Convention in Washington, D.C. this October. Mansfield University's chapter was once again selected as a "Roll of Distinction" program. The organization is currently working hard at fundraising to support the Santa's Gift Bag project and the Careers in Aging Program.

To learn more about Pi Gamma Mu, please click here.


Dr. Janice Purk has taken on the reins ofPresident for the Pennsylvania Sociology Society for the 2011-2012 academic year. As President of the organization, Dr. Purk will help plan the 2012 annual conference which will be held at Penn State Schuylkill next October. The conference theme will be "Changing Lives: Real Potentials of Humanity." Tentative plans for are Dr. Gale Largey, a retired M.U. sociology professor, to be the Keynote speaker. Dr. Largey will address the changing world of sociology and include his film presentation on the history of the American Sociology Association (ASA). For more information and updates, please check the PSS website.


The S.W.A.S. department hosted the 60th Annual Pennsylvania Sociological Society Meeting on October 22 and 23, 2010. The theme was "Change and Transformation: Looking at Movements That Impact Who We Are and the Way We Sustain Society and Social Structure." This was the first time the PSS has been held at Mansfield. Approximately seventy sociologists descended on campus to enjoy the conference which included research presentations from professionals and students. MU Sociology/Anthropology senior Elizabeth Reams presented a research poster entitled "Gender and the Smoking Ban." Dr. Purk presented her paper entitled "Social Problems Class: Changing One Mind at a Time." Election for officers was held and Dr. Janice Purk was elected as President Elect of the Organization.


Students from Dr. Purk's Contemporary Social Problems class, current social work interns and three department faculty traveled to Washington D.C. on March 20th. They visited the National memorials and explored the Holocaust Museum to better understand the power of ethnic prejudices. They dined at a Thai/Chinese restaurant to try authentic dishes for those countries. On the second day students toured St. Luke's Homeless Shelter where they met with Leslye E. Wooley, JD/MSW, Director of Program Services of The Salvation Army-National Capital Area Command. They also met a representative from the National Alliance to End Homelessness who gave a presentation on the programs and the issues of the homeless. The field trip concluded with a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol building.


On Saturday, April 2nd, Dr. Clark, students from Archaeology 1103, and members of the Soc/Anth club traveled to Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Avella, PA and Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville, WV. Meadowcroft is one of the oldest archaeological field sites in the Americas, dating to more than 15,000 years ago. With expert narration from staff, the students experienced life in a Native American village, visited the rockshelter itself, and got a chance to throw a spear using an atlatl, a device used to improve accuracy and distance. Then, they traveled to Grave Creek Mound, one of the largest mound complexes in North America, built by the Adena culture two thousand years ago. Students toured the mound, adjacent museum, and archaeological lab.


Dr. Timothy Madigan, Associate Professor of Sociology, is completing a sabbatical spring semester 2011. He is involved in research that is investigating the learning gap between Chinese and American students. Dr. Madigan has traveled to Taiwan and China to collect data in early grades and to compare the data with that obtained from public school students in Pennsylvania. A handful of schools will be selected in participating countries and student mathematical and creativity achievements will be measured at the kindergarten, first and third grade levels. In addition to collecting data and reporting the results of this research, Dr. Madigan has lectured about sociological concepts to Chinese university students, translated into Chinese a sociology documentary video on Lester Ward, the founding father of sociology in the United States, and worked to further his knowledge of the Chinese language.

Kendo Team Competes in the Shoryuhai Tournament, April, 2011

On Friday, April 8th, the MU Kendo Team, Kenshinkan, traveled to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, to compete for the first time in the annual Shoryuhai (Rising Dragon) tournament. The team competed against Kendo students from Harvard, Boston Univ, Cornell, and even Munster, Germany in the largest college event of it's kind in the U.S. Though MU did not place in the finals, judges and other players complimented the MU students on their spirit and skill. During individuals matches, several MU students proceeded to the second round, winning points against multiple competitors. Dr. Clark, the club's coach and advisor, says that in addition to doing some great Kendo, the MU students managed to make some new friends. Kenshinkan also took a break from the matches to tour Boston's Chinatown. MU Kendo looks forward to competing at Harvard again next year!


Dr. Robert Clark received a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship to attend a summer institute studying the native peoples of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia. The four-week program featured seminars by a number of well known scholars, extensive travel to Alaska native and First Nations settlements, cultural centers, and museums. In coming semesters, Dr. Clark is aiming to lay the foundation for future courses, and possibly a summer anthropology field school and opportunities for student internships in the region.


The Sociology/Anthropology Club went on a research trip to Centralia, PA, a once-thriving coal mining town that was evacuated as a result of a still-continuing mine fire. As part of a legacy project to document the lives of the people who lived in Centralia, members got a chance to practice their research and interviewing skills by conducting archival/background studies on the history of the area, identifying potential themes of research, and even interviewing some locals. The Sociology/Anthropology Club hopes to continue these endeavors in coming years.


Dr. Timothy Madigan and Dr. Janice Purk co-directed the survey. To view the highlights, please access the following link. (2009 M.U. State Survey)


Formerly The Public Mind. Dr. Timothy Madigan and Dr. Janice Purk co-directed the survey. To view the highlights, please access the following link. 2008 M.U. State Survey Results