Title: Sociology InvestiGator
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094644/00001
 Material Information
Title: Sociology InvestiGator
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Department of Sociology, University of Florida
Publisher: Department of Sociology, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Fall 2004
Copyright Date: 2004
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Bibliographic ID: UF00094644
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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FALL 2004

ehe Sociology


In this issue

"I Train Social Scientists"
by Barbara Zsembik, Associate Professor

b The inherent challenge of the"research men-
tor" is to provide the scaffold that allows students to
be responsible for their education without letting them

feel abandoned.

66i I pass Dr. Zsembik's meth-
Iods course," began a col-
lege senior celebrity, describing his
plans after graduation during an
interview with a reporter from The
Alligator. It was my second year at
UF as a new Ph.D. in Sociology
and Demography. I had little
teaching experience and a lot of
anxiety about my ability to both
teach and do research, and you
know, get tenured. I had always
loved the creative nature of inde-
pendent research projects since
grade school, it now formed a pri-
mary obligation in my job descrip-
tion. So I chose to teach methods
as my second undergraduate
course because it would be fun
and improve my own research
skills. I loved both teaching and
research, seeing them as inter-
twined, but now braced myself to
learn the worst about my teaching.
There it was, in black and white,
printed and distributed to anyone
and everyone. How did I get in
this spot?
I never could decide what I
was going to be when I grew up. I

-Professor Barbara Zsembik )

had no great talents, many inter-
ests, and too much energy. In fact,
my high school teachers told me I
wasn't college material. But in my
junior year I met Sister Jeanette, a
guidance counselor who was
determined to get me into college
before she died of some horrible
unnamed cancer. Her personal
attention and belief in my abilities
now motivate me to do the same
for my students. My GPA and SAT
scores were good enough to get
me into the local university, and
Sister Jeanette and the ubiquitous
high school aptitude tests fun-
neled me into a nursing major.
My work experiences shaped
how I design my courses, especial-
ly the undergraduate and graduate
methods courses. I had a variety
of jobs in the service sector during
high school, college, and nurse
training. I had work as a babysit-
ter, jobs in fast food chains or
local family restaurants, and night
shift duty as a nursing assistant in
nursing homes. I drifted through
nurse training and into nursing
jobs in hospitals, nursing homes,

women's clinics, and
home health care. I p
up a lot of supervisor
managerial duties, an
worked with a wide n
clients and co-worker!
variety of settings. Ev
however, I went back
school and ended up
that Ph.D. in sociology
What do I do? I t
social scientists. A ma
social science is not \
at training, and should
But students expect t
they should be able t
job with their degrees
agree. Because devel
school-career linkages
an important mission
higher education, I try
provide some profes-
sional training in my
courses. I balance tw(
important aspects of
higher education:
the opportunity to
expand personal
intellectual hori-

"I Train Social Scientists"
Each New Academic Year
Hurricanes, and the
Fall Reception

Fresh Faces in Town:
The Chair's Column
y and Reflections: A
d Proud Graduate
range of of the University
s in a of Florida
entually, PAGE 5
with Alumni Updates
y. PAGES 6
jor in In Appreciation
'ocation- PAGE 6
don't be. Welcome
hat New Faculty!
o get a
. I
hoping Address Change
is and Update Form
of PAGE 8
Humor Corner

Each New Academic Year Brings...

Football, Hurricanes, and the

SIFall Reception!

Reception snapshots, clockwise from top left: entering class of gradu-
ate students, Ben and Joyce Gorman with Gorman Award winner
Kuniko Chijiwa, John Henretta with Humphreys Leadership Prize
winner Jeanne Collins, John Henretta with Vandiver Award winners
Dan Dexheimer and Shannon Houvouras.

A the beginning of each
new academic year the
Sociology Department hosts
the annual Fall Reception.
The highlight is always the
awards given to graduate
students. The ceremony
began with the Vandiver
Graduate Teaching Award,
named after our retired and
much esteemed colleague,
Joseph Vandiver. A member
of our department for many
years, Van was present this
fall to give the award to co-
winners Dan Dexheimer and
Shannon Houvouras, who
have shown themselves to
be consistently creative
teachers who motivate stu-
dents to perform at a high
level. Constance Shehan
mentors both Dan and
Kuniko Chijiwa received
the Jerome A. Connor
Dissertation Award for her
research, titled "Spatial-
Temporal Analysis of

Relationships among Color,
Household Structure, and
Child Mortality in Sao Paulo,
Brazil." Her work displays a
clear theoretical design that
leads to precise and testable
hypotheses. Stephen Perz
served as her dissertation
advisor. With the support of
the Jerome A. Connor
Student Enrichment
Endowment, the Sociology
Department is able to recog-
nize excellence in graduate
student research. Mr. Connor
graduated from the
University of Florida in 1931.
He received the first Masters
Degree given by the
Department of Sociology
with a thesis titled "Survey
of Housing Conditions for
Students at the University of
Florida." One wonders what
it was like then.
In addition, Kuniko
Chijiwa received the Gorman
Award, named after our
friend and former colleague,

Benjamin Gorman. This
award is given in recognition
of sophisticated work by
graduate students using
quantitative methods. In her
Sao Paulo study, Kuniko
developed expertise in
demographic methods, geo-
graphic information systems
(using satellite data), and
spatial econometrics. Ben
and his wife Joyce attended
the reception and presented
the award to Kuniko.
The Strieb Award went to
Dana Berkowitz for her
paper, titled "The Interaction
of Drag Queens and Gay Men
in Public and Private Places."
This award is named after
Gordon Streib, who was
Graduate Research Professor
in the department for many
years. It goes to the out-
standing scholarly paper
written by a graduate stu-
dent each year. Gordon

Streib and his wife Ruth
were in attendance and pre-
sented the award to Dana.
As with several other nomi-
nated papers, Dana's is
already under submission to
an academic journal. Her
supervisors are Constance
Shehan and Kendall Broad.
Finally, the Department's
newest award is the Jack B.
Humphries Leadership Prize.
Mr. Humphrey graduated
from UF in 1949 and estab-

Fresh Faces w

in Town

Gainesville has many new residents at the beginning of each academic year,

adding an air of excitement to the campus.

Sociology has contributed more than
its share this fall. We were joined by
18 new graduate students, a record for
us. They are a very diverse group. Five
were UF undergraduates, two are inter-
national students (from India and Brazil),
and the rest come to us from colleges
around the U.S. We also added two new
faculty, Regina Bures and Alin Ceobanu.
Regina received her Ph.D. from Brown
University, she comes to us from the
State University of New York at Albany,
where she held a research position.
Regina's research areas include aging
and urban sociology. Alin Ceobanu
received his Ph.D. from the University of
Illinois last spring. At UF, he holds a
joint appointment in Sociology and the
Center for European Studies. Alin's
research focuses on ethnicity and
nationalism in Europe, and his presence
adds a new dimension to our curricu-
Soon after we welcomed all our
new members, two unwelcome visitors,
hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, blew into
town to provide some unsolicited tree
pruning. None of our students or faculty

were injured, though two faculty had
tree limbs crash through their roofs. UF
closed briefly for each storm, but every-
thing returned to normal very quickly.
We're all thankful for escaping without
serious harm and mindful of the thou-
sands of Floridians-including, perhaps,
some of you-whose lives have been
severely disrupted by one or more hurri-
canes this year.
The department is making signifi-
cant progress on two fronts this fall.
After years of too-rapid growth, our
number of undergraduate majors
remained stable this August. We've
worked very hard over the past few
years to accommodate our growing
enrollments. We've increased our depart-
ment advising staff and this year we're
offering 400 seats in our required junior-
level research methods course. Most of
the credit for helping us cope with rap-
idly growing numbers over the past few
years belongs to our undergraduate
coordinator, Dr. Marian Borg. With slow-
ing growth, we hope we can concentrate
on improving the quality of undergradu-
ate instruction, with smaller classes and

an increasing variety of courses.
We've also been authorized to hire
a new faculty member with interests in
environmental sociology. Loyal readers
of the Investigator will recall a number
of previous stories on our plans to
increase our offerings in this area. The
development of interdisciplinary environ-
mental science research is a high priority
in the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences and the University as a whole.
We see active participation in this effort
as critical to ensuring Sociology will play
a central role in the intellectual life of
the University of Florida in coming
decades. We hope to add additional fac-
ulty in this area in future years.
As always, we value your support
and interest in the department. If you'll
write to us about the exciting develop-
ments in your lives, we'll share them
with your friends in a future issue of the

John Henretta
Chair, Sociology


("I Train Social Scientists" CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1)

zons and to provide a minimal level of
employability with a B.A. or M.A. in
social sciences. In any discipline or
major, there is enough agreement on the
necessary basic skills to determine
which classes are required. In sociology,
social theory, research methods, and
social statistics make up the core cur-
riculum which defines the skill set that
the typical undergraduate sociology
major "should know." I design learning
activities in which students gain mastery
of skills by doing-and practicing.
Mastery is evaluated in multiple ways:
oral communication, different types of
writing, tests on basic concepts and
practices, and use of conventional infor-
mation technology equipment and pro-
In my role as "research mentor," I
guide undergraduate and graduate stu-
dents in their development of critical
reasoning skills through a series of read-
ing, writing, and oral communication dis-
covery assignments. The inherent chal-
lenge of the "research mentor" is to pro-
vide the scaffold that allows students to
be responsible for building their educa-
tion without letting them feel aban-
doned. Typically, the assignments are
gathered into a portfolio and are turned

(Fall Reception CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2)
lished this prize through a bequest in
honor of his teachers, Winston W.
Ehrmann and John M. Maclachlan. The
award goes to an undergraduate who
displays both a high level of academic
achievement and leadership in extra-
curricular activities. The first prize goes
to Jeanne Collins, who is a third-year
dual major in sociology and psycholo-
gy. Jeanne has a 4.0 upper division
grade point average and a 4.0 average
in all her sociology courses. Over the
last few years, she has worked with
children and youth in educational and
after-school programs, with the elderly
in nursing homes, and with homeless
and unemployed persons, along with
other activities.
The students, in addition to having
their names placed on plaques kept in

into a final coherent project. The portfo-
lio permits me to gauge performance
according to each student's learning
curve. I repeatedly offer strong editorial
comments on written work to foster
mastery of substantive content as well
as the craftsmanship of clear, crisp
prose. I integrate a considerable amount
of computer work into each of my cours-
es, sometimes barely keeping up myself
with ever-new waves of software, data,
and analytical techniques. The student
with a B.A., M.A., or Ph.D. should enter
the market with a strong set of research
skills and be alble to successfully com-
pete with other liberal arts majors or
sociologists for choice jobs.
To further enhance the process of
discovery, I often design group assign-
ments. Teamwork encourages students
to spend more time on assignments and
gives them experience managing the
social character of the workplace. It also
permits stronger students to participate
in teaching struggling students, an expe-
rience that increases the level of mas-
tery for both groups.
A healthy teaching career is reflect-
ed in the successes of students. I am
especially proud to have mentored many
African American and Latino/a men and

the department, receive a cash award.
The hard-working faculty committee in
charge of deciding on the awards this
year was composed of Leonard
Beeghley, Marian Borg, and Stephen
Perz (who did not participate in the
discussion of Kuniko Chijiwa's award).
The Department also introduced
and welcomed its newest graduate stu-
dents. Eighteen new students entered
the program from as far as away as
India and as near as, well, Gainesville.
Do you suppose they will live better
than students did in 1931?
Dean Neil Sullivan spoke for a few
minutes, reminding us that these
awards represent a homage to instruc-
tors past, a nod to those present, and
a gift to the future. They also reflect
the Department's commitment to teach-

women through undergraduate and
graduate programs. I include undergrad-
uate and graduate students in my own
research projects, leading to presenta-
tions at professional conferences, publi-
cations in peer-reviewed journals, and
gainful employment. The undergraduates
have gone into competitive social sci-
ence programs, M.A. students have
secured good research positions as epi-
demiologists and health care analysts,
and Ph.D. students have successfully
competed for post-doctoral research
positions and positions as new assistant
But most sociology majors do not
aim for a research career and feel
annoyed to have to complete a demand-
ing methods course. I read further in
The Alligator interview with the college
senior celebrity, expecting to hear that
complaint. I learned from his and other
students' feedback that the class wasn't
so awful, even kind of fun at times.
Witnessing their discovery of the adven-
ture of research, and hearing them con-
fess to ENJOYING the research process,
IS my most genuine delight in teaching.
Thank you Sister Jeanette.

ing, even as the University seems
poised to move to the next level as a
research institution. His remarks stimu-
lated the retired faculty present to
reminisce about the history of the
In informal conversation, discus-
sion ranged from the fortunes of the
Gator football team to our recruiting
possibilities for the coming year. We
are slated to hire an environmental
sociologist and may possibly seek
someone for a joint appointment in
African American Studies. No one
talked about the weather, which turned
out to be the major problem we faced
this fall. Even so, we look to the future
with great optimism.


A Proud Graduate of

the University of Florida
by Carladenise Armbrister Edwards, Ph.D. (2001)
The Investigator asked Carladenise Armbrister Edwards to reflect on the
impact her sociological training has had on her life.

started my academic career
as a pre-med psychology
major at the University of
Pennsylvania with the dream
of becoming a forensic psy-
chiatrist. My education and
training would allow me to
play a pivotal role in helping
the police find all of the
Hannibal Lecters of the
world. Look out Jody Foster,
here comes Carla Armbrister! I
was going to make my mark
in life and in Black history by
becoming the first African-
American female to rid the
planet of psychopaths! Well,
big dreams die hard, just like
the victims in psycho-thriller
Today, at age 34, I am
not a forensic psychiatrist. I
am a medical sociologist. I
dropped the pre-med
because I disliked being the
only African-American female
in all of my science courses,
and I dropped the psycholo-
gy because I hate seeing rats
in mazes and cats in cages!
My academic advisor encour-
aged me to find a major that
I liked and a subject that I
was good at and stick with it.
I loved the study of people
and civilizations. I enjoyed
theory and writing, so sociol-
ogy seemed like the logical
fit, and it truly has turned out
to be the best fit for me.
After receiving a
Bachelor's degree in sociolo-
gy with a concentration in
crime and deviance, I

returned to my psychological
roots and received a Master
of Science degree in educa-
tion with a concentration in
psychological services. I had
no idea what I was going to
do for a living, but my grades
were good and I loved learn-
ing about human behavior,
social organization, and cog-
nitive processes. I decided to
pursue my Ph.D. at the
University of Florida in sociol-
ogy, as opposed to psycholo-
gy, because sociology
appealed to my social con-
sciousness and strong desire
to save the world, as
opposed to an individual.
The education and train-
ing I received while pursuing
my degree in sociology were
invaluable. The research skills
and strong written communi-
cation skills I developed
allowed me to market myself
in numerous areas. I have
had the opportunity to work
in academia as an Assistant
Dean, a fulltime instructor, an
adjunct faculty member, and
a project director for several
grant funded projects. I have
also served as an administra-
tor and research and policy
analyst for the state of
Florida's Medicaid program,
as well as the U.S.
Department of Health and
Human Services. In each of
these positions, I have been
able to use my critical think-
ing skills, research skills, and
content knowledge to influ-

and to
health policy.
While pursuing my Ph.D.
at the University of Florida, I
focused my studies on health
disparities, health outcomes,
and social and behavioral
theory and methods. In my
spare time, I polished my
administrative and leadership
skills by serving on issue-
based committees, working
with the Office of Minority
Programs, and assisting facul-
ty with research projects.
From this, I discovered that
learning for me was very sim-
ilar to the learning process of
the rats and cats that strug-
gled to get out of the cage or
maneuvered through the
maze set up by the
researcher. Whether the learn-
ing took place in the class-
room or the complex micro-
cosm of a universe that the
university represents, the les-
sons were all valuable.
Presently, I am serving as
the Vice President of
Operations for Williams,
Stern, and Associates, a
health services research and
evaluation firm in Miami,
Florida, and I am the
Executive Director for the

Governor's Health Information
Infrastructure Advisory Board
for the state of Florida. At
times, I miss my big dream
of becoming the conqueror of
evil, but I think I may still
have the chance to positively
influence people and, per-
haps, even civilization at
some point in my lifetime.
As a proud UF graduate,
I encourage others to pursue
a graduate degree at the
University of Florida and I
encourage alumni to support
their departments and col-
leges. The faculty and staff in
the Department of Sociology
have contributed significantly
to my present success and to
my future accomplishments.
The sociology department's
faculty and staff were my
best cheerleaders. The
department provided me with
the opportunity to teach, con-
duct research, and to study
with prominent scholars in
the field of gerontology,
research, race relations, and
criminology. I welcome the
opportunity to contribute to
the success of the next gen-
eration of UF sociologists.


1 Julian Bridges, B.A., 1952; M.A.,
1969; Ph.D., 1973. Julian retired as
Professor of Sociology from Hardin-
Simmons University in July. He was
honored by the Alumni Association
for his thirty one years of dedicated
service at Hardin-Simmons. He reports
that one of the highlights of his career
was the opportunity to teach and influ-
ence more than 7,000 students.

Claire Ann Coignard, B.A., 1995. Claire is
the manager of community resources
and services at the Torrance Memorial
Medical Center in Los Angeles. TMMC is
an independent community hospital. She
notes, "I never made it out of Los
Angeles after finishing my graduate
degree in gerontology at the University
of Southern California. But L.A. has been
good to me!"

Carladenise Arbrister Edwards, Ph.D.,
2001. In July, Carladenise became chief
operating office and a senior project
manager at Williams, Sterns, &
Associates, a consulting firm located in
Miami that specializes in health services
research and analysis.

William A. Mellen, Ph.D., 1975. The
Florida Senate recently appointed
William to the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Corporation. This corpora-
tion examines the policy, funding, and
effectiveness of state supported sub-
stance abuse and mental health pro-
grams. It consists of twelve
appointees-four by the House, four by
the Senate, and four by the Governor.

Eric A. Wagner, Ph.D., 1973. Eric is
Professor Emeritus at Ohio University. He
recently received the "Founders Citation"
from the Board of Trustees. Last given in
1977 (and only 20 times in the school's
history), the award recognizes Eric's
numerous teaching awards over the
years, his "remarkable devotion" to his
students, his extraordinary fundraising
efforts, and his many other contributions
to the University.

Please let us know what is going on in your life.
You may return the alumni update form to the
department via post, or e-mail Professor Leonard
Beeghley at lbeegh@soc.ufl.edu. We want to
hear fom you!

In Appreciation
The Department of Sociology extends warm thanks to the following friends and alumni who graciously donated funds to our
educational program over the last year or so. These funds are vital to our educational mission, and we are most appreciative.
Mr. Jason Ackerman Mr. & Ms. Lou Hindery Ms. Jo Anne E. Seibold
Ms. Kerry Ann Cerreta Allen Dr. Susan Hoerbelt Dr. & Mrs. Adam Shapiro
Dr. Richard E. Ball Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Johnson Dr. Linda G. Smith
Dr. Allen Barton Mr. Scott Karafin Dr. Mark Smith
Ms. Elizabeth Buergen Mr. Jack H. King Dr. Henry Sniezek
Drs. Scott & Ruby Beck Ms. Mary B. Koechlin Dr. Thomas L. Steiger
Ms. Barbara J. Burns Dr. Sylvia C. Lawson Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Thomas
Mr. Peter J. Carter Dr. Richard Loper Dr. & Mrs. Walter D. Tropf
Ms. Claire Ann Coignard Mr. Ralph & Mrs. Donna MacNiven John S. Wachtel
Dr. & Mrs. Ken Davidson Ms. Kathryn A. Murphey Dr. Eric Wagner
Mr. & Mrs. Doering Mr. Edwin Robson Page Dr. Charles & Mrs. Sandra Warner
Dr. Barbara Finley Dr. & Mrs. Roberto Potter Dr. George A. Watkins
Dr. & Mrs. Wayne Griffin Dr. Michael Radelet Dr. Aaron Wolfson
Mr. & Mrs. Guerra Ms. Marilyn J. Robbins Mr. Douglas & Mrs. Sandy Wright
Dr. Mary Ann Hilker Mr. & Mrs. William Santulli
In addition, several persons who made donations preferred to remain anonymous. We thank you very much. You know who you are!




Regina Bures joined the faculty
this fall as an Assistant Professor of
Sociology. Before coming to UF,
Regina was a Postdoctoral Fellow at
Regina Bures the University of Chicago and Senior
Research Scientist at the University at
Albany's Lewis Mumford Center. She
received her Ph.D. in Sociology from
Brown University in 1998. Her research
focuses on aging and the life course as
well as historical patterns of urban change.
In her most recent publications, she looks
at racial differences in family complexity and
family stability and health in midlife. Currently,
Regina is teaching Social Inequality and Urban
Sociology. Regina likes gardening, bicycling, and
spending time outdoors with her husband and
Alin Mihai Ceobanu two dogs. She commented to the Investigator, "I
am excited to be here. Everyone in the department is
collegial and the Florida students are great."

Alin Mihai Ceobanu also joined the faculty this fall as an
Assistant Professor of Sociology with a joint appointment in the
Center for European Studies. Alin received his Ph.D. in Sociology
from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May, 2004. His
research focuses on social and political order and change, particularly on
post-communist societies in Europe, as well as on intergroup relations. In his dis-
sertation, for example, he examined the relationship between various instances of
nationalist sentiment and public opinion on immigrants and immigration policies in nine
Central and Eastern European countries. More recently, he has been studying the cross-regional
influence of ideology and party preferences on attitudes toward the welfare state in Romania.
This year, Alin teaches courses on Nationalism and Ethnicity, and Culture and Identity in the
"New Europe." His other teaching interests include Political Sociology, Sociological Theory, and
Research Methods. Alin likes playing tennis, reading Latin American novelists (Garcia M5rquez,
Vargas Llosa, Cortizar, S~bato, Carpentier, etc.), black coffee, the music of Handel, outdoor trips
and Swiss white chocolate. He commented to the Investigator that "...nobody turns their heads
when I wear my orange and blue Illinois cap here. Well, that's not entirely true...l remember that,
one day, I was kindly served with an extended middle finger by a driver whose license plate I could
not see. Not that I was really affected by the gesture, but not knowing if it was a Seminole or a
[Michigan] Wolverine fan really made me mad that day!"


Keep your classmates up to date! Please use this form for address changes
and/or to tell us what you are up to. Alumni updates can be sent via post
to the address above or emailed to Professor Leonard Beeghley at



Date Graduated:

Present Activities:

Department of Sociology
3219 Turlington Hall
PO Box 117330
Gainesville FL 32611-7330

Non-Profit Org
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Address Service Requested


julor [C]orner: [

Why did the graduate of Florida State University stare at
the can of orange juice?

It said "concentrate."



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