of the North Carolina Sociological Association
Volume 39, Number 2                          May 2013

THE BULLETIN  is a publication of the North Carolina Sociological Association. The NCSA is open to any person engaged in teaching or research in sociology, or in a field of applied sociology, as well as to any student whose major interest is sociology. Members receive THE BULLETIN and are invited to attend the annual meeting of the association in early spring. Dues for one calendar year are $15 (professional) and $5 (student, includes registration for annual meeting). For more information about the NCSA, please visit its main page.

2013 Election Results

Cameron Lippard was elected to serve as president-elect and 2014 program chair by NCSA members who voted on electronic ballots. Hideki Mooraka, Ken Muir, and Cecile Yancu were elected to serve three-year terms on the NCSA Executive Council.


President: Robert Puckett, Cape Fear Community College,

Past-President: Ian Taplin, Wake Forest University.

President-elect: Cameron Lippard, Appalachian State University,

Treasurer: Cathy Zimmer, UNC Chapel Hill.

Secretary: Sue Pauley, Wingate University.

Editor Newsletter: Lee Dodson, Rockingham Community College.

Editor Sociation Today and Webmaster: George H. Conklin, NC Central University Emeritus.

Council Members

2014 Kristen DeVall, UNC Wilmington,

2014 Arielle Kuperberg, UNC Greensboro,

2014 Sandra Rogers, North Carolina Central University.

2015 Raven Bruno, UNC Wilmington,

2015 Sarah Daynes, UNC Greensboro,

2015 Amy Dellinger Page, Appalachian State University

2016 Ken Muir, Appalachian State University,

2016  Hideki Morooka, Fayetteville State University,

2012 Cecile N. Yancu, Winston-Salem State University,

Contact Information:

The editor of THE BULLETIN  is Lee Dodson, Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rockingham Community College, P.O. Box 38, Wentworth, NC 27375-0038
336-342-4261, ext. 2155

The treasurer and membership secretary of the NCSA is Dr. Cathy Zimmer, The Odum Institute, Campus Box  3355, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. Questions about membership should be directed to Dr. Zimmer.

The recording secretary of the NCSA is Sue Pauley, Wingate University,

Click the following link to return to THE BULLETIN   home page.

Thanks to Sue Pauley

Special thanks to Sue Pauley for reporting on the sessions at the 2013 NCSA Annual Meeting. Without her contributions, you would not be reading about all that happened in Wilmington!

IRS Grants NCSA Tax-Exempt Status

After years of planning and work on the application process, the IRS has granted the North Carolina Sociological Association tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code! We are further classified as a public charity, making gifts to us tax deductible. In addition, the effective date of the exemption goes back to May 15, 2010. Thanks to all who have worked so hard to bring about this outcome!

Check Out the Complete NCSA Website

NCSA members and the general public can access the associationís web site at Information to be included in THE BULLETIN should be sent to its editor at or mailed to him at RCC, P.O. Box 38, Wentworth, NC 27375. General information for the NCSA web site should be sent to its webmaster, George Conklin ( , 919-530-6222).

NCSA President-Elect Looks at the Future of the Association

by Cameron Lippard
Appalachian State University

Hello, North Carolina Sociologists! Thank you so much for choosing me to be the President-Elect of the North Carolina Sociological Association. It is a great honor. I can only hope that I will carry forward the traditions of this great association. As you may know, I grew up in western North Carolina and  love this state. I also believe that this state is full of great sociologists who are some of the best in our profession in the nation. With colleagues like these we can surely bolster our accomplishments in teaching, research, and service.

As your president-elect, I would like to address a few items in the next couple of years. Of course, I can only complete these tasks with you by my side, providing great advice and skills. First, I hope to have a great annual conference in Boone, North Carolina for 2014! The last time NC sociologists came to Boone was in February of 2003 with Dr. Beth Davison at the helm. I hope to work with the Executive Council to develop at great program focusing on the "Traditions of Sociology" (more information to come in the fall edition of THE NCSA BULLETIN). The Executive Council and I are also considering whether to have the meeting a little later in March instead of in February to avoid some rather harsh winter weather in Boone. If you have ideas about sessions, comments about when to have the meeting, or just questions, please feel free to contact me ( or 828-262-6396). I hope to send out a "save the date" e-mail for the conference dates this summer.

Second, as any association will attest, it can't exist or continue its work without members. With the direction of the Executive Council and past presidents, I hope to do another membership drive for NCSA. In fact, I  challenge all past and present members to recruit at least one new member from their department or community to join and attend the conference in 2014. I think the NCSA can do some work to determine some "incentives" for joining and attending state conferences in a time when budgets are tight and obligations abound; so, again look out for an e-mail about what NCSA can offer a you or a new member.

Finally, I want to continue to bolster our public appearance in the state, the region, and the national scene. We can do this  by keeping some traditions flourishing while looking for new ways to reach our colleagues throughout the state and region. Two of our publications have contributed to the association's presence on the web. Our newsletter, The Bulletin, and the online peer-reviewed journal, Sociation Today, have reached out to many on-line. As you may have heard at the annual meeting, Lee Dodson, long-time editor of the newsletter, will be retiring within the year. We thank him most heartily for his dedication and service. When someone who has served the association as the editor of our newsletter for over 25 years retires, we need a great person (or persons) to step in and help keep this newsletter going. If you would like to volunteer, then please contact me ( Dodson will continue to edit the newsletter through the fall issue. Whoever takes on this position would do well to shadow him for his final issue in order to prepare to edit our winter/spring issue for 2014.

We also need to continue to support our online journal and attract more submissions and even consider some special issues. We should consider the possibility of using some new software for the journal to give it a "fresh look" while still supporting our mission of providing open access to quality research and writing for professionals, students, and the public at-large. Here's an example of a fresh look from the Georgia Sociological Association's online journal: Software of this kind is available at all of our UNC-system schools. It can help us maintain online submissions, put the articles in pdf format, and still maintain the protocols of the DOAJ network. Of course, any decision about such innovation falls first with our editor George Conklin and the editorial board. We will be working together to consider the pros and cons.

Finally, I'd like the association to consider ways of increasing our public appearance--making sure that we tout our association every chance we get. For example, we might consider putting in ads for our online journal or our association in the regional and national conference programs. Perhaps our member could tell folks about the NCSA when they are working with other professional associations. We could then see how networking with them could foster great teaching, research, and service. We should continue using social media like our Facebook page ( and find ways to just remind folks that we are here to encourage professional development.

While all these ideas may sound ambitious, I wanted share them with you in hopes that you will suggest other ways to move our association forward. Please feel free to contact me with your concerns and ideas. I look forward to seeing you all in Boone, North Carolina!!


Ken Wilson Honored for "Contributions to Sociology"
Former NCSA President Ken Wilson (center) receives the Contributions Award from Ian Taplin (left) and George Conklin (right).

     "I am proud to announce today the North Carolina Association's 'Contribution to Sociology' award has been awarded  to Professor Kenneth R. Wilson of East Carolina University," announced George Conklin at the 2013 NCSA annual meeting in Wilmington, NC. Conklin continue to summarize Wilson's many qualifications and contributions.

     "Dr. Wilson's expertise in the field of applied sociology has been nationally significant, with an emphasis on improving the quality of human life.  Dr. Wilson has focused upon a number of specific issues in which applied sociology may contribute, including procedures for basic research, emergency responses during natural disasters, access to health care, and high technology premised upon the problems of unequal  socio-economic status.  Dr. Wilson has received $1,000,000 in contracts to address these social issues through applied sociology. 
     "In order to spread the knowledge of how applied sociology works, Dr. Wilson has published over 32 articles and a half-dozen book chapters.
     "Dr. Wilson has served the profession.  He is past-president of the North Carolina Sociological Association as well as past-president of the university-wide UNC Faculty Assembly.  He has supported the NCSA-sponsored journal, SOCIATION TODAY.  As founding director of the Sociology Community Survey Lab in the sociology department at East Carolina University, Dr. Wilson has educated many students whose applied skills have led directly to jobs.  For example RTI in the Research Triangle currently employs more than 15 such students.  For sociology students who go on to doctoral programs in sociology and related fields, the same core courses taught by Dr. Wilson provide a fundamental  foundation of skills upon which students  continue to build. 
     "Lastly, Ken Wilson is highly thought of as a colleague.  He was described as follows: 'He is a friendly, kind, generous and upbeat person, while maintaining a pragmatic, optimistic and cynical outlook.  I deliberately use this list of descriptive words in an effort to convey the complexity of his character.  These cultivated traits are well-suited for studying and understanding our social world and contribute to successful interactions.  Our discipline is well represented by Ken.'"

Authors Meet Critic: "Life After Death Row"

Authors Saundra Westervelt (UNCG) and Kimberly Cook (UNCW) took part in a panel where they answered questions from critic Cameron Lippard (ASU) about their book "Life After Death Row." This book explores wrongful convictions in capital cases, and all proceeds are donated to a non-profit for victims who have been wrongfully convicted. 

Cook presented the sociological themes in the book: how do these individuals rebuild their lives? What about the impact and the consequences of the wrongful conviction? The nature of these questions led the researchers to their method, a qualitative study using emerging perspectives from feminism.  These perspectives  informed their research in the following ways:
Looking at the research participants, not as subjects;  prioritizing contact after the interview to maintain trust; demonstrating an ethic of care; and prioritizing issues of inequality (race, class, gender) in their analysis.

Westervelt explained that they began in 2003 with eighteen in-depth interviews.  Their contacts have since expanded to over 140 interviews with these original participants. The researchers  included 1) practical concerns, such as how to live.  They described their relationships, their experiences of grief and loss as well as other emotions such as depression, survivor guilt and PTSD. They were also concerned with 2) theoretical issues such as understanding their coping strategies, coping with stigma and identity issues. Their third concern dealt with policy orientations.

Elaborating on some of these concerns, Westervelt described this situation as a "sustained catastrophe" and asked, "how do they manage this?" Their strategies included avoidance/withdrawal which involved numbing their pain through substance abuse, for example.  Others chose incorporation/embracing the situation by going public, identifying with others in similar circumstances, and making meaning out of it by becoming advocates.

The issue of stigma faced at least half of the participants; some reported feelings of guilt over having been incarcerated. Trying to regain their reputations and their identity as innocent persons was especially difficult, depending on the length of time of their incarceration and whether or not the real perpetrator had been identified.

Lippard characterized their work as exemplifying the sociologist's  aims of asking "who cares?", challenging common sense ideas, giving voice to marginalized groups such as these trauma survivors, telling us that good research works, and utilizing an interdisciplinary approach.

Himes Awards Recognize Two Undergraduate
Papers, One Graduate Paper

Each year, the NCSA recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate student papers with the presentation of the Himes Award. This year, two papers by undergraduate students received awards as did one paper by a graduate student.

Undergraduate awards
 "More Parties, More Problems: Evaluating Party Conflict and Recession Legislation in Eighteen Western Democracies from 1971-2010" by Abbey Keener, Wake Forest University ( Supervisor: Hana Brown.

"Burley Tobacco Culture: A Visual Sociological Analysis of One Family's Perseverance in a Precarious Industry" by Hannah Scott, Duke University ( Supervisor: Katherine Hyde.

Graduate award
"The Limits of Solidarity: Wealth and Bounded Solidarity Among Immigrants in the U.S." by E. Paige Borelli, Duke University ( Supervisor: Lisa A. Keister.

NCSA: We Are the Face of Sociology in North Carolina!

Keep up with the North Carolina Sociological Association
between newsletters by joining our Facebook page.

We regularly post links to items of interest to North Carolina sociologists,
along with updates about the NCSA's events.

     Our page can be found at
Contact Arielle Kuperberg for more information (

NCSA Presidential Address
"What Can't You Do with a Sociology Degree?"

    Robert Puckett welcomed sixty-eight NCSA members and guests to the 2013 Annual World Conference at the Coast Line Center on the waterfront in downtown Wilmington.  In contrast to the chilly, rainy weather, a warm collegial spirit characterized the group which remained together in the large meeting hall for all the sessions.
     To begin the new presidential duties, Puckett articulated his vision for the organization, building on Helen Keller's wise words, "What is worse than being blind? Having no vision."  His focus will be on maintaining and enhancing the organization, working on retention with former students, for example, as well as moving forward with reaching out to community college instructors and establishing collaborations with local community colleges. He gave the following charge to the current members, "What can we do to encourage more participation?"
     In developing the conference theme, "2,3,6,8; what do you do when you graduate," Puckett asked, "What do you tell students about their future prospects with their degree?"  Illustrating one career trajectory, he described his journey from part-time student and Army vet, to full-student, car salesman, then to industrial sales and machine repair, next to graduate school and finally a position as a sociologist at Cape Fear Community College.  Along the way he experienced sociological textbook terms in real life:  total institutions, degradation ceremonies, ethnocentrism and culture shock.  All these experiences provided a rich source of examples for his subsequent classes at CFCC.
     His career as a sociologist has evolved along with the community college system in North Carolina.  He began as the only sociologist at CFCC and there are now 22 in the Social Science Department which he leads. In response to questions, he shared that currently the beginning salary is $39,000 a year with an M.A. and no experience. This is for a nine-month contract to teach eighteen hours a semester--six classes with two or three preparations and an average class of twenty-eight students.  As the evolution continues, the new emphasis on STEM courses has the potential to redefine sociology courses in order to demonstrate their continued relevance.
     Although his personal remarks showed the interesting intersection of biography and history in the community college system specifically, his conclusion resonated with the wider group: "What can't you do with a sociology degree?" Subsequent sessions elaborated on this theme.

Keynote Address
Are You Using Sociology to the Fullest Extent Possible?

     David Morrison personified the high ideals and aspirations of a sociology student.  A graduate of CFCC, he is currently a senior at UNCW, interested in non-profit work in North Carolina.  He explained that he integrates sociology into his world through his involvement in disability issues.  For example, he has organized a career fair with interested employers, and he is dedicated to advocacy for equality in recreational facilities.
     Although confined to a wheelchair by cerebral palsy, David spoke movingly about his vision for sociology and advocacy for the disabled. During the Q & A period he noted that there are still major challenges in social policies which have not been addressed, such as parking, building access and travel accommodations.  He answered that the role of sociology in advocacy is to understand people and their environments, thinking outside the box to come up with solutions, and educating each other on this topic through more research.
     Morrison left the audience with this question, "Are you using sociology to the fullest extent possible?"

Panelists Ponder "Merging Work and Teaching"

    Natasha Gouge, CFCC sociology faculty member, offered her perspective as a sociology major who began her career with a BA degree working as a social work case manager in a government agency, providing services to an elderly low-income population.  As a sociologist she was able to see their need for services within a larger social context.  For example, she led the development of an emergency fuel program for home heating as a result of witnessing this need in so many individual homes.
     In her experience, many social agencies will hire four-year social science graduates.  For example, habilitation specialists staff a respite house for a mentally challenged population; specialists in memory-care use effective communication styles to work with patients; and the court system hires multi-disciplinary teams to help determine competency.
     Gouge related that her sociological training provided opportunities for her to plan research projects such as evaluating CNA retention after training. It also gave her a perspective with which to view the importance of history and culture in dealing with diversity. As a result of her education and employment experiences, she effectively transitioned into teaching.
     Raven Bruno (UNCW) shared that her service learning experiences were most helpful in influencing her career choice.  Working in a homeless shelter for women and children, for example, provided real-world authentic learning.  Her current work is guided by these questions: "How do I use my academic position to help the community?  How do I present information to different audiences?"

"Where do they go from here? Public Sociology in the 'Real' World"

     Kristin DeVall (UNCW) presented examples of undergraduate and graduate routes which facilitate the sociology student's movement into a career.
     The Public Sociology program takes the traditional methods of mainstream sociology and brings them to groups and organizations outside the academy, according to a 2005 ASA Taskforce report.  At UNCW this undergraduate program requires thirty-nine hours: a Public Sociology Seminar and Practicum, six elective courses in an area of concentration, along with four core sociology courses in theory and methods.
     Students also are guided in their professional development through sessions focused on job searching and creating an "elevator" speech, a two-minute summary of how their training makes them the best candidate for a job.  This is in preparation for the fortuitous meeting of the potential employer on the elevator on the way to the interview. Students are also trained in the effective dissemination of research findings to multiple audiences, giving oral and visual presentations to diverse community groups.
     DeVall further explained their CAPS program, a terminal master's degree in Criminology and Public Sociology which consists of sixteen hours of core courses, twelve hours of elective courses, and a six-hour credit thesis. Graduates of this program have gone on to Ph.D. programs, research firms, government agencies and higher education.
     In a follow-up Q & A time, additional information about the programs was clarified.  For example, what is the difference between Public Sociology and Applied Sociology?  Public Sociology proceeds from the ground up, working with the community, using the sociological training and skills in collaborative projects. Applied Sociology is perceived as going from the top down, with the academic analyzing situations and offering solutions. DeVall suggested that faculty need to train students better in marketing their degrees by connecting with social issues. For example, their students have partnered with the Wilmington Housing Authority, working with residents to identify needs and design programs with a wide range of services.

SOCIATION TODAY Focuses on Digital Divide and Immigration Issues

by George Conklin

The Spring/Summer issue of SOCIATION TODAY will be available in late June.  It will have 7 or 8 articles, depending on final comments from the referees and revisions from the authors.  There will be two articles on the digital divide and possibly two on immigration.  Please remind the readers of The Bulletin that articles may be submitted at any time. Articles should be sent to the webmaster, George Conklin ( , 919-530-6222).A cumulative, searchable index of SOCIATION TODAY is available from the Directory of Open Access Journals.