Sociology & Anthropology

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

March 2018

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron and Southwestern University alumni Will Molidor ’12 and Andy Cantu ’13 had a co-authored paper titled “U.S. Newspapers’ Portrayals of Home Invasion Crimes” accepted for publication at The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice. The paper is the first study in existence to quantitatively analyze newspaper portrayals of these crimes. The co-authors read and content-coded over 3,000 newspaper articles from 15 U.S. cities before running a model to determine the predictors of enhanced home invasion crime news coverage.





  • Southwestern University, along with two other ACS institutions, Millsaps College and Hendrix College, was the recipient of a recently-funded ACS Diversity Grant to support an initiative known as FOCUS (Faculty of Color Uniting for Success). The project’s overall objectives are to enhance recruitment, success, and the retention of faculty of color at our three institutions and in all ACS consortia schools. It aims to raise awareness of the challenges that faculty of color face through sustained advocacy, summer workshops, and regular surveys of participants on campus climate. In conjunction with ACS’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Anita Davis, the initiative will also provide materials and webinars to help educate institutional leadership about ways to better support faculty of color. This year, the FOCUS project will host its summer workshop at Southwestern June 1015. This workshop was designed to bring together faculty of color from ACS member colleges for a week-long summer retreat focusing on scholarship, networking, self-care, professional advancement, navigating service demands, and the challenges that faculty of color face on their path to professional success in the academy. It will include faculty participants from Hendrix, Millsaps, and Southwestern. Associate Professor of Education Alicia Moore serves as the FOCUS Program Director. Director of Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Julie Sievers, Senior Director of Foundation Relations Larkin Tom, and Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo serves on the FOCUS steering committee and will serve as facilitators for the 2018 FOCUS summer retreat.





January 2018

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron had a teaching exercise titled “Teaching about Police Violence with Open Source Police Shootings Data and Census Data” published in TRAILS, The American Sociological Association’s Teaching Resources And Innovations Library for Sociology. He has also accepted an invitation to serve as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE (Institutional Transformation) grant proposals in the Washington, D.C., area in mid-February.





December 2017

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo presented “’Claiming Space’: Chicana Knowledge Production and Feminist Praxis as Critical Interventions in Belonging” at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 30. The paper was part of an invited panel titled “Critical Anthropology of Informal Educational Processes in Latinx Communities.”





  • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson presented her paper “Everyday Politics of Whiteness in Belize” as part of the panel “Everyday Calculations of Whiteness in Latin America” and served as Discussant for the panel “Water Matters: Anthropologists on Climate, Contamination and Vulnerable Embodiment, Part 1” at the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C., Nov. 29–Dec. 3, 2017.





July 2017

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo was invited to present as a part of a panel at the 2017 American Library Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill. This panel, titled “Giving Voice to Diverse Collections Through Digitization,” included other professionals from Amherst College, Washington University, the University of Minnesota, and Washington State University. The panel focused on ways that digitization of material in archives and special collections can help to give voice to underrepresented groups in the historical narrative. Sendejo presented on the Latina History Project, a collaborative project between Sendejo, Professor of Feminist Studies Alison Kafer, and Southwestern’s Special Collections. Over 100 librarians and archivists were in attendance. The panel was organized and planned by Director of Special Collections & Archives Jason W. Dean.





  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron presented a paper titled “Employment Discrimination Activism and Intergenerational Change” at the CERES Conference at the University of Edinburgh on June 16, 2017. This paper compares race-based employment discrimination claims across the U.S. and U.K.





June 2017

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology Brenda Sendejo presented “The Face of God Has Changed: Mujerista Ethnography and the Politics of Spirituality in the Borderlands” at the Inter University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) conference in San Antonio on May 18. She was invited to present on a panel titled “Cultural Anthropology in the U.S.-Mexican Borderlands: A Texas Perspective.” Sendejo spoke on her current book project and a forthcoming publication on the emergence of Chicana feminist thought in Texas, which she connected to Southwestern’s Latina History Project.





May 2017

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron gave an invited lecture titled “Implicit Bias, Microaggressions, and the March Toward More Inclusive Pedagogies” at SUNY Geneseo on April 27, 2017. He spent April 28 meeting with Geneseo students and their Special Diversity Commission to talk about campus climate issues and retention efforts.   





April 2017

  • Professor of Sociology Maria Lowe, Professor of Sociology Sandi Nenga, and eight students presented papers at the annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in Greenville, S.C., March 30–April 1.

    • Deidra McCall, Class of 2018, presented “Racialized Politics and the Confederate Flag: Why Society Can Never Be Color-Blind.”

    • Melanie Theriault, Class of 2017, presented “Should we say something about her sister? Family roles and the siblings of people with disabilities.”

    • Samantha Pentecost, Class of 2019, presented “’We’re Not All the Same’: Levels of Conservatism and Assimilation as Predictors for Latino Partisan Choice.”

    • Cadie Pullig, Class of 2017, presented “Talking about Campaign Advertisements: How College Students Discuss the Appearance of Political Candidates.”

    • Kelly McKeon, Class of 2017, presented “Catching Up: Overcoming a Deficit in Cultural Capital as a First Generation College Student.”

    • Sarah Surgeoner, Class of 2017, presented “Femvertising: Commodification and Critical Consumption of Feminism in Advertising.”

    • Holly O’Hara, Class of 2017, and Dakota Cortez, Class of 2019, presented a paper titled “Sexual Assault, Zero Tolerance Policies, and the Gender Climate at a Liberal Arts University.” This paper was co-authored with Associate Professor of Sociology Reginald Byron and Lowe.

    • Holly O’Hara, Class of 2017, presented “Searching for a Genuine Sorority Woman: Greek Recruitment Practices at Public and Private Universities.”

    • Nenga presented “How Teenage Latinas Respond to and Resist Gender Surveillance in a College Readiness Program.”

    • Lowe also served on the program committee for the conference.