Sociology & Anthropology

Notable Faculty & Student Achievements

April 2018

  • Associate Professor of Sociology Reggie Byron, Professor of Sociology Maria Lowe, Professor of Sociology Sandi Nenga, and five students attended the annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in New Orleans, La., April 4–7.  

    • Madeline Carrola, class of 2019, presented “’We’re Not Wasting Coffee Grounds’: How College Students Respond to Peers’ Resource Consumption and Waste Disposal by Social Class.”
    • Sophia Galewsky, class of 2018, presented “Abortion Provision as High Risk Activism: What Motivates Providers?”
    • Mary Jalufka, class of 2018, presented “White Female Elementary School Teachers and Campus Safety in the Wake of Sandy Hook.”
    • Esteffany Luna, class of 2018, presented “Am I Still Latino Enough? The Construction of a Latino Identity among Hispanics who do not Speak Spanish.” Luna’s paper was also the recipient of the 2018 Odum Undergraduate Paper Award. This marks the 9th time in 13 years that a Southwestern sociology senior has won this award.
    • Dr. Byron co-organized a panel titled “Innovative Uses of Data in the Study of Workplace Discrimination” and presented a co-authored paper titled “Bureaucratic Legitimation, Discrimination, and the Racialized Character of Organizational Life.”
    • Dr. Nenga served as a presider for multiple sessions at the meeting.
    • Dr. Lowe and Dakota Cortez,class of 2019, presented “Race and Contested Public Spaces in a Liberal Predominantly White Planned Urban Community.”




  • Professor of Anthropology Melissa Johnson presented a paper, “Human Being otherwise: Commoning, Blackness and Freedom in Belize,” for the panel series “The Commons, Commoning and Co-Becoming” at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in New Orleans, La., April 13, 2018.





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. 





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.