Welcome from the Chair


Welcome from the Chair

Fred H. Smith
Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at ISU. We invite you to browse our site and learn about the dynamic individuals and  programs that define our department.

We share a commitment to providing students with a first-class educational experience. That experience is grounded in challenging courses and extensive opportunities for collaborative learning and out-of-class learning activities.



Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, April 16: Visiting scholar Dr. Kevin Hunt  (anthropol-ogy, U Indiana) who studies chimpanzees in the wild, will give a talk entitled: "Savanna Chimpanzee Ecology Throws Light on the Origin of Bipedalism." 7PM, Moulton Hall, Rm 208. All are invited <flyer>
  • Fri, May 2: Maria Schmeeckle, Associate Professor of Sociology, will present "Worldwide Outlook for Children - A web resource offering global perspectives of young people's experiences." Noon-1pm, SCH 103. Dr. Schmeeckle's talk is part of the department's Third Fridays series.





Department News



Impact Awards

Aaron Pitluck and Ryan GrayAaron Pitluck, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Ryan Gray, Academic Advisor and Assistant to the Chair, are the recipients of  2014 Impact Awards. New ISU freshmen and transfer students nominated Pitluck and Gray for their significant contributions to students and first-year retention.






CAS Outstanding Teacher Award

Congratulations to Tom Gerschick, Associate Professor of Sociology, who has won the 2013-2014 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award. The award recognizes faculty members who display exceptional classroom teaching, develop innovative instructional materials and approaches to instruction, involve students in significant learning and/or research activities, and advise and/or counsel students. Three faculty members, one from the sciences, one from the humanities and one from the social sciences, receive the award each year.tjgersch - cr

New Publication

Contesting Identities cover 3-1-13

Retired anthropology faculty member Dr. Linda Giles’s edited volume Contesting Identities:The Mijikenda and their Neighbors in Kenyan Costal Society (co-edited with Rebecca Gearhart  at Illinois Wesleyan University) has just been published by Africa World Press. 

The book combines the perspectives of local writers as well as those of anthropologists and other scholars to shed light on the complexities of ways of life in this part of east Africa.



Distinguished Professorship awarded
Jim Skibo

Jim Skibo

Anthropology’s Dr. James Skibo is our most recent Distinguished Professor awardee. This is the most prestigious honor the university can bestow. His public lecture (October 16, 2013) was titled: “From the Mountains of the Philippines to the Shores of Lake Superior: An Archaeologist’s Quest to Understand the Relationship between People and Things.”  <media link> Congratulations Jim!

Latino Heritage Week lecture

Aksampecs part of Latino Heritage Week at ISU, Dr. Kathryn Sampeck (Anthropology, Asst. Professor) presented a lecture on her work relating to the importance of chocolate (cacao) in early Mesoamerica.  Dr. Sampeck was also interviewed by WGLT radio.

Toro-Morn discusses her new book

Maura Toro-Morn photoMaura Toro-Morn, Professor of Sociology, marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in an WJBC interview where she also discussed her recent book, Immigrant Women in the Neoliberal Age (University of Illinois Press), co-edited with Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, Anna Guevarra, and Grace Change.

Dr. Toro-Morn said, “I was honored to discuss our new research and help to sustain the historic links that have always existed between African Americans and Latinos. Let’s not forget that our communities have nurtured each other through years of struggle for civil rights and justice.”

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