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

  • 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



Sociology Major Wins Diversity Award


Sociology major and Law Club President Muriel Dorsey is the winner of the Undergraduate Legacy of Leadership Award for 2014, one of the Commitment to Diversity awards given by the Dean of Students Office at Illinois State University. The award recognizes a student who has engaged in activities that exemplify the University’s commitment to diversity.

During Muriel’s term as President of the ISU Law Club, she worked to increase the diversity of the club and of the Executive Board. Muriel has been a student representative to the local YWCA Board of Directors, she has been involved with the ISU Debate Team,  and she has worked as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Among her past awards is a Forensics Union Scholarship. We are proud to celebrate this most recent accomplishment with her. Congratulations, Muriel!

ISU Anthropology hosted CSAS

The Central States Anthropology Society held its annual meeting at ISU in the Marriott Conference Center on April 10-12. Local arrangement chairs/hosts were Drs. Jim Stanlaw and Nobuko Adachi.  The program included several current and past ISU anthropology students.

ACED Fellow’s Community Service Highlighted

Nichole BrantsNichole Brants is an Applied Community and Economic Development (ACED) Fellow in Sociology at Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development.  As part of her Master’s degree program, she is serving with the McLean County Domestic Violence Multidisciplinary Team in Bloomington, IL. Learn more about Nichole’s life-long passion for community service in the Serve Illinois Commission article highlighting her work.

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.



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