For Immediate Release
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April 1, 1999
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IU Northwest Students Speak on Social Issues at the University of Dayton

Eight Indiana University Northwest students recently presented papers on social issues during a two-day annual Midwest Student Sociology Conference (MSSC) at the University of Dayton.

Speaking at the conference under the category of Structural Change and Social Equality was Danny Summers of Gary on Welfare Reform and Culture vs. the Sociological Imagination. Presenting Discovering the Victimized Self: An Ethnographic Study of Domestic Violence under the category of Gender and Social Status were Linda Parker of Lake Station, Patti Donovan of DeMotte and Sue Gozdecki of Schererville. While under the category of Deviance, Thora Evans of Gary, Tom McClure of LaPorte, and Amy Paterson and Roxane Kalch of Portage presented Jackpots, Cash Lines, and Casino Boats: Deviance as Fun Rediscovered.

Designed for undergraduate sociology students from universities and colleges throughout the Midwest, the MSSC is presided over by sociology professors from the participating schools.
IU Northwest associate professor, Charles Gallmeier has been involved with MSSC since 1995 and is also a member of the conference’s steering committee. Encouraging his students to present papers on social issues and behavior not only comes from Gallmeier’s strong belief that it prepares them to be confident professionals, it also stems from his own college experience at Indiana University Fort Wayne where instructors served as mentors. By remembering the support he received from faculty when doing ethnographic research, Gallmeier also remembers being thankful for opportunities to present his research papers as a student.

 “They told me I could thank them by carrying on what they did for me to my students,” Gallmeier says of his professors.

Explaining that the papers take an enormous amount of work, Gallmeier says his students begin their research for the projects during the fall semester and continue through to the spring. All the research involved is based on specific ethnographic studies which requires students to obtain information through significant participant observation.

“It’s a wonderful way for students to get professional socialization – they take a risk among their peers - and are able to see what they have accomplished,” says Gallmeier.

The MSSC began 20 years ago and is held at a different university each year.  Scheduled for April 2000, Indiana University Northwest will be the first university to host MSSC in the new millennium.
For more information on the IU Northwest department of sociology, telephone 219-980-6789.

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