Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Careers: Lacy Asbill (sociology & women's studies 2003)

Lacy Asbill (Mills 2003) and Elana Metz (Mills 2003) were named YOSHIYAMA YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS by the Hitachi Foundation  last year for the tutoring program they founded after graduation.

Lacy Asbill and Elana Metz, Moving Forward Education

MFEprofileMoving Forward Education (MFE) is a multi-generational mentoring program aimed at fostering academic and emotional success for underserved students of color in California. Lacy Asbill and Elana Metz co-founded the program; they were inspired by a vision of an organization run by young people, for young people, focusing on students’ emotional well-being as a critical strategy for improving their academic achievement.  
MFE offers its services in two distinct programs: Girls Moving Forward, a program for girls run by young female educators, and Boys Moving Forward, a boy-centered program run by young male teachers. While both programs draw together the strengths of academic tutoring and mentoring, the two programs have unique social/emotional focuses based on the distinct pressures facing girls and boys. Girls Moving Forward focuses on building girls’ confidence and self-belief, addresses the persistent pressures that girls face around their body and appearance, and fosters healthy relationships among girls. Boys Moving Forward teaches boys to experience and express their emotions, works to develop boys’ impulse control and ability to resolve conflicts, and provides boys with much needed positive male role models. Both programs include reading, English language arts, and mathematics instruction, which is delivered in the socially-rich context of connected, nurturing, and safe classroom environments.
Asbill and Metz believe that helping students complete their education and earn their high school diploma is a powerful way to impact their ultimate economic security and life success. Since MFE’s founding in 2006, the organization has served 3,000 students, most at no cost to their families. In addition, MFE has trained 500 young adults to enter careers in the educational field, equipping them with real classroom experience and targeted professional development.

Facebook and Grades -- Room for Debate?

A post by Sarah Kessler on Mashable, "Use Facebook While Studying, Get Lower Grades," reports on a research article by sociologists R. Junco and S. Cotten, "No A 4 U: The relationship between multitasking and academic performance." Here's the abstract:
The proliferation and ease of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as Facebook, text messaging, and instant messaging has resulted in ICT users being presented with more real-time streaming data than ever before. Unfortunately, this has also resulted in individuals increasingly engaging in multitasking as an information management strategy. The purpose of this study was to examine how college students multitask with ICTs and to determine the impacts of this multitasking on their college grade point average (GPA). Using web survey data from a large sample of college students at one university (N = 1,839), we found that students reported spending a large amount of time using ICTs on a daily basis. Students reported frequently searching for content not related to courses, using Facebook, emailing, talking on their cell phones, and texting while doing schoolwork. Hierarchical (blocked) linear regression analyses revealed that using Facebook and texting while doing schoolwork were negatively associated with overall college GPA. Engaging in Facebook use or texting while trying to complete schoolwork may tax students’ capacity for cognitive processing and preclude deeper learning. Our research indicates that the type and purpose of ICT use matters in terms of the educational impacts of multitasking.

The Tips Jar: Job Hunting in a Recession from

Sure, it's a tough job market to be graduating into, but there are some things one can DO to maximize opportunities.  Some of the advice in these articles may sound Pollyanna-ish, but it's all good stuff.


Recession Job Search Tips for New Graduates
By Margot Carmichael Lester, Monster Contributing Writer

  1. Think Broadly
  2. Act Globally
  3. Do Your Research
  4. Be Productive
  5. Get Help
  6. Stay Positive


Eight Tips for Job Hunting During the Recession
By Margot Carmichael Lester, Monster Contributing Writer
  1. Pick and Choose Your Targets
  2. Concentrate on Growth Industries
  3. Work Your Network
  4. Sell Yourself
  5. Consider Freelancing
  6. Take a Temporary Position
  7. Sweat the Small Stuff
  8. Stay Positive


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Professional Associations on Anthro and Soc Careers

Disciplinary professional associations are one source for information on careers using degrees in a given discipline.

American Anthropological Association

American Sociological Association


Shame on the Rich - ScienceNOW

Shame on the Rich - ScienceNOW

For fans of the British upstairs-downstairs TV series Downton Abbey, skullduggery may seem evenly distributed among the social ranks. But in real life, it's the upper classes that are more likely to behave dishonorably, according to new research.
Observers of human nature have long puzzled over the possibility of an ethical class divide. On the one hand, people with fewer resources and dimmer prospects might be expected to do whatever's necessary to get ahead. On the other, wealthy types may be more focused on themselves, because money, independence, and freedom can insulate people from the plight of others. They may also be less generous: Studies involving money games show that upper-class subjects keep more for themselves, and U.S. surveys find that the rich give a smaller percentage of their income to charity than do the poor.
To see whether dishonesty varies with social class, psychologist Paul Piff of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues devised a series of tests, working with groups of 100 to 200 Berkeley undergraduates or adults recruited online. Subjects completed a standard gauge of their social status, placing an X on one of 10 rungs of a ladder representing their income, education, and how much respect their jobs might command compared with other Americans.

Monday, February 27, 2012

This is Like an Interesting Article?

Researchers say young women deserve credit for pioneering vocal trends, including the latest, known as vocal fry.  What do you think?  Do you have any idea what a vocal fry is? 
From the NYTimes
Published: February 27, 2012

From Valley Girls to the Kardashians, young women have long been mocked for the way they talk.

Whether it be uptalk (pronouncing statements as if they were questions? Like this?), creating slang words like “bitchin’ ” and “ridic,” or the incessant use of “like” as a conversation filler, vocal trends associated with young women are often seen as markers of immaturity or even stupidity.


But linguists — many of whom once promoted theories consistent with that attitude — now say such thinking is outmoded. [READ MORE]

Berkeley Summer Workshop on Big Data

The 2012 NSF-sponsored Explorations in Science Research Workshop at Berkeley will take place June 16-24.  The focus will be on big data and statistics and introducing students to applied statistics research.
Today, almost every aspect of our lives is "rendered" in data. New data collection technologies have made it easy to record continuous, high-resolution measurements of our physical environment (weather patterns, seismic events, the human genome). We're also constantly monitoring our movements through and interactions with our physical surroundings (automobile and air traffic, large-scale land use, advanced manufacturing facilities). In computer-mediated settings, our activities either depend crucially on or consist entirely of complex digital data (networked games, peer-to-peer technologies, Web site and Internet usage).
The advent of these enormous repositories of information presents us with an interesting challenge: how can we represent and interpret such complex, abstract and often socially important data?

Our short program is designed to encourage students to attend graduate school in statistics. It is aimed at undergraduates who are rising juniors or seniors.

Applicants are expected to have some basic quantitative skills, including a background in calculus. An introductory course in probability and/or statistics is required. Quantitatively-inclined undergraduates majoring in engineering, computer science, physics, biology, mathematics, statistics and the behavioral or social sciences are all encouraged to apply. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Women and underrepresented minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Travel, room and board is provided.  Participants must be permanent residents or US citizens.


Craigslist as a Job Search Source

It's probably not the best source in the world, but it's often the one to which we turn first.  Here's the current listings that include the word "sociology" or "anthropology" anywhere in the posting.

Craigslist Jobs mentioning "sociology"

Craigslist Jobs mentioning "anthropology"


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Could Well-Functioning Markets Kill Democracy?

What if Keynes vs. Hayek misses the point and Occupy gets the point -- inequality -- but over-simplifies the story?  Social theorists, activists, and others might find this opinion piece interesting.

New York Times, February 19, 2012, 9:00 PM
Is This the End of Market Democracy?

The 2012 election will offer voters a stark choice between right and left alternatives.

President Obama is calling for:
investing in things like education that gives everybody a chance to succeed. A tax code that makes sure everybody pays their fair share. And laws that make sure everybody follows the rules. That’s what will transform our economy. That’s what will grow our middle class again.
Republicans, in turn, are denouncing the expansion of a Democratic “entitlement society” and what they see as a trend toward European social democracy. They are calling for sharply reduced taxes, regulation and government spending to free market forces and revive private sector economic growth.

While Americans are going to be able to choose between two contrasting ideologies, what if both choices are off the mark? What if the legitimacy of free market capitalism in America is facing fundamental challenges that the candidates and their parties are not addressing?

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Tips Jar

The Number One Mistake People I Interview Are Making These Days

Whether we spent thirty minutes meeting in the offices; we Skyped because you're abroad for your Junior spring semester; or we did a quick first-round phone interview, too many people are forgetting to follow up later that day or the next day with a quick email....


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fun with Words and Numbers

Candidates' relative use of top twenty words in debate held on 22 February 2012.

Top twenty substantive words used by each candidate in debate held on 22 Feb 2012.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Anth/Soc Department Career Night 7 March

W A T C H  T H I S  S P A C E !

7 March
6-8 pm
Vera Long

Mills anth/soc grads will talk about the trajectories that took them from here to there (law, public health research, city planning, environmental remediation, social work, policy analysis, entrepreneurship, and more).  Food too!


(PAID) Summer Research Opportunity in Urban Sociology

Are you going to be a student in the fall?  Look at this opportunity if you are!
The Department of Geosciences at Georgia State will host a NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site this summer called "Addressing Social and Environmental Disparities through Community Geography and Geographic Information Systems".  The program runs June 18th – August 2nd.
Working with faculty mentors, 10 selected undergraduates will engage in community-based research and fieldwork in some of Atlanta's poorest neighborhoods to quantitatively and qualitatively examine neighborhood change, property markets, air and soil quality, urban green spaces, and neighborhood visioning in partnership with neighborhood residents and community groups.
Each REU student will receive a competitive funding package, including: a $3000 stipend, up to $250 in travel support to/from Atlanta, up to $750 for conference presentations, free room and board at GSU, and 3 required texts.
Applications are due Friday, March 23rd @ 5 PM EST. Complete application instructions and the application form can be found at
To Learn More: Visit
Any questions can be directed to the Dr. Timothy Hawthorne (PI) at or Dr. Katherine Hankins (Co-PI) at
The CSAW REU site is committed to including students from all socio-demographic backgrounds, and will strive for inclusion of students from underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and first-generation college students.  Each student must be an undergraduate enrolled in a college or university in the United States in the fall of 2012. Students graduating prior to the start of the REU program are not eligibile to apply.  As a program funded by The National Science Foundation, the student must also be a U.S. citizen.

Maggie Hunter : Faculty Talk THIS Wednesday

Professor Maggie Hunter is giving a talk in the Provost’s lecture series this Wednesday at 12:00 noon in the Faculty Lounge in Rothwell (behind the TeaShop).

"Skin Bleaching and Cosmetic Surgery in a Globalized World."

The use of skin-bleaching creams is on the rise throughout the Global South and cosmetic surgery has increased dramatically among people of color in wealthy countries. Public discourse, however, is fraught with tension over these manipulations of the body. This paper examines three competing discourses: 1) beauty discourse, based on the mass-marketing of whitening products and multi-million dollar celebrity endorsements, 2) public health discourse, designed to dissuade potential skin-bleachers by focusing on the physical dangers of bleaching, and often neglecting the social imperatives of whiteness and 3) cosmetic surgery discourse, created to sell cosmetic surgery to the new and growing “ethnic” market by easing racial fears and anxieties.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize for Visual Sociology

The Social Science Research Council announces a twenty-year program of biannual grants from the Mark Family Fund for the Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize for Visual Sociology.The purpose of the Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize for Visual Sociology is to encourage students of the social sciences to incorporate visual analysis in their study and understanding of social phenomena. 

The contest is open to undergraduate and graduate students (majoring in any social science). Students must be currently enrolled or have received their degrees no earlier than the end of the term finishing just before the meeting of the International Sociological Association (ISA) at which the prize is to be awarded. 

Entries for the third round of the contest (prizes to be awarded at the Second ISA Forum of Sociology: Social Justice and Democratization, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in August 2012) must be received by April 20, 2012. Up to three cash prizes will be awarded, with the winners being chosen by June 5, 2012. The first prize will be $2500 (USD), the second $1500, and the third $500. 

It is anticipated that the prize will be awarded biennially. 

Entries consist of 
1) a social science commentary (up to 4000 characters in length, in English) on one of the photos by Rachel Tanur displayed at to be posted on the website, 
2) an original photo taken by the entrant and an accompanying social science commentary (up to 4000 characters in length, in English), both to be posted at and 
3) a letter (which should be sent to from the student’s advisor or other official from the contestant’s  department attesting to his/her student status.  

For full information and to submit material for the contest, please go to

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

'Social glasses' may reveal a person's true colors

'Social glasses' may reveal a person's true colors
"A rosy blush or the sickly green color of a person's skin can tell very different stories about mood and health to human eyes ― a deceptively powerful insight about eyesight. Now a startup has begun creating "social glasses" capable of ... harness[ing] the power of human eyes to notice skin color changes ...[that] may enable ordinary people still see common social signals through their dark shades." (InnovationNewsDaily 2/2/12)
What WILL they think of next? If this strikes you as NOT being an article in The Onion, you might also find interesting Alex Pentland's Honest Signals (a review here). Goffman's ideas about interaction rituals and strategic interaction will probably be in play for a little while longer, but stay tuned....

Monday, February 6, 2012


The Public Policy Program is sponsoring this event.  They are partnering with Career Services to offer it to a wider audience.  If you are interested in federal internship opportunities (and, no, they are not ALL in DC!), they'd love to see you there!

Partnership for Public Service


Learn how to land your dream internship from Go Government!

This Call to Serve webinar is for students interested in finding and applying for internships for Summer 2012, as well as those advisors looking for more information about federal opportunities to share with their students.

During this session, we will highlight a number of exciting internships across government and show you how to research, find and apply for an internship that’s right for you.

Join us for this special viewing in Cowell 113
Wednesday, February 8, 2pm-3pm.

Tweet from Pew Research Center

@pewresearch: You can search for any survey question we asked in the Pew Rsch Ctr for the People & Press database

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Poll Database includes survey questions from all national People & the Press polls. To search for a question, enter any keyword or combination of words and/or select a topic area of interest.