It is my great pleasure to serve as President of the PSS for this 2015-2016 academic year. As some of you know, I have had a long (although not continuous) experience of being part of this 66 year old state-level organization. I would like to use my term in office to accomplish two goals: first, engage more sociological scholars in the PSS, and second, enhance the academic reputation of PSS as a vehicle for student mentorship.
For the last couple of years, I have written or spoken about increasing the reach and presence of our state-level association within the various sociological communities in Pennsylvania—state and private colleges and universities, large and small. My central argument focused on the power and prestige of the American Sociological Society (ASA) and the need to counter ASA elitism. There are many Pennsylvania sociologists doing excellent research and pedagogical inquiry who do not get opportunities to attend or present at the ASA; one factor in this equation being the high cost of attendance. A state-level organization provides scholars and master teachers the opportunity for building social capital.
State-level sociological associations also provide excellent opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to acquire professional presentation experience and build resumes for graduate school. Zito (2015) recently wrote of the commitment to meaningful mentorship that can be offered at localized meetings.
The theme of next year’s meeting at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (October 28-29, 2016) is "Social Justice and Sociology: Understanding and Action." The broad array of topics possible within this framework will provide opportunities to many sociological scholars. Please help me accomplish my two goals by reaching out to colleagues and ask them to join us in Bloomsburg. Encourage them to bring students. This year (Edinboro University), we had a great turnout of undergraduate and graduate works—papers and posters.
See you in Bloomsburg!
Zito, R., (2015). Bolstering Confidence and Understanding by Presenting with Undergraduates at Regional Meetings, Footnotes, 43, 1, p.5.