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EIU Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology at EIU Annual Newsletter - Fall 2018

Welcome from the Chair       New Faculty Spotlight     Department News
Student Organizations     Scholarships     Student Conferences     Make a Gift  

PDF version

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Friends of Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology at EIU:

Greetings and I hope this newsletter finds you well. I am happy to share with you someDr. Darren Hendrickson, Ph. D. Department Chair of the latest news from the Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology Department.

You probably already noticed the first piece of news I wanted to share, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology is now officially known as the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology. I guess after 50 years it felt like time for a change. Actually, in all seriousness, with the launch of our new B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice it seemed appropriate to update our name to accurately reflect our program offerings. While we have a new name, little else has changed. We remain committed to providing our students the best undergraduate experience possible and you can still find us in Blair Hall. 

In other news, I am very happy to announce that we welcomed a new faculty member to the Department this academic year. Dr. Mari Kita, whose specialization is in the field of Criminology, officially joined the faculty at the beginning of the fall 2018 semester. You can read more about Dr. Kita in the "New Faculty Spotlight" section of this newsletter.

Of course, our current students continue to do amazing things, both inside and outside the classroom. Whether participating in internships, student-run organizations, studying abroad, enrolling in our departmental honors program, or attending professional conferences, our students continue to make the most of their undergraduate education experience here at EIU. You can read more updates about some of our students, faculty, and the Department in the pages that follow. 

It is always a pleasure to hear about the experiences and accomplishments of our alumni and friends, so please consider sending an update of what you have been up to since leaving EIU to: or contact me personally at Also, you can connect with the Department on Facebook. Finally, if there is anything we can do to help you please let us know.


Very best regards,


Darren Hendrickson,
Associate Professor and Chair




Department News

Dr. Don Holly Named Faculty LaureateProfessor Holly, Faculty Laureate 2018-2019

Dr. Don Holly, professor of anthropology, was named EIU's 2018-2019 Faculty Laureate. This prestigious award recognizes a faculty member for excellence in teaching general educational classes. As Faculty Laureate Dr. Holly was given the honor of speaking at the fall 2018 convocation to both welcome new freshmen and transfer students and emphasize the importance of the general education curriculum. As an anthropologist, Dr. Holly used his convocation address to encourage incoming students to approach their undergraduate education like "hunters and gatherers." That is, embrace the diversity of classes and experiences within the general education curriculum much like hunters and gatherers embrace a varied and diverse diet.



Dr. Wm. Reed Benedict Retires

Professor Benedict
After 24 years of teaching and service Dr. Reed Benedict officially retired from Eastern Illinois University at the end of August 2018. During his time at EIU Dr. Benedict taught a range of courses in the area of Criminology. No doubt many of you remember taking his courses in Deviant Behavior, Juvenile Delinquency or Criminal Justice, among others. Dr. Benedict also organized a number of popular study-abroad trips to the Netherlands, which provided students the unique opportunity to study deviance in an international context. Prior to his retirement he was instrumental in developing the new B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice. We wish Dr. Benedict the best of luck in his future endeavors.





Dr. Robert "Bob" Whittenbarger Named 2017 Annuitant Ambassador of the Year

Dr. Whittenbarger, an emeritus professor and former chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, was named the 2017 Annuitant Ambassador of the Year by the Eastern Illinois University Foundation. As an ambassador at the university's Neal Welcome Center, Dr. Whittenbarger has selflessly volunteered his time over the last several years assisting visitors, students, and other guests. Congratulations to Dr. Whittenbarger on a well-deserved award!



New Faculty Spotlight  

Dr. Mari Kita, Ph. D.

Mari Kita, Ph. D.Dr. Mari Kita joined the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology in August 2018. Before coming to Eastern Illinois University, she completed her doctorate in sociology with a concentration in criminology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her research interests include comparative criminology, feminist criminology, and qualitative research methods. For her dissertation, she conducted a 20-month long ethnography in Japan observing and interviewing the family members of those who came into conflict with the law. The research contributes to a broader debate about how the consequences of violating social norms affect not only the offenders but also their family members. She argues that the criminal justice system routinely relies on the hidden and gendered labor provided by the families of offenders to fulfill its functions.

Dr. Kita teaches courses in Criminological Theory, Deviant Behavior, and Corrections. In the spring, she will instruct Juvenile Delinquency and Introduction to Criminology. As one of the two criminologists in the department, Dr. Kita is also committed to contributing to the new Criminology and Criminal Justice major. She strives to teach students, particularly those who are interested in careers in criminal justice, the importance of critical perspectives on crime and understanding how the intersections of race, gender, and class impact those who are touched by the criminal justice system.



Student Organizations

Alpha Kappa Delta

The 2017-2018 academic year was very active for the EIU AKD Chapter Eta. WeAKD Members welcomed new members, invited guest speakers, and participated in many activities and community service projects.

We are very proud to induct 18 new members at our annual Departmental Honors Reception in April. We also held two fundraisers to support the American Red Cross National Hurricane Relief efforts and the Child Advocacy Center in Coles County. We had several members who participated in the Tunnel of Oppression and one of the members led an activity teaching about racial injustices. Finally, we had multiple guest speakers talk to our members about a wide range of topics, from career opportunities to graduate school. These campus and community service activities and dedication to volunteerism are trademarks of our chapter and a testament to the character of EIU students. EIU AKD is truly making a difference.

Criminal Justice Club 

This year, the Criminal Justice Club is planning several exciting events that stimulate students' interest as well as promote networking and scholarship achievement in the field of criminal justice. Led by all-female officers (Marisa Fender as President, Juliana Gratzl as Vice-President, Jayln Long as Secretary, and Casey Smith as Treasurer), the club had a successful first meeting in early October where members watched a Netlfix series titled, The Staircase and discussed the confounding, sensational murder of Kathleen Peterson from criminological and criminal justice perspectives. At another club meeting, Albert Adkins, who recently graduated from EIU with a BA in Sociology and now works for the Coles County Probation Office, spoke with club members about his experiences as a probation officer. More recently, EIU President Dr. David Glassman spoke with club members about the field of forensic anthropology. Club members are continuing to work on creating a Facebook page for the Criminal Justice Club to further promote the club and increase membership.

Sociology/Anthropology ClubSociology/Anthropology Club

The Sociology-Anthropology Club has had an active fall semester under the leadership of President Jazel Mallaney, Vice-President Mariah Slaugher, and Secretary Alexis Reddy. On October 10th, they hosted a presentation by EIU sociology graduate Logan Lauritzen on preparing for graduate school. Lauritzen is currently a student at the University of Illinois, working on her masters in social work. On November 10th, the club organized a cheer team for Girls on the Run. For updates on future club activities, visit the the Sociology-Anthropology Club Facebook page.





William G. Wood Award

Each year the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology formallyAlleluia Musabyimana Wood Award recognizes a graduating senior who exemplifies academic excellence and a commitment to service with the William G. Wood Award.

The 2018 Wood Award recipient, Alleluia Musabyimana, is a spring 2018 graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. A resident of Minnesota, Alleluia first came to EIU as a national exchange student from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the fall of 2015. Having thoroughly enjoyed her experiences at EIU, she transferred at EIU in the fall of 2016 as a University Honors student where she became fully immersed in the EIU experience.

Alleluia was elected as EIU student senator where she served on the Senate Diversity Committee and the EIU Student Action Team advocating for an inclusive campus community and higher education funding. In 2016, she became an active member of the EIU chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociology national honor society, which emphasizes public sociology and volunteerism. Alleluia participated in two alternative Alleluia Musabyimanaspring break volunteer activities with Habitat for Humanity and SBP South Louisiana, helping with disaster recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana. She also worked as tutor for the athletics department here at EIU.

In the fall of 2016, Alleluia enrolled in the sociology departmental honors program through which she completed her undergraduate thesis "Race and Gender at Work, Men's and Women's Experiences", under the supervision of Dr. Vernon Woodley. She presented her research at EIU Undergraduate Research Conference, the Kwame Nkrumah Undergraduate Research Conference, and the National Conference for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Active (URSCA) grant, and a College of Science Scholars in Undergraduate Research at Eastern (SURE) award. Her manuscript was recently accepted for publication in the NCUR proceedings journal. Alleluia is currently serving with the Peace Corps in Indonesia. She plans to pursue a Ph. D. in Sociology when she completes her two-year tenure with the Peace Corps.



Richard and Kathy Hummel Scholarship

Kailey McCormackKailey McCormack is a senior sociology major with minors in Spanish, criminology, and family and consumer science. This year's Richard and Kathy Hummel Scholarship recipient and Twin Lakes, Wisconsin native says that her favorite course at EIU has been her Introduction to Anthropology course because she like the way the professor taught the course and always made it interesting. Graduating in December 2018, Kailey will move right into her master's program in social work at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. Her graduate training will focus on school social work with which she hopes to work in a school in southern Illinois. Kailey shared this fun fact about herself, "When I was younger, my softball team competed at Regionals for the Little League World Series two years in a row and I got to meet an Olympic gold medalists pitcher!




Sociology and Anthropology Alumni Scholarship

Carlos CollinsThis year's Sociology and Anthropology Alumni Scholarship recipient is Carlos Collins. The senior sociology major from Chicago, Illinois says that his favorite course has been Social Stratification that he took with Dr. Deerman. Carlos is preparing to apply to graduate school and is hoping to attend the University of Chicago's Social Service Administration program. Committed to social change, Carlos says that, "I ultimately aspire to create an organization that utilizes a holistic approach to aiding communities of color, specifically black communities that have been divested in." When asked for an interesting or fun fact about himself, Carlos shared that he once rode an elephant!





Stan, Dee and Megan Braden Scholarship

Maresa Jordan is this year's recipient of the Stan, Dee and Megan BradenMaresa Jordan Scholarship. Maresa, a native of Normal, Illinois, is a sociology major, minoring in both Africana studies and criminology. She has enjoyed her courses across these three programs and is particularly fond of her Racial and Cultural Minorities course, Juvenile Delinquency, and Introduction to Social Work. After graduation Maresa plans to attend graduate school in a social work program to become a healthcare social worker for children. When asked about a fun fact, Maresa went straight to the point, "I love cheesecake!"




Robert and Luz M. Whittenbarger Scholarship

Sophia KeithSophia Keith is this year's recipient of the Robert and Luz M. Whittenbarger Scholarship. A Pinckneyville, Illinois native, she is a junior double majoring in psychology and sociology. Sophia has enjoyed her Introduction to Anthropology course, as well as her Introduction to Criminology and Cognitive Neuroscience classes. After graduating from EIU, Sophia aspires to attend graduate school for occupational therapy. Sophia has been a member of the EIU track and field team since her freshman year and has contributed to the team winning two Ohio Valley Conference championships! 







Student Conference Presentations

Illinois Sociological Association Conference

On Friday, November 9th, three sociology faculty (Dr. Wade Smith, Dr. Bill Lovekamp,Illinois Sociological Association Conf. and Dr. Vernon Woodley) accompanied four sociology students (Kailey McCormack, William Harrison, Carlos Collins, and Miranda Ramirez) to the annual Illinois Sociological Association conference at Millikin University. Three of the students gave oral presentations of their supervised independent research. 

In his presentation, "What Factors Influence Urban Disadvantaged Youths Pathways to Success", Carlos Collins used interviews with African-American young adults who grew up in disadvantaged inner city neighborhoods to determine what factors encouraged some to pursue conventional paths to success, while others take less socially acceptable paths.

Kailey McCormack's study, "Effects of Family Background on EIU Students' Attitudes Toward Cohabitation", consisted of surveys of 312 Eastern Illinois University students to determine if and how their demographic traits and family backgrounds influenced their beliefs about cohabitation and persons who cohabit.

Finally, William Harrison's research, "EIU Students' Attitudes Towards Police Presence on Campus by Student Racial Identity", examined whether students of different racial categories view police presence on campus differently. All three presentations were well-received by the audience, including faculty from other state universities who strongly encouraged our student presenters to apply to their programs for graduate school.

 Make a Gift to Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology

Please help continue the tradition of distinguished teaching, learning, research, and service in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology by making a gift to support students and faculty. In these challenging fiscal times in the state of Illinois your financial contribution plays a critical role in helping ensure that students have the best educational experience possible. We are very grateful to our friends and donors for their generosity.

You can make your donation to the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology online or mail your donation along with the donor card that is included on the last page of the PDF version of this newsletter to: Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, Illinois 61920.











Related Pages

Contact Information

Eastern Illinois University
Department of Sociology/Anthropology

Blair 3170
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3123

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