Dear Faculty, Students, and Alumni
The School of Social Sciences has been through some major changes, developments, and achievements this past year, which is why I am pleased to introduce our first annual report, titled “Progress.” We prioritize moving our students toward their academic and career goals, which is fitting for the theme of our annual report.
As readers move through this report, they will find different aspects of progress displayed. We broadened the scope of our work to serve you more in the community. Several new academic programs will attend to the educational and career aspirations of our students and graduates. Faculty and student successes are another theme, and they are joined by alumni who have taken their education and followed their dreams.
We are so proud of our students who work hard to meet the challenges of modern education. We aim to give them the types of experiences that will ready them for the world, among which was the creation of this annual report. Journalism students in Dr. Jane Dailey’s course JOUR-J 349: Public Relations Writing took on the project of creating the theme and interviewing faculty and students about their experiences. I’m very pleased with the work that went into creating and finalizing this publication.
The School of Social Sciences continues to meet our mission to help our students reach their highest potential. The pieces of this annual report highlight the importance of higher education in all aspects of life. Please reach out to us regarding your thoughts about our role in the community.
Kelly A. Ryan
Dean, School of Social Sciences
Indiana University Southeast
Promoting a Free Press: Adam Maksl
Dr. Adam Maksl has had a passion from a very young age to provide freedom of speech and press protections for student journalists. Testifying in front of the Indiana State Senate on March 15, 2017 on behalf of House Bill 1130, a bill to provide such protections, allowed him to work toward one of his goals.
An Assistant Professor of Journalism & Media at Indiana University Southeast since August 2012, Dr. Maksl helped turn the IU Southeast student newspaper, The Horizon, into an award-winning multimedia news lab. In 2015, the newspaper won the Pacemaker Award, a top prize across the nation for college newspapers.
“Students often come into school thinking there’s a right or wrong answer to everything, such as school or career. In the long term, education has more value to the student if we break that.”
“When I was a kid, starting at 10 years old, I got involved in youth journalism organizations,” Maksl said. As time went on, he also became involved with university outreach programs for high school journalism students and teachers. His teaching philosophy is driven by his desire to nurture independent thought and motivation.
“Students often come into school thinking there’s a right or wrong answer to everything, such as school or career. In the long term, education has more value to the student if we break that,” said Maksl.
Dr. Maksl has helped the IU Southeast Journalism & Media Department keep pace with the world of technology. Currently, Dr. Maksl is introducing a Bachelor of Science program in Journalism & Media to incorporate more technical fields such as Informatics, a field of information science that examines how to use technology to solve problems in other fields. “All companies are media companies today,” Maksl said. “There’s an opportunity in many businesses and other organizations, like nonprofits and government, to use journalism and media communication skills.”
Lending a Helping Hand:
Indiana University Southeast’s School of Social Sciences has played an important role in assisting the community and lending a helping hand to those in need. Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana have been working together in an effort to support those suffering from homelessness.
The IU Southeast School of Social Sciences jumped at the opportunity to help their community with the Exit 0 project. Exit 0 provides food, showers, and support to the homeless.
The School of Social Sciences and others on campus combined forces and collected over $950 and 22 large boxes of food for the homeless and under-privileged in the surrounding area. Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Dr. Kelly Ryan stated, “The School of Social Sciences wanted to get involved with Exit 0 because our school focuses on social problems. We’re just deeply concerned with the functioning of society.”
In addition to working with Exit O, Dr. Melissa Fry, Associate Professor of Sociology, spearheaded a volunteer program for students and faculty in the School of Social Sciences to help staff a shelter for the homeless of Clark and Floyd counties when weather reaches below 35 degrees. Fry noted the Salvation Army and Homeless Coalition of Southern Indiana need all the help they can get for the project that started in December.Students and faculty played an important role in making sure this service continued.
Fry’s work is not limited to the homeless. As director of the Applied Research and Education Center, Fry has been vital to the development of community responses to drug and alcohol abuse. Our Place Drug and Alcohol Education Services awarded her with the Jamey Aebersold Spirit of Red Ribbon Award for her role in providing evaluation services to the organization to assess the effectiveness of their initiatives.
By taking part in such efforts, Social Science students and faculty extend a real sense of kinship to the community. Teaching not only from the classroom but through community engagement, the School of Social Sciences hopes to continue its efforts during the next academic year to strive for the education and progress of the community.
Social Sciences on Tap
Summer-like weather on Thursday, April 13, 2017, brought a full audience, both inside and out, to the dining area of the New Albanian Cafe and Brewhouse on Bank Street. Members of the community along with IU Southeast students, faculty and alumni mingled while dining on burgers and craft beer.
Indiana University Southeast began partnering with the New Albanian Brewing Company in December 2016 to host “Social Sciences on Tap,” an informative event on the second Thursday of every month. Faculty from the School of Social Sciences discuss relevant local, national, and global topics with the community. Various topics have included the future of Cuba after Fidel Castro, the formula for making successful small talk, neuro-enhancements, and the criminalization of women. The primary goal of this event has been to encourage meaningful discussion within the community.
April’s guest speaker was Dr. Quinn Dauer, Assistant Professor of History. He discussed the events surrounding the 2010 Haitian Earthquake and other natural disasters, followed by a Q & A session with those in attendance. The talk was timely, given the rise in tornados and other natural disasters as the United States entered storm season. Dr. Dauer stressed the human element in creating disasters, noting “disasters are not natural. Humans, in the way they have built their environment, create the conditions for disaster.”
“Social Sciences on Tap” will continue during the 2017-2018 school year, beginning in September, when Dr. Jean Abshire will discuss changes in European politics. To stay abreast of the most recent events, check out IU Southeast’s Social Sciences home page and our Facebook page.
Social Sciences Forum
Engaging the Community
Progress implies change, and change is something that our country has experienced plenty of in the past year. Whether or not you consider these changes to be positive or negative, it is safe to say that they have acted as catalysts for demonstrations of passion and explorations of truth. In an effort to bring our students and community members more in touch with some of these pressing topics, the School of Social Sciences continues its tradition of hosting free, informational forums. These forums are set up as panel discussions at which topic-experts from the university speak and share their knowledge.
The first forum, “Taking a Knee and Taking a Stand: A Discussion of the Black Lives Matter Movement,” took place on October 26, 2016. Dr. Elizabeth Gritter, Assistant Professor of History, Dr. Veronica Medina, Assistant Professor of Sociology, and Dr. Jennifer Ortiz, Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, served as the forum’s panel leaders. The historical background and causes of the movement were among topics discussed as well as the involvement of athletes, entertainers, and other prominent figures. The forum aimed to give attendees greater context for understanding the issues surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The second forum hosted by the School, “Fake News: The Death of Truth?” occurred on March 1, 2017. The team of panelists included Dr. Jane Dailey, Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Relations, Dr. Adam Maksl, Assistant Professor of Journalism, and Dr. Valérie Scott, Senior Lecturer in Psychology. The forum delved into various ideas surrounding the topic of fake news, such as the importance of being media literate and the implications fake news can have on the practice of public relations. The panel also discussed the role of psychology in interpreting what is true and what is untrue.
Discussions of the Black Lives Matter movement and fake news were great opportunities to bring the skills and knowledge of the School of Social Sciences outside of the classroom. According to Dr. Scott, who appeared at the Fake News event, cognitive and social psychology have contributed much understanding to the psychological mechanisms―in this case, judgment biases―that help to make misrepresentations so successful. She described how confirmation bias, the tendency to interpret evidence to support pre-existing beliefs while ignoring conflicting information, is one phenomenon that makes well-targeted falsehoods stick.
The Black Lives Matter Movement and fake news have had significant impacts on our society. In the School of Social Sciences, we believe progress is made when people choose to become educated on such topics, rather than ignore them and the perspectives of others. It has been and will always be our purpose to give our students and the community a chance to become more empathetic and more critical thinkers.
We are hopeful that the next forum will bring yet another chance for progress. To stay in touch with future Social Science Forum events, check out our Facebook page or visit our website.
From Indiana to Cuba, Dr. Cliff Staten
Alumni attending Social Sciences on Tap often light up when they run into Dr. Cliff Staten, Professor of Political Science and
International Studies at IU Southeast. Dr. Staten came to IU Southeast in 1989 and served as Dean of the School of Social Sciences in addition to his key roles in educating students. He continues to enjoy combining his two main interests, International Studies and Political Science, teaching advanced courses on Latin American politics, US foreign policy, international political economies, and terrorism. Dr. Staten has written two books: The History of Cuba and The History of Nicaragua.
A few years ago, he was able to lead a 3-week student expedition to Cuba. Staten said “I had previously traveled to Cuba but this was a different type of trip. These wonderful IUS students allowed me to see the changes that are taking place in Cuba through their eyes. For this reason these students will always be very special to me.”
Dr. Staten directs the IU Southeast Model UN program, where most of his students probably remember him best. Since his arrival on campus, he has organized, prepared, and mentored IU Southeast students to participate in the model UN. “It’s a labor of love for me,” said Staten. “I participated in the model UN when I was a junior in high school and have been associated with it each year since then. The Model UN is a simulation and I firmly believe that it is a tremendous teaching technique. Students not only become knowledgeable about the UN, important issues in international politics, diplomacy, and various countries of the world, they develop important skills that will help them in any career and will make them lifelong citizen learners.”
Award Winning Teaching
Dr. Bernadette Jessie, Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, won the 2017 Inaugural Faculty Innovation Award, from the IU Southeast Institute for Learning and Teaching Excellence (ILTE). Jessie’s contribution to classroom innovation involved the elaborate and meticulous staging of crime scenes using real locations such as residences and live actors—often students—as victims. Like the other nominees, Jessie replaces the traditional definition of “classroom” with a learning environment that is interactive, demanding and open-ended.
The School of Social Sciences has many hardworking and dedicated students who try to balance modern everyday demands with their coursework. We recently caught up with Hayley Jackey, a Criminology and Criminal Justice Major, who is practically a fixture in the halls of Crestview. Jackey serves as the President of the Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA), a very active group on campus which recently won an award at the IU Southeast Campus Commitment Awards Ceremony.
Q: What is your day-to-day schedule?
A: Many students and professors in Crestview know me because I am on campus for a long period of time every day. I never miss class and I get to school early, before some professors. I usually arrive between 9:00 and 10:00 A.M. and leave around 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. I leave on the later side when we have CJSA meetings. I like to do my schoolwork on campus to make sure it gets my full attention, and if I have questions, my professors are usually on campus to answer.
Prior to arriving at school, I have already completed my work at Chick-Fil-A, where I am a full time employee. I have been there for about a year and a half. Occasionally, I work the evening shift after classes rather than the early morning shift. While working, I have had to learn to balance being a full time student and still being involved with events on campus. Recently, I became a research assistant for Dr. Jennifer Ortiz. I assist her on her research project and she gives me guidance in my own course of study.
Q: What do you do as Criminal Justice Student Association President?
A: Over the past year, CJSA worked so hard to get our name out there and to gain attention for the organization. We won the diversity award at the Campus Commitment Awards banquet for the films that we showed, The Mask You Live In and 13th. The organization hosted several events including one that invited two formerly incarcerated individuals to share their stories with the community. This event allowed the student body to be aware of the issues surrounding re-entry. The News and Tribune featured the event in their newspaper, so we were able to reach the broader community too. We also have a continuing event that brings a guest speaker from different jobs related to criminal justice to allow students to gain knowledge on all of the job opportunities they have with their degree.
Q: What made you want to study criminal justice?
A: My high school senior forensics professor brought in a homicide detective and he just discussed his everyday job and I fell in love with it.
Q: What was one of your favorite experiences in a Social Sciences class?
A: In my corrections class over summer of 2016, I got the opportunity to tour Wabash Valley Prison and Clark County Jail. These opportunities allowed me to have a new insight on what the prisons were set up like and how the inmates lived. In Wabash, I was able to talk to some of the inmates about some of the programs … to help them while they were serving time, but to also help the community. At Clark County Jail, I got to tour the facility the way a guard does, [and] we got to go where the guards go to watch all of the cells at once without inmates knowing. To be able to tour the facilities and meet inmates and hear their stories makes those experiences ones to remember.
Q: What is your current research about?
A: My own research is titled, “Joining the Boys Club.” It’s about gendered experiences of female law enforcement officers in a Midwestern police department. I have been interviewing female officers in the Kentuckiana area to determine the extent of sexual discrimination and harassment that female officers may face in their department or on patrol. As a research assistant to Dr. Ortiz, I look at the lack of re-entry programs in the local area. The study is in its first step, so we are still in the interviewing and analysis phase.
Q: What do you want to do once you are out of college?
A: I plan to eventually get my Ph.D. and become a researcher.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: Our professors in the field are super helpful. They understand that a lot of us are working full time and going to school full time and that we have other stuff going on too. Everyone in the whole Social Sciences building helps in any way we need.
The School of Social Sciences has stepped up to meet demands for new programs. Over the past year, new programs include a degree in Neuroscience, a Graduate Certificate in Program Leadership in Psychology, a Graduate Certificate in Modern World History and a new Pre-Law minor. We are poised to prepare students for the future.
Graduate Certificate in Modern World History
Beginning in the Fall of 2017, the latest of the new Social Sciences offerings will be available to students looking to expand their knowledge of history. The Graduate Certificate in Modern World History offers coursework in United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. The idea of offering a graduate certificate came about after the History Department sent a survey to local high schools inquiring if educators were interested in pursuing higher educational opportunities. The response was an overwhelming yes! After hearing their voices, the History Department collaborated with the School of Education to make this program a standalone certificate and part of a Masters in Secondary Education. By doing so, teachers can specialize in history coursework to better prepare their own students and for history lovers to follow their interests.
The Political Science Department developed the Pre-Law Minor to strengthen the skills and knowledge one will need for the practice of law, including analytical and problem-solving skills, critical reading abilities, writing skills, oral communication and listening skills, and general research skills. The six courses in the minor prepare students for problem solving, oral communication/listening, background knowledge, and exposure to the law. Three of the required courses for the minor are: Elementary Logic, Constitutional Law, Argumentation and Debate or Introduction to Debate, Argument, and Persuasion. In addition to coursework, Dr. Rhonda Wrzenski, the faculty advisor for the program, works one-on-one with students to better develop their law school applications.
The new Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience had its first five graduates in May even though the degree was only approved in December 2016. This mad rush to learn more about the brain reflects growing interest in the role of that single organ that controls every aspect of the body. Neuroscience is a discipline that investigates how the brain and nerves of the body function, and covers three fields: Psychology, Biology, and Chemistry. Though students are required to take certain courses, the degree gives students flexibility to choose courses that are geared toward their aspirations, which may include interests in psychology, medical fields, occupational or physical therapy, or work in research laboratories. Among our first graduates, Deanna Kaparo, “learned how capable our species is at adapting to our environments and how that can help us overcome the chronic diseases society faces. The Neuroscience Program allowed me to see the potential I had to join a new field that allows me to ask questions the scientific community has never thought of or been able to access before.”
Graduate Certificate in Program Leadership for Psychology
Starting in the Fall of 2016, IU Southeast began offering the new Graduate Certificate in Program Leadership and Evaluation to give students the opportunity to continue their education and expand their skills in preparation for successful careers in psychology-related fields. The program came about as a result of a survey of local non-profit and governmental employers who have a strong need for graduate expertise in these two areas. Students take courses that provide insights into how organizations work, methods for working effectively in group settings, techniques for locating funding and how to develop and assess the performance of institutional programs.
Helping Others Grow: Dr. Diane Wille
The phrase “Helping Others Grow” could be used to describe Dr. Diane Wille in a number of ways. Dr. Wille wears several hats here at IU Southeast and even more in the local community. As Dean of Research, her mission is to support and promote faculty and student research. In addition, Dr. Wille is also the Dean for Graduate Studies and a Professor for the Psychology Department. She has been a faculty member of IU Southeast and lived in southern Indiana since 1986.
Dr. Wille is a Developmental Psychologist and has had two long-running research projects. The first started in 1990 and focuses on parent/child relationships from infancy to adolescence. Through the years, she and some of her IU Southeast students have interviewed members of 56 families when the children turned 6 months, 18 months, 8 years and 15 years old. “That research has been presented by some of my IUS students at several student and professional conferences,” Wille said.
Personally, Dr. Wille stays active with two volunteer organizations. She is a Sunnyside Master Gardener, where the mission of “helping others grow” focuses on educating the public on good gardening practices and sharing their love of gardening. She is also a board member and volunteer for the Friends of the New Albany/Floyd County Library, which sponsors a book sale on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. “Paperbacks are 50¢ and hardbacks are $1…and we sell over 1,000 books at each event,” said Wille, “and boxes of other books are also donated to the jail and a local nursing home.” Helping others grow…indeed!
In 2013, Teresa Lee graduated from IU Southeast with a Bachelor of Arts in History and minors in Anthropology and Gender Studies. Shortly after graduating, she began working at the Portland Museum and is now the Educator and Visitor Services Coordinator. As part of a small team, Lee must be a jack-of-all-trades. She manages education programming and conducting tours of the museum, as well as grant writing and preservation work.
Lee believes “IU Southeast uniquely prepared me for my role at the museum.” Taking advantage of the many opportunities open to students, Lee leveraged her professors’ networks and coordinated with the Career Development Center to gain experience and determine a career path. Lee says she “was fortunate enough to have multiple opportunities to work with professionals in the museum and preservation field while still a student.” Among the skills she says she took away from her coursework was the ability to “adapt quickly as I transitioned from student to professional.” Having enthusiasm for what you do is critical to career success. “I was inspired by the passion for teaching that so many of my professors exhibited,” and it served as a model for me, she says.
Among Lee’s recent successes is designing and implementing a curriculum to teach historic preservation to young people. The centerpiece of this initiative is the historic Squire Earick House, an 1819 timber-frame house, which is the oldest wooden house in Jefferson County and the oldest building in Portland. The Portland Museum spent the last twenty years painstakingly preserving and restoring this significant piece of Portland’s early history with the support of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In April, they welcomed the National Trust and their Premier Donor Giving Society for a tour of the Earick House. This event gave the museum the opportunity to showcase their education program and highlight the important work of inspiring the next generation of preservationists.
Lee’s work is not done, and she has many goals for the future. She hopes “the program we have developed can become a model of how to engage the public during large scale preservation projects because continued public investment is essential for the institutions and agencies that fund and conduct these preservation projects.”
Reality Television Consultant: Jennifer Ortiz
In a short time with IU Southeast, Jennifer Ortiz, Assistant Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, has made a major impact through her appearances on the A&E television show “60 Days In” with Clark County, Indiana Sheriff, Jamey Noel.
“Noel used to work with another professor here, Dr. Joseph Grant,” Dr. Ortiz said. “Noel asked Grant if there was somebody that could help him conduct interviews of people who had just come out of jail.” Dr. Grant asked Ortiz and she agreed, but when she arrived at the location, she entered an interrogation room and found herself in the middle of a documentary, with cameras, lights and a production crew!
Dr. Ortiz joined the IU Southeast staff full-time in August of 2016, after leaving her home in New York City. “In addition to teaching classes at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, I worked as the research director for the New York State Permanent Commission on Sentencing,” Ortiz said. Here at IU Southeast, she is also the co-faculty adviser for Spectrum (which functions to raise awareness of LGBT issues on and off campus) and the faculty adviser for the Criminal Justice Student Association.
Ortiz takes her passion and experience and puts them to good use at IU Southeast. She has brought several law enforcement officials and formerly incarcerated individuals to speak with her IU Southeast students. “In the fall of 2016,” Ortiz explained, “I received three internal grants from IUS to do a study looking at the experiences of formerly incarcerated individuals in this area of the country. This year is just getting the voices of the formerly incarcerated. My goal next year is to implement phase two, which is to talk to people that provide these services and what they feel is potentially missing.”
Dr. Ortiz urges students to broaden their perspective on what criminal justice actually means. “Criminal Justice is one of the fields in which you can get a four-year degree and get a job,” she said, listing stenographer, bailiff and researcher as vital and rewarding positions that often get overlooked since many programs focus only on the policing aspect.