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2009 Meeting (Cornell College)

Cornell Hosts the 2009 Iowa Sociological Association Conference

The Iowa Sociological Association Annual Meeting on April 24, 2009 brought together almost 50 student and faculty participants from Iowa colleges and universities to the Cornell College campus in Mount Vernon. This conference provides a unique opportunity for undergraduates from across the state of Iowa to present their research to peers, parents, and professors and to discuss and defend their work in an academic atmosphere. Papers this year were divided into several topics, including immigration and discrimination, gender and race, social policy, religion, and issues of mind and body.

A total of 23 students presented papers at the ISA conference.  Four awards for student papers are presented to participants: the best paper submitted by a junior or senior, the best paper submitted by a first or second-year student, the best paper on a criminal justice topic, and the best paper integrating theory and research.

The winner of the Manfred Kuhn Award for best paper submitted by a junior or senior was Chris Davis of Cornell College for his paper, “Filling the Gap: An Examination of Body Dissatisfaction of Differences of Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men.” 

The winner of the Steve Wieting Award for the paper best combining theory and research was Natalie Turner of the University of Northern Iowa for her paper, “Feminism Hits the Mainstream: Gender, Sexuality, and Comic Book Sheroes.”

The winner of the Mary Alice Ericson Award for the best freshman-sophomore paper was Annie Schneider of Cornell College for her paper. “Reimagining South Africa: Feminist Theology and Violence Against Women.”

The winner of the Ward Reynoldson Award for the best paper on a criminal justice topic was Sarah Wittig Galgano of University of Iowa for her paper, Barriers in Reintegration: An Audit Study of Impact of Race and Offender Status on Employment Opportunities for Women.”

The conference included a keynote address by Tanya Golash-Boza of the University of Kansas.  In her address entitled, “Age of Exile: Racism and Mass Deportation in the 21st Century” Professor Golash-Boza argues that the United States is currently in an era of mass deportation. Rates of deportation – nearly 1000 people per day – are at their highest point in history.  Further, she examines the role that racism in immigration and law enforcement plays in immigration policy and deportation practices.

The Sociology Department at Cornell College wishes to thank Richard Peterson of Cornell College, Kenneth Sanchagrin of the University of Iowa, and Megan Tesene, Justin Stoll, and
Gayle Rhineberger-Dunn of the University of Northern Iowa for serving as judges in the ISA paper competition this year. We are also grateful to Kent McClelland, Char Kunkel, and Mary Beth Stalp for their advice on organizing the meeting, to Cornell student organizers Rebecca Sullens, Candice Kociemba, and David Kugler for their logistical work, and to the organizations who helped fund this conference including the MSS, the Berry Center, and LACE among others.