Jennifer Kinney, Valerie Kessler, Usha Dhakal, and Chelsea Goldstein
Jennifer Kinney, Valerie Kessler, Usha Dhakal, and Chelsea Goldstein at the Scripps Gerontology Center
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The Department of Sociology and Gerontology provides its students with opportunities and the expectation to be active learners fully engaged in exploring our most important societal issues, including social justice, aging, and criminology.
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Chair's Welcome
Stephen Lippman
Greetings from the third floor of Upham Hall! We are excited to share the latest news from the Department of Sociology and Gerontology at Miami. It’s been another exciting and productive year here.
Our faculty continue to produce groundbreaking research, our alumni doing amazing things, and our students are doing impressive work in and out of the classroom. Our students receive university-wide awards, including several that were awarded the Presidents Distinguished Service Award. As usual, they continue to get accepted to prestigious graduate and law schools. Our faculty are also recognized for their outstanding commitment and contributions. 
In just this year, Dr. Kristen Budd won the university-wide Knox Distinguished Teaching Award, and Dr. Ryan Gunderson received the received the 2019 Early Career Award from the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences. We also hosted the Ohio Association for Gerontology and Education, with Drs. Jennifer Kinney and Kate de Medeiros leading the efforts. It was a tremendous success!
Several exciting developments are underway in the department. In August, Dr. Saruna Ghimire joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Gerontology and Public Health. The Betty Kent Award continues to fund undergraduate research, and now undergraduate internships. The newly formed Ruth Hill Useem scholarship honors an early graduate of our department who went on to a career researching the role that exposure to global culture has on identity and development.
While preparing this newsletter, I’ve had the chance to catch up with students and alumni, and continue to be amazed by all of the great work they do. I’d love to hear from as many as you (and those I may not have met!) as possible. Please, drop me a note sometime and let me know what you’ve been up to. Our commitment to our students at Miami does not end when the semester is over. One of the most satisfying aspects of the work we do is seeing what our former students accomplish after they leave the friendly confines of Miami’s campus. I hope you’ll read more about the exciting developments among faculty, students, and alumni in this newsletter, and take the opportunity to reconnect with all of them.
Stephen Lippmann
Professor and Chair
Faculty Spotlights: Saruna Ghimire, James Meeker, and Kristen Budd
Saruna Ghimire
Saruna Ghimire
Kristen Budd
Kristen Budd
Dr. Saruna Ghimire joined the Department of Sociology and Gerontology in the fall of 2019. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Public Health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Her research focuses on health and well-being in late life and understanding the determinants of healthy aging. After completing her Master's in Pubic Health in England, Dr. Ghimire returned to her native country of Nepal, where she spent four years as an Assistant Professor of Public Health Program Coordinator at Valley College in Kathmandu. Dr. Ghimire has extensive research experience, including collaborations with researchers around the globe.
Dr. James Meeker joined the department as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology in the fall of 2019. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Kent State University. He has an eclectic research and teaching agenda, and is already making contributions to our programs in criminology and medical sociology, in addition to a variety of other areas.
Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology Dr. Kristen Budd was recognized with two awards this past year for her outstanding teaching.  The first was the Knox Distinguished Teaching Award, and the second was the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Greater Cincinnati Collegiate Connection. Congratulations to Dr. Budd!
Alumni Spotlights: Chris Rodriguez, Andrew Illig, and Anthony Williams
Chris Rodriguez
Chris Rodriguez
Andrew Illig
Andrew Illig
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
We reconnected with several departmental alumni, who are doing very different, but very interesting things. 
  • Chris Rodriguez (Sociology ’09) is Core Account Executive at Salesforce in Chicago.
  • Andrew Illig (Sociology and Criminology, ’12) is attorney with Reminger Co., L.P.A. in Cleveland. 
  • Anthony Williams (Gernotology, ’10, MGS) is Health Services Administrator at Episcopal Retirement Services in Cincinnati.
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Oxford, OH 45056 
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