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WSC to Host Nebraska Undergraduate Sociology Symposium (NUSS)

Published Monday, November 7th, 2016

This year's symposium will be held Nov. 10 and 11. Students will present original sociological research and attend panels for professional development.

The Wayne State College Sociology program is hosting the 49th Nebraska Undergraduate Sociology Symposium (NUSS) on Nov. 10 and 11. 

“The speakers featured at the conference this year are phenomenal,’’ said. Dr. Monica Snowden, co-organizer of the conference and WSC faculty member. “NUSS is open to the campus so anyone can attend paper sessions as well as the speakers.”

Each year a different Nebraska campus hosts the annual NUSS conference. Students and faculty from UNO, UNL, UNK, Creighton, Doane, Midlands, Wesleyan, and WSC regularly participate. Students present original sociological research and attend panels for professional development. 

A Professor of Sociology at Boston College, Dr. Charles Derber focuses on political economy, political sociology, environmental sociology and social change. His books address globalization, corporations and society, climate change, the sociology of war and peace, and social movements. As a public sociologist, Dr. Derber advocates for widely-accessible scholarship that can empower citizens to seek social justice. 

Dr. Derber’s books include "Capitalism: Should You Buy It?" (2015); "Sociopathic Society" (2013); "People Before Profit: The New Globalization in an Age of Terror, Big Money, and Economic Crisis" (2003); and "The Wilding of America: Money, Mayhem, and the New American Dream" (2015). "Hidden Power: What You Need to Know to Save Our Democracy" (2005) has been selected by the Independent Publishers of America as one of the three best current events books in the United States. Dr. Derber asserts that new visions and political movements are needed to offer alternative solutions.

Assistant Professor of Sociology at Ohio State, Hollie Nyseth Brehm teaches classes on conflict, global crime, and terrorism. Her research focuses on the causes and processes of genocide and on how countries rebuild in the aftermath of atrocity. She has lived and worked in Rwanda and Bosnia. She interviewed those who have committed and those who have been affected by genocide. A member of a government atrocity prevention task force, she regularly consults with the Rwandan National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide. She also volunteers with the Center for Victims of Torture and is a core member of I-Activism, which provides humanitarian action to people affected by mass atrocity in Darfur. She has previously served as the chair of a school board for English Language Learners and has worked with numerous human rights organizations, such as the Mexico City Human Rights Commission. In 2014, she was named one of the top 30 thinkers under 30 by Pacific Standard, a national public interest magazine.

Space for conversation throughout the conference can be found in either the Elkhorn Room or the Niobrara Room (when not being used for sessions) or in any of the lounge areas right outside the Elkhorn Room of the Kanter Student Center.

The schedule of events at the Kanter Student Center includes:

Thursday, Nov. 10

10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check-in and registration in upper lobby

12:30 to 12:45 p.m. Welcome by Dr. Tammy Evetovich, Dean of Natural and Social Sciences at Wayne State College, in Niobrara Room (West)

1 to 2:15 p.m. Presentations: 

LGBT Challenges in Niobrara Room (West)
Session Moderator: Dominic Reinke, Wayne State College 
Lily Kinkade and Grace Spath, Midland University: “The Obstacles and Challenges that Members of the LGBT Community Face” 
Tiff Weekley, University of Nebraska-Kearney: “Transgender Inclusion in Higher Education” 
Emily A. Leeper and Mariah K. Leasure, Wayne State College: “College Students’ Perceptions of Varying Genders and Sexual Stereotypes” 

Qualitative Research in Methods Class in Niobrara Room (East)
Session Moderator: Dr. Todd Greene, Wayne State College 
Nick Sachau, Wayne State College: “Breaking the Mirror: A Case Study of High Achieving Students in an Anti-Intellectual Time” 
Veronica Lawrence, Wayne State College: “Choosing Between Faith and Reality: A Case Study of Catholics Coping with Contraceptive Guilt” 
Ariana Castanon, Wayne State College: “The Trinity of Identities: How Immigrants Successfully Cope in America”

Friday, Nov. 11

7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Faculty breakfast meeting in Elkhorn Room

9 to 10:30 a.m. Presentations:

Addictions, Infidelity, Masculinity, and Politics, Niobrara Room
Session Moderators: Emily Leeper and Mariah Leasure, Wayne State College 
Brittany Korth and Katie Franklin, Midland University: “Social Media and Internet Usage: An Addictive Habit of Undergraduate Students” 
Taylor Erdkamp, Doane University: “More Work, More Infidelity??? The Relationship Between Employment Characteristics and Infidelity” 
Caitlin Williams, University of Nebraska-Kearney: “Doing Masculinity in College: An Examination of Gender, Alcohol Consumption, Academic Attainment and Sexual Assault” 
Kelsey Hunter, Doane University: “Political Socialization Among College Students: The Role of Educational and Experiential Factors” 

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Skype Session sponsored in part by the WSC chapter of Pi Gamma Mu: Dr. Charles Derber, Boston College: “The Wilding of America” 

12:15-1:30 p.m. Presentation: 

Graduate School Question and Answer Panel, Elkhorn Room
Session Moderators: Dr. Julie Pelton, University of Nebraska-Omaha and Dr. Regina Werum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kentavis Brice, University of Nebraska-Omaha 
Brian Sewell, University of Nebraska-Omaha 
Bre Thompson, University of Nebraska-Omaha 
Patrick Habecker, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
Sela Harcey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
Shawn Ratcliff, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
Brian Tussey, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

2:30 to 3:45 p.m. Presentations: 

Women in Cultures and Adverse Situations, Niobrara Room (West)
Session Moderator: Demetris Bumgardner
Samantha Vallabhbhai, Doane University: “The Roles and Rights of Women in Biblical Literature and Sacred Hindu Texts” 
Greer Schulte, University of Nebraska-Omaha: “Nationalism and the Women in Iceland: Is it a Positive or Negative Relationship?” 
Grace Kelly, Doane University: “Alcohol Use Disorder Among Homeless Women: Examining the Influence of Victimization Experiences” 

Immigrants and Refuges, Niobrara Room (East)
Session Moderator: Henry Miller, Wayne State College 
Katherine Kroeger, University of Nebraska-Omaha: “Success and Engagement of Nepali Bhutanese Refugee Students in Higher Education” 
Dominic Francis Reinke, Wayne State College: “No More Than Five in Our Community: A Case Study of the Attitudes of Small-Town Americans Towards Middle Eastern Immigrants” 
Sharon Tighe-Dolan, Creighton University: “Interning with GIS: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

4 to 5:15 p.m. Presentation:

Internships and Post-Graduation Experiences Panel in Elkhorn Room
Session Moderator: Dr. Monica Snowden, Wayne State College
Anthony Sheed Fairley, Midland University 
Sara Marker, Midland University 
Kentavis Brice, Wayne State College Alumnus 
Brenda Delano, Wayne State College Alumna 
Isaac French, Wayne State College Alumnus 
Eva Herrera, Wayne State College Alumna 

5:45 to 8:30 p.m. Banquet in Frey Conference Suite 

5:45 p.m. Dinner

6:45 p.m. Welcome: Dr. Monica Snowden, NUSS Co-Coordinator 

7 p.m. Undergraduate Paper Competition Awards Ceremony: Dr. Todd Greene, NUSS Co-Coordinator and Dr. Monica Snowden, NUSS Co-Coordinator 

7:15 p.m. Keynote Address by Dr. Hollie Nyseth Brehm: “Genocide, Justice, and Peace: Causes and Consequences of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide”
In 1994, more than one million people were killed in the genocide in Rwanda, and hundreds of thousands of civilians were implicated as perpetrators. Using Rwanda as a case study, this talk will begin by discussing what sociologists know about why genocide happens and how it unfolds. Dr. Hollie Nyseth Brehm will examine the gacaca court system that was implemented in the aftermath of the genocide. Drawing upon 250 interviews with defendants, judges and witnesses from these local trials, she will assess how the gacaca courts functioned and the lasting effect they have had in Rwanda today.

For more information, please contact Dr. Monica Snowden at 402-375-7136.