Valley view of Yager Hall on the Hartwick College campus

Sociology Symposium

The (up)Roaring 2020’s:
Sociology’s Responsibility in Addressing
Recurring Social Problems


The Hartwick College Department of Sociology, Criminology & Human Services at Hartwick College is proud to present a one-day regional symposium.

The symposium will feature scholarship from undergraduate students, graduate students, and early career faculty in the Upstate New York area. We excited for attendees and participants to join us to discuss contemporary social issues, share ideas and opinions, and build a community of scholars.

We are proud to announce that Bernice A. Pescosolido, recipient of the American Sociological Association’s 2021 Public Understanding of Sociology Award, will be featured as a keynote speaker. Her participation is sponsored by the ASA Sorokin Lecture Grant.

9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Golisano Hall

Pierre Bourdieu once remarked that “many sociologists marvel at the ways in which the world changes. I marvel at how it stays the same.”

Despite some predictions that the ascendency of Western liberal democracy in the 1990’s heralded the end of the history, the 2020’s have witnessed a wholesale reversal of many of the hard-fought gains and achievements of progressive social movements in the realm of women’s rights, civil rights, and labor rights. The 2020’s have ushered in a return of nationalism, authoritarianism, and global unrest that feels more reminiscent of the Cold War era. Our symposium offers an opportunity to reflect on how we got to this point and where we might go from here.

Funding for this symposium was made possible [in part] by a Sociological Research Grant from Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society.

The American Sociological Association Sorokin Lecture Grant allowed us to host a winner of an ASA-wide award from the past two calendar years to deliver a lecture at a sociological meeting or conference. We are thrilled to feature Bernice A. Pescosolido, recipient of the ASA’s 2021 Public Understanding of Sociology Award, as our keynote speaker.

Symposium Major Areas of Focus

Introspective analyses at any stage of the research process are welcome for submission.  Some major areas of focus include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

What do recent developments such as the fall of Roe v. Wade, the war in Ukraine, and the populist political uprisings in places such as Brazil, Italy, Sweden, and the US indicate about our current political moment and the future direction of global politics?

How has late-stage capitalism altered the conventional relationships between people, places, work, and politics? What role has the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social adjustment played in undermining progressive movements?

Do recent developments such as the 2022 midterm elections in the US or Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s presidential victory in Brazil inspire hope for the remainder of the 2020’s?

General Symposium Schedule - Golisano Hall

  • 9 a.m. – Check-In
  • 10 a.m. – Keynote Address, Bernice A. Pescosolido, Distinguished Sociology Professor, Indiana University
  • 11:15-11:30 a.m. – Refreshments
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. – Morning Sessions 1-3
  • 1-2 p.m. – Lunch
  • 2-3:20 p.m. – Afternoon Sessions 4-6
  • 3:20-3:40 p.m. – Refreshments
  • 3:40-5 p.m. – Afternoon Sessions 7-9
  • 5 p.m. – Closing Remarks, Darren Reisberg, Hartwick College President

Keynote Address

Morning Sessions

10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Keynote Address: Golisano 103

11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m.

Session 1: Golisano Hall 103
Session 2: Golisano Hall 301
Session 3: Golisano Hall 303

From Sociological Science to Social Science: Mental Health, Stigma and Student Empowerment

The Experience of COVID-19 in Central New York
Alexander R. Thomas, SUNY Oneonta
Nicole Scienza, Utica University
Kirsten Kemmerer, SUNY Oneonta
Gregory M. Fulkerson, SUNY Oneonta
Sallie Han, SUNY Oneonta
Elizabeth Seale, SUNY Oneonta
Laurah Klepinger, Utica University
James Zians, SUNY Oneonta
Brian M. Lowe, SUNY Oneonta

Police violence in Black and white: A comparative case history of mainstream and Black newspaper accounts of Denise Hawkins’ 1975 killing in Rochester, NY
Ted Forsyth, Alfred University
Mallory Szymanski, Alfred University

The Criminal Justice System and the Social Issue of Domestic Violence in Postsocialist China
Tiantian Zheng, SUNY Cortland

Where do you live? The effect of areas of residence on intimate partner violence
Mickaela Gulla, Hartwick College
Tristani Makharashvili, Hartwick College
Elena Chernyak, Hartwick College

Palestine – The Dynamics of Occupation
Stuart Parker, Kingsborough Community College – CUNY

“Asian American” as a Floating Signifier: Ascribing and Redefining Racial and Ethnic Identity at a PWI
Shania Kuo, Hamilton College

US Fascism: One Nation, Under God, with Liberty and Justice for Some
Ari Haney, Binghamton University

Patterns of Espionage: The Differences In Gender, Sociological Characteristics, and Motivations Behind One of America’s Most Notorious Crimes
Grace-Ann Porpeglia, Hartwick College

Afternoon Sessions

2:00 p.m.-3:20 p.m.

Session 4: Golisano Hall 103
Session 5: Golisano Hall 301
Session 6: Golisano Hall 303

3:40 p.m.-5 p.m.

Session 7: Golisano Hall 301
Session 8: Golisano Hall 103
Session 9: Golisano Hall 303

The Latin Question: Tracing the historical construction of political and racial identity among Latines in the United States?
Arturo H. Enamorado III, Kingsborough Community College
Xavier Moyssén Álvarez, CUNY Mexican Studies Institute, CUNY New York College of Technology

Populist Politics in Realigning Mexico: Evidences from History
Xavier Moyssén Álvarez, CUNY Mexican Studies Institute, CUNY New York College of Technology

Harnessing el nuevo petróleo: La economía naranja and Urban Displacement in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
Michael Stephens, Binghamton University

A Tale of Two Wars – Columbia vs. Afghanistan: The United States’ Policy Agendas, Securitization & Counterterrorism
Grace-Ann Porpeglia, Hartwick College

“The best marketing device ever!”: Illiberal identifications for the last emporium on earth
Thomas F. Bechtold, University of Tennessee Knoxville

The Ruling Class Does Rule: Reflections on the UAW-Volkswagen Labor Organizing Campaign
Zachary McKenney, Hartwick College

New Fears: Shifting Cultural Representations and New Tropes in Horror Movies
Kelsey Berry, SUNY Brockport

Rural Monsters: The Criminalization of Poor Rural Whites through Contemporary Horror Video Games
Michael Branch, Hartwick College


Sociological aspects of Thomas Merton’s poetry
Joe Marren, SUNY Buffalo State

The Fight for Disability Rights in the Past and Present: Why We Cannot Forget the Past While Preserving Our Rights in the Present
Dan Pezzetta, George Washington University

Economics as an Unethical Discipline
Jeannette C. Mitchell, Rochester Institute of Technology

From Human to Group Rights? What can Sociology teach us about the immigration ‘problem?’
Stuart Parker, Kingsborough Community College

Strategies for the Unequal Distribution of Emotional Labor in Graduate Student and Contingent Teaching
Matthew H. McLeskey, SUNY Oswego
Laura Obernesser, SUNY Buffalo

The Impact of Partisan Control and Religion on Sexual Education in the U.S
Lillian Whelan, Hartwick College

The Influence of Conspiratorial Thinking on School Violence Reform
Ryan Ceresola, Hartwick College

Cut short or ran its course? Examining the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the Opt Out Movement in New York State
Selene M. Cammer-Bechtold, Syracuse University

Understanding the Performance and Reception of Athlete Activism
Kyle Green, SUNY Brockport

Social (Work) Distancing: The Growing Gap Between Social Workers & Legislation Post-2020
Grace-Ann Porpeglia, Hartwick College, New England College
Trevor Van Niel, New England College

Perceived power over the US government mediates the relationship of mental health to media consumption about mass shootings and the overturn of Roe v Wade
Melanie L. Mohn, Hartwick College
Madison L. Corso, Hartwick College
Italia I. Cerretani, Hartwick College
Pauller A. Musyoka, Hartwick College
Emily R. Weglein, Hartwick College
Katie E. Doliver, Hartwick College
Allan M. Dumas, Hartwick College
William J. Kowalczyk, Hartwick College

Cultivating the Sociological Imagination through Public Policy Analysis
Timothy McCorry, Medaille University

Re-Imagining Ideological Polarization: From Public Issues to Private Troubles
Kevin Clarke, Medaille University

An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Orders of Protection in Intimate Partner Violence Cases
Tabitha Peterangelo, Medaille University

The Politics of Judicial Interpretation
Emmanuel Wright, Medaille University

A Policy Analysis of Solitary Confinement for Juveniles: The Case of Kalief Browder
Sabrina (Ophelia) Banoo, Medaille University

Symposium Program

As of March 28, 2023

Download PDF

Notice of Registration Fees

To participate in the one-day symposium, all attendees must pay the appropriate registration fee of $20.

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and coffee will be provided to all participants.

If you have any questions concerning registration for the symposium, contact Lillian Whelan, our Sociology Symposium Undergraduate Coordinator, at

Registration Guidelines

The deadline for submitting abstracts has passed. Registration for the symposium is now available for participants and attendees.

Non-Hartwick affiliated attendees and participants should use this link to register.

Hartwick students should use this link to register.

A registration fee of $20 is required for all participants and attendees.

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and coffee will be provided throughout the day.

If you are interested in volunteering as a discussant for sessions during the symposium, please contact Lillian Whelan,

You may submit abstracts of individual papers for potential inclusion in a regular paper session. These abstracts will be organized into sessions by the members of the Program Committee on the basis of common themes. All regular paper submissions should include: (a) the title of the paper, (b) names, affiliations, and contact information for each author, and (c) an abstract. Abstracts should be approximately 200-300 words.

All full session proposals must include a short abstract 300-400 words detailing the theme of the proposed session. This should include a brief description of the sessions prospective broad appeal and/or connections with the 2023 meeting theme. All areas of sociology are welcome! You must include full details for all participants including submission title, submission type, abstract, three keywords, name, institution, email, and position. Participants include the presider and organizer, in addition to the presenters or panelists, and discussant, if included.

All undergraduate students who submit an abstract are also eligible to submit their full paper for consideration for the Undergraduate Student Paper Award. To be eligible for submission, a paper must not be published nor accepted for publication. Papers must be student-authored; they may be authored by a single student or co-authored by more than one student, but may not be co-authored by a faculty member or other non-student. Papers must not exceed 25 double-spaced pages (including all notes, references, and tables), and should include a brief abstract. To be eligible for the award, the author(s) must make a commitment to present the paper at the 2023 symposium.

The winner of the reward will receive a stipend and an opportunity to present their research to the wider Hartwick College community. Papers should be emailed to Zachary McKenney at by March 1, 2023.


Symposium FAQ

Discussants are responsible for reflecting on the papers or abstracts that they have received prior to their session. In turn, discussants are expected to lead the discussion by raising interesting points, asking questions derived from the presentations, or finding connections between the papers included in the session. The Program Committee will coordinate the discussant for each session and ensure that you receive some written material prior to the symposium.

No. We are very excited to plan this symposium at Hartwick College and host attendees here in Oneonta, NY. Attendees will be asked to follow health and safety measures as directed by the College. The need and desire for a virtual option will be considered in planning subsequent symposiums.

No. Papers are not required for the initial submission. However, if you are interested in having your work be considered for the Undergraduate Student Paper Award, a full paper will need to be submitted according to the guidelines above.

The Program Committee will notify all submitters of their program participation in February 2023.

Projectors, screens, and a sound system will be available for all sessions. However, presenters and/or session organizers should plan to bring their own laptop. We recommend saving an additional copy of your work to a USB drive in case you need to use another participant’s laptop. If you plan to use video clips in your presentation, we request that you include closed captions and/or audio descriptions.

Yes! Internet access will be available in all meeting spaces in Golisano Hall.

Abstracts must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 to be considered. All program participants must register for the symposium by Monday, March 6, 2023. Failure to register by Monday, March 6 will result in deletion from the final program.

Non-Hartwick affiliated participants and attendees can register by following this link.
Hartwick students can register by following this link.

Symposium Planning Committee

Dr. Elena Chernyak, Associate Professor of Sociology and Department Chair
Dr. Zachary McKenney, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Dr. Michael Branch, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice

Please direct questions to Lillian Whelan ’23, Sociology Conference Undergraduate Coordinator, at

The Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Human Services

Hartwick College
Golisano Hall
Oneonta, New York 13820