Dr. Mark Sherry, UT associate professor of sociology, not only taught his Sociology of Disability seminar graduate students how to further their knowledge and engage with other professionals, but he also assisted each student in the class with getting an article or chapter published by the end of spring semester.“What we really focused on in the class was developing advanced critical skills — exploring the nuances of the arguments in various texts, and seeing how they complemented or conflicted with others we had read,” Sherry said.
Students were guided through a range of new disability books in the first two-thirds of the class, writing reviews and engaging with the latest literature. During the last third of the class, the students completed individual projects connected to their academic interests.
Students also were given a chance to Skype and engage with leading scholars from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Mara Martinez, Abberley Sorg, Giselle Thompson and Ning Xu each wrote book reviews, which have been accepted for publication in Disability and Society, an international journal.
Laurie Michaels wrote an entry on tobacco-related exposure for The SAGE Encyclopedia of Cancer and an entry on Mexico for The SAGE Encyclopedia of Pharmacology and Society. She was chosen as the graduate student to sit on the American Sociological Association Labor Section’s Book Award Committee. She was accepted into the PhD program at Ohio State University.
Thompson wrote a review of a book called Chronic Illness, Spirituality and Healing, and has been accepted to present a paper at the Canadian Sociological Association’s Annual Conference. She also co-authored a book chapter with Dr. Rubin Patterson, UT professor and chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department, director of the Africana Studies Program and director of the Institute for the Study and Economic Engagement of Southern Africa, titled “Transnational Factors Driving U.S. Poverty and Inequality” for the Routledge Handbook of Poverty and the United States. Thompson will continue her studies at York University in Toronto.
“My level of personal and social responsibility has increased since enrolling in this program,” Thompson said. “I had great teachers at UT who have my best interest at heart. I am truly grateful for their support.”
Xu, an international student from China, reviewed a book titled Caring for Orphaned Children in China. She was accepted into the PhD program at New School University in New York, but has decided to search for employment first.
“My two years as a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at UT was challenging, yet wonderful. The professors in the department were friendly and helpful,” Xu said.
Martinez and Sorg are continuing toward their master’s degrees. Michaels, Thompson and Xu received their degrees in May.