Faculty & Staff

The faculty in the Sociology Department are teacher-scholars who are highly engaged in their field. In recent years, members of the department have published more than a dozen books, with more on the way, as well as numerous scholarly articles, conference presentations and other research reports. Faculty members have also been honored for excellence in teaching by the Panhellenic Association and selected to receive the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship & Creative Activities.

Gregory Fulkerson

Gregory Fulkerson, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Sociology
Office: 10-B Schumacher
Email: fulkergm@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-2834

Gregory Fulkerson

Ph.D. Sociology, North Carolina State University
M.A. Sociology, Western Michigan University
B.S. Sociology, Cognate in Environmental Studies, Michigan State University

Courses Taught
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 110 Social Problems
SOC 209 Social Research Methods
SOC 250 The Community
SOC/ENVS/GEOG 251 Food, Society, & the Environment
SOC 254 Environmental Sociology
SOC 309 Research & Analysis
SOC 352 Rural Sociology
SOC 357 Population and Social Change

For Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics:
STAT 101 Introduction to Statistics

Bio and Background
Dr. Gregory Fulkerson received his M.A in Sociology from Western Michigan University in 2000 and his Ph.D. in Sociology from North Carolina State University in 2006. He currently teaches courses for the Sociology department and the Environmental Sustainability program as an Associate Professor with SUNY College at Oneonta. He is and Director of the Population and Environment Division of the PLACES Institute. His scholarly interests are related to globalization, rurality, community, agriculture, and the environment. His current research investigates the local and global processes leading to environmental degradation, urbanization, and the cultural representations of rural life. He is author of several conference presentations, journal articles in such outlets as Comparative Sociology, and co-authored a recent book, Urbanormativity. Along with Dr. Thomas, he is a co-editor of the book series, Studies in Urban-Rural Dynamics (Lexington/Rowman & Littlefield).

Selected Publications
Journal Articles:
Thomas, Alexander and Gregory Fulkerson. 2021. “Urbanormativity and the University.” New Directions in Student Services, 1-8. DOI: 10.1002/ss.20361.

Kick, Edward L., Gregory M. Fulkerson, and Ahad Pezeshkpoor. 2020. “Agriculture Grains and Beef Production Remedies for Food Insecurity and Ecological Footprint When the Cataclysm Comes.” Agricultural Research & Technology, 23 (4): 53-57.
Thomas, Alexander R. and Gregory Fulkerson. 2021. City and Country: The Historical Evolution of Urban-Rural Systems. Studies in Urban-Rural Dynamics Book Series. Lanham: Lexington.

Fulkerson, Gregory and Alexander R. Thomas. 2021. Urban Dependency: The Inescapable Reality of the Energy Economy. Studies in Urban-Rural Dynamics Book Series. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Hobbies and Interests
Dr. Fulkerson enjoys the outdoors, going camping, hiking, sightseeing, fishing, and kayaking. He enjoys running and participating in local and regional races, such as the Pit Run.

Lisa Curch, Ph.D.

Office: 14-L Schumacher
Email: Lisa.Curch@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-3380

Lisa Curch

M.A., Gerontology, University of South Florida, 1997
Ph,D., Gerontology, University of Kentucky, 2002

Courses Taught
SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
SOC 234: Sociology of Food & Eating
SOC 232: Aging & the Life Course
SOC 322: Families & Aging
SOC 330: Health & Aging
SOC 238: Sociology of Health & Illness
SOC 312: Society & the Individual
SOC 336: Sociology of Death & Dying
SOC 338: Social Policy
SOC 392: Seminar in Gerontology Studies

Bio and Background
Dr. Lisa Curch received her M.A. in 1997 from the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL and her Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. Dr. Curch teaches courses in aging, medical sociology, social policy, social psychology, and sociology of food and eating. Her research interests involve social aspects of aging and health (particularly related to food and eating), residential/spatial issues of aging, and media and aging. She currently is working on research in representations of aging and older adults in television animation. Dr. Curch is the author of Food and Eating Experiences of Older Women in a Retirement Community: A Sociological Analysis (2006), in addition to several articles and presentations.

Research and Teaching Interests
Teaching: aging, death and dying, medical sociology, social psychology, and sociology of food and eating.
Research: residence, community, and aging; health behavior and aging; popular culture, media, and aging

Selected Publications
Curch, L. M. (2010). Gerontology examined: An interactive approach. El Cajon, CA: National Social Science Press.
Curch, L. M. (2006). Food and eating experiences of older women in a retirement community: A sociological study. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

Ho Hon Leung

Ho Hon Leung, Ph.D.

Office: 14-A Schumacher
Email: leungh@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-2239

Ho Hon Leung

Ph.D. in Sociology, McGill University, Canada

Bio and Background
Ho Hon Leung received his Ph.D. in Sociology from McGill University, Canada. His main research areas include ethnic studies, immigration and immigrants, comparative ethnic aging. He recently develops a research interest in ethnic identity and architecture. Collaborated with Raymond Lau, an architect in London, UK, he has research projects in Canada, US, Hong Kong, Greece, China, and Macau. He is the co-editor of a book entitled Investigating Diversity: Race, Ethnicity, and Beyond (Linton Atlantic Books, Ltd, 2008) He is also the chair of steering committee of Center for Social Science Research, which encourages multi- and inter- disciplinary studies on a wide range of topics.
Brian Lowe

Brian M. Lowe, Ph.D.

Office:14-E Schumacher
Email: lowebm@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-3046

Brian M. Lowe

Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Virginia
BAH and Master’s in Sociology, Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario

Bio and Background
Brian M. Lowe received his BAH and Master’s in Sociology from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Virginia. Dr. Lowe’s research and teaching interests include sociological theories, animal and society, cultural and comparative-historical sociology and spectacular conflicts. He is the author of Emerging Moral Vocabularies: The Creation and Establishment of New Forms of Moral and Ethical Meanings ( Lexington books, 2006) and several articles. In 2008 Lowe became Chair of the Animals and Society section of the American Sociological Association.

Fida Mohammad, Ph.D.

Fida Mohammad's Website
Office: 14-G Schumacher
Email: mohammf@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-2166

Fida Mohammad

Ph.D. Sociology, 1994. Dissertation Topic: The Hegemonic Role of the Criminal Justice System in Pakistan, Dissertation Chair: Dr. Greg McLauchlan, Department of Sociology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
M.A. Sociology, 1991. Department of Sociology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
M.S. Interdisciplinary Public Administration & Sociology,1988. Departments of Public Administration and Sociology, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
M.Phil. Political Science, 1986. Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
M.A. Philosophy, 1982. Department of Philosophy, University of Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
M.A. Political Science, 1980. Department of Political Science, University of Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
B.A. Political Science, English and Pashto Literature, 1978. Islamia College University of Peshawar, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Courses Taught
Psychology of Family Violence
Sociology of Emotions
Disaster, Risk, & Society
Sexuality Studies
Violence in Relationship
Sociology of Knowledge
Introduction to Criminal Justice
Social Problems
Juvenile Delinquency
Deviant Behavior
Comparative Criminal Justice
Sociology of Islam
Theories and Perspectives in Sociology
Police & Society
Risk and Society
Collective Behavior
Interrogation in a Multi-Cultural World
Religion and Social Order
Integrity in Public Service

Background and Bio
Dr. Fida Mohammad was born in Hangu, KPK, Pakistan and matriculated from Government High School, Hangu. Graduated from Islamia College Peshawar with a BA, he earned MAs in Political Science and Philosophy and an M.Phil. in Political Science from University of Peshawar. In 1988 he got an MS in Public Administration and Sociology from Eastern Washington University. He completed an MA and Ph. D from the University of Oregon, with a focus on Criminal Justice, in 1994. Presently Dr. Mohammad is a Professor of Sociology at the State University New York (SUNY) Oneonta, NY. His areas of expertise are Policing, Interrogation and Torture, Political Violence and Comparative Religions. He teaches courses in Criminal Justice and Sociology, such as Deviant Behavior, Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency, Terrorism, Risk & Society, Sociology of Knowledge, Disaster, Risk & Society, Violence in Relationships, Sexuality Studies and Sociology of Islam. He has given lectures to professional and public audiences, as well written for professional and popular media outlets, about the dynamics of Afghan and Pakistan crises; topics include terrorism, suicide bombing, corruption and martyrdom.
Alex Thomas

Alexander R. Thomas, Ph.D.

Alex Thomas' Website
Office: 14-C Schumacher
Email: thomasa@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-3113

Alexander R. Thomas

Ph.D., Northeastern University 1998
Courses Taught
The Community
Urban Sociology
Social Class
Social Research Methods
Research & Analysis

Bio and Background
Alex Thomas received his Ph.D. in 1998 from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Thomas has interests in historical-comparative sociology, particularly related to urban-rural relations, and deviant behavior. His current research focuses on the development of cities and their relationship to the hinterland in the Ancient Near East and the lessons to be learned for modern cities. He is the author of In Gotham's Shadow (2003) and Gilboa (2005) and the co-author of Spotlight on Social Research (2003) and Upstate Down (2009); as well as several articles and presentations.

Research and Teaching Interests
Environmental Demography, Medical Sociology, Historical-Comparative Methods

Selected Publications
Thomas, A. R. & Fulkerson, G. M. 2021. City and Country: The Environmental Demography of Urban-Rural Systems. New York: Lexington Books.

Thomas, A. R., & Fulkerson, G. M. 2020. Urbanormativity and the university. New Directions for Student Services, 2020, 21– 28. https://doi.org/10.1002/ss.20361

Fulkerson, G. M. & Thomas, A. R. 2020. Urban Dependency: The Inescapable Reality of the Energy Economy. New York: Lexington Books.

Thomas, A. R. 2020. Social Systems and Community Development: Cooperstown, New York, and its Imitators. Community Development 51(2): 107-22; DOI: 10.1080/15575330.2020.1737164.

Thomas, A. R. & Fulkerson, G. M. 2019. What Makes Urban Life Possible? On the Historical Evolution of Urban-Rural Systems Comparative Sociology, 18(5/6): 595-619.

Fulkerson, G. M. & Thomas, A. R. 2019. Urbanormativity: Reality, Representation, and Everyday Life. New York: Lexington Books.

Kleniewski, N. & Thomas, A. R. 2019. Cities, Change & Conflict. 5th Edition. New York: Routledge.
Melissa F Lavin

Melissa F. Lavin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Office: 14P Schumacher
Email: Melissa.Lavin@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-3527

Melissa F. Lavin

2011. Ph.D. Sociology, University of Connecticut
2003. B.S. Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder

Courses Taught

Deviant Behavior
Drugs in U.S. Society
Juvenile Delinquency
Police and Society
Race, Crime, and Justice
Introduction to Criminal Justice
Introduction to Sociology
Social Inequality
Gender and Crime
Gender in Everyday Life
Social Inequality

Bio and Background
Melissa F. Lavin received her B.A. in 2003 from University of Colorado at Boulder and her Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Connecticut. She is an advisory editor for the journal Deviant Behavior and Secretary for the Association for Humanist Sociology. Her research interests include crime and deviance, sociological psychology and symbolic interaction, gender and sexuality, and qualitative methods. Dr. Lavin teaches diverse courses in sociology and criminal justice, including police and society, criminology, drugs and society, and gender and crime. She is the adviser to the criminal justice honor society, and is affiliated faculty with women and gender studies.

Selected Publications
Lavin, Melissa F. 2021. “On Spiritualist Workers: Healing and Divining through Tarot and the Metaphysical.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 50:3. 317-340.

Lavin, Melissa F. and Christine Zozula. 2020. Special Issue, Introduction entitled “Deviance the Undead: Contemporary Deviancy and Social Movements,” Deviant Behavior, 41:7. 285-287. Equal editorship.

Lavin, Melissa F. and Medora W. Barnes. 2020. “Normalizing Deviants: Notes on the DeStigma Trend.” In Special Issue of Deviant Behavior, 41:7. 828-840.

Zozula, Christine and Melissa F. Lavin. 2020. “Frame Analysis and Deviance Scholarship: Exploring Links Through Drugs and Guns.” In Special Issue of Deviant Behavior, 41:7. 856-867.

Lavin, Melissa F. 2017. “She Got Herself There: Narrative Resistance in the Drug Discourse of Strippers.” Deviant Behavior, 38:3. 294-305.

Lavin, Melissa F. 2017. “Rebellious Publishing in the Aspiring Sciences.” Theory in Action, 38:10. 52-63.

Lavin, Melissa F. 2016. “They Call Us Problem Child: Medicalization, Delinquency, and Social Class in Primary Education.” Deviant Behavior, 37:11. 1276-1287.

Lavin, Melissa F. 2014. “If You Want It, You Can Get It Right Here: Space and Drug Use in Strip Clubs.” Humanity and Society, 38:2. 132-157.

Lavin, Melissa F. 2013. “Rule-Making and Rule-Breaking: Strip Club Social Control Regarding Alcohol and other Drugs.” Deviant Behavior, 34:5. 361-383.

Elizabeth "Lizzy" Seale, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Office: 14-I Schumacher
Email: sealeek@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-3560

Elizabeth "Lizzy" Seale

Ph.D. Sociology, North Carolina State University
M.S. Sociology, North Carolina State University
B.A. Sociology, Murray State University

Courses Taught

SOC 209 Social Research Methods
SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 220 Sociology of Gender
SOC 226 Sexuality Studies
SOC 224 The Family
SOC 338 Social Policy
SOC 238 Sociology of Health & Illness
SOC 244 Sociology of Poverty
SOC 309 Research & Analysis

Research and Teaching Interests
Poverty, research methods and ethics, rural communities, health & illness, race/class/gender inequality, sexuality, and culture and social policy.

Selected Publications
Seale, Elizabeth. 2020. “Strategies for Post-Culture-of-Poverty Research on Poverty, Meaning, and Behavior.” The American Sociologist 51(4): 402-424. https://rdcu.be/b6j2T. DOI: 10.1007/s12108-020-09460-2.

Seale, Elizabeth and Christine Mallinson (editors). 2018. Rural Voices: Language, Identity, and Social Change across Place. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Seale, Elizabeth. 2017. “The Relational Experience of Poverty: Challenges in Family Planning and Health Autonomy among the Rural Poor.” Poverty & Public Policy 9(3): 331-354.

Lansberry, Kasey, Tiffany Taylor and Elizabeth Seale. 2016. “Welfare and the Culture of Conservatism: A Contextual Analysis of Welfare-to-Work Participation in North Carolina.” Journal of Poverty 21(1): 20-41.

Seale, Elizabeth and Gregory Fulkerson. 2015. “The Cynical Public: Science-Based Claims in the Discourse on Fracking.” Sociological Research Online 20(3). Full-text available at http://www.socresonline.org.uk/20/3/4.html.

Seale, Elizabeth. 2013. “Coping Strategies of Rural and Urban Welfare Agencies and the Regulation of the Poor.” New Political Economy 18(2):141-170.
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Beniam Awash, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Office: 14N Schumacher
Email: beniam.awash@oneonta.edu
Phone: n/a

Beniam Awash

Ph.D., Binghamton University

Bio and Background
Professor Awash earned his Ph.D. from Binghamton University. He joined the sociology department in 2018 as a tenure track Assistant Professor. He teaches a range of courses from the introduction to sociology to upper division and special topics courses. His research interest is on the environment and other issues of national and international security.

Kirsten "Kirstie" E. Kemmerer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Office: 14-B Schumacher
Email: kirsten.kemmerer@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-3524

Kirstie Kemmerer

Ph.D. in Sociology, University of New Hampshire
M.A. in Sociology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
B.S. in Business Management, Kutztown University

Course History
Gender and Crime
Violence in Relationships
Introduction to Criminal Justice
Rural Crime
Research & Analysis
Research Methods
Sociology of Gender
Senior Seminar
Introduction to Sociology
Criminological Theory
Juvenile Delinquency

Research and Teaching Interests
I teach about and study gender, marital and sexual relationships, dating and domestic violence, inequality, rural violence, and criminality.

Hobbies and Interests
Dr. Kemmerer enjoys reading (for FUN), drinking coffee, listening to true crime podcasts, snuggling her St. Bernard (Simba) and two cats (Lilo and Goose), and spending time with her partner and family.

Adjunct Faculty

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Ann Marie Mills, LCSWR, MSW

Lecturer of Sociology and Internship Coordinator
Office: N/A
Email: millsam@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-3512

Bio and Background
AnnMarie Mills teaches courses in the sociology department and coordinates internships for the Human Services Pre-Professional Track of the Sociology Major.
Lisa Ruland

Lisa Ruland

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Email: lisa.ruland@oneonta.edu

Lisa Ruland

MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling-College of St Joseph 2009
BA Sociology-Castleton University 1999
BSW-Castleton University 1999

Courses Taught
Survey of Social Work Theory and Practice
The Mentally Ill Offender
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Social Work
Social Research Methods
The Sociology of Play

Bio and Background
Lisa Ruland is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at SUNY Oneonta. Lisa also holds NYSED Certification as a PreK-12 School Counselor.

Faculty Emeriti

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Marilyn Helterline | Ph.D., the University of Notre Dame, Professor Emeritus of Sociology.

Donald Nielsen | Ph.D., the University of New School for Social Research, Professor Emeritus of Sociology.

Eugene Obindinski | Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo, Professor Emeritus of Sociology.

Martin Spencer | Ph.D., the University of New School for Social Research, Professor Emeritus of Sociology.

Edward Wesnofske | MA., the University of New School for Social.


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Michele Myers-Platt

Department Administrative Assistant 1
Office: Main Office Schumacher Hall 10
Email: myersmf@oneonta.edu
Phone: 607-436-3512

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