Message from the Department Chair

Message from the Department Chair

Friday, May 29, 2020

Dear Stunning Students in the Department of Sociology and Sexuality Studies,

As this unprecedented semester comes to a close, I wanted to reach out to all of you.

First, I want to acknowledge that these are really tough things we are going through.  No sugar-coating. We mourn our many losses and our spirits are sore.  This pandemic is hard, and disproportionately so for those who are low-income, health-compromised and/or marginalized in society.  Each of you is experiencing your own set of challenges and I wish you support.

Second, thank you for your willingness to learn new skills in order to transition to remote learning. It’s been a big, abrupt change and you did what you could. Be proud.  And cut yourself some slack if you couldn’t do more.

Third, thank you for standing up for social justice. I am moved by all of you who speak out against the inequalities that wrack our world, including both recent and ongoing brutal, deadly racial violence against Black people in the U.S.  Continue to use your smart sociological imaginations to think critically. We need you to help figure out and forge our future.

Fourth, many congratulations to those of you who are graduating!  You did it, and in the face of great adversity.  I look forward to our June 20, 4:00, Zoom celebration for SOC grads (details forthcoming).  And please stay in touch -- with us and with each other.  Faculty and students love hearing from our esteemed alumni about what you’re up to. Yup, you’re about to be esteemed alum.

Fifth, to the rest of you: we hope to have you back with us in the fall. In this uncertain economy, your education is more important than ever. We’re getting good at Zoom and iLearn -- let’s keep it up. I know that some of the classes you hoped to take next fall may already be filled. Budget cuts do loom, but our department enrollments are strong and this will help us actively lobby for more classes. I’ll aim to email you over the summer if there are any notable developments.

Finally, I hope you are able to get at least a little time to rest and replenish this summer. You’ve earned it.


Warm Regards,


Dr. Karen Hossfeld

Associate Professor and Chair

Dept. of Sociology & Sexuality Studies