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Joseph Gusfield, University of California-San Diego, founding Chair of the University of California-San Diego Sociology Department, passed away on January 5, 2015. Among his major works are Symbolic Crusade: Status Politics and the American Temperance Movement and The Culture of Public Problems: Drinking-Driving and the Symbolic Order.
Elizabeth (Liz) Markson died on January 1, 2015 at age 80 after a difficult struggle with cancer. Since 2009, Liz was Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University and for 20 years served as the Director of the Boston University Gerontology Center.
Eugene S. Uyeki, Case Western Reserve University, who was Professor Emeritus, former chair of the Department of Sociology, and Provost for Social and Behavioral Sciences during a 44-year career, died on September 5, 2014 at the age of 88. Professor Uyeki was born in Seattle, Washington, and graduated from high school in a Japanese-American internment camp. He served in the U.S. Army for 22 months during 1954-1955. During 1985, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan.
Hernán Vera, University of Florida, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, passed away on November 26, 2014, after a long illness.
Albert K. Cohen, the noted criminologist whose work and life enlightened and inspired scholars and law enforcement practitioners around the world, passed away on November 25 in Chelsea, MA. Al was born in Boston on June 15, 1918. He graduated from the Boston Public Latin School in 1935 and from Harvard University in 1939 with high honors. At Harvard Al took courses from Pitrim Sorokin, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton.
Despite his outstanding academic record, Al was denied admission to most graduate programs to which he applied. One department explained they were not allowed to admit Jews. However, just as Al was preparing for a career in journalism, he was accepted by Indiana University. The sociology chair was Edwin H. Sutherland, whom Al described as another powerful influence on his intellectual development. Al received his MA in 1942 and worked for nine months at the Indiana Boys School, a state institution for juvenile delinquents.
Al then served as a lieutenant in the Army until June 1946, including one year in the Philippines, where he met and “instantly” fell in love with his future wife, Natividad Barrameda Manguerra (Nati), who worked at the Army’s Office of Information and Education. Al returned to Harvard spending one year in residence before leaving ABD to teach at Indiana University in 1947. Nati joined Al in 1948 and they were married in December. Al completed his thesis, Juvenile Delinquency and the Social Structure, and received his PhD in 1951. His most famous work, Delinquent Boys: the Culture of the Gang, considered an instant classic explanation of delinquency and gangs and a major breakthrough in criminological theory, was published in 1955. Al later wrote Deviance and Control, a textbook on the sociology of deviance, and published many scholarly papers in journals or as book chapters.
In 1965, Al moved from Indiana to become University Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, where he taught until retiring in 1988. Al and Nati’s home in Storrs was always a warm and welcoming gathering place for faculty members, graduate students, and visiting scholars.
Al was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto and a Visiting Professor or Visiting Scholar at the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California-Santa Cruz, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Arizona State University, the Institute of Criminology (Cambridge, England), Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), the University of Haifa, the University of the Philippines, and Kansai University. Al served as President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Vice-President of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), and actively involved in the American Sociological Association. In 1993, Al received the ASC’s Sutherland Award.
Al and Nati moved for the sake of her health first to Arizona and then to San Diego. Nati passed away there in 2003. Al moved back to Storrs, where his friends greatly enjoyed having dinners with him. Al was always in great physical shape. As a teenager in Boston he was adept at the art of running alongside a truck, hopping on to catch a ride, and jumping off as the truck slowed down anywhere near his destination. In Storrs he enjoyed walking many miles and, despite the distress of friends and family, kept hitchhiking into his 90s.
Amazingly, Al assisted in an FBI investigation. The FBI informed Al that a financial planner he was working with was suspected of stealing from him and others. Al consented to having his Storrs condominium bugged and the FBI gathered important evidence that, with Al’s testimony, led to the perpetrator’s conviction. Ever the criminologist, Al wanted to interview the incarcerated con man.
Anyone who met Al soon realized he had a tremendous love of life, enormous compassion, and an incredible wit and sense of humor. He kept everybody laughing at his jokes even while lying in a hospital bed. He loved to take pictures of flowers on his walks and enjoyed crafting all sorts of household items into pendants and other works of art. H also wrote many amusing poems. Al was enormously kind and helpful to everyone he knew. He was a strong supporter of the ACLU and contributed to many charities and to the universities where he studied and taught.
Al is survived by his loving niece Gerianne, who took great care of her beloved Uncle Al after he could no longer live independently, and by his nephews Richard Segal, Philip Segal, and Marc Cohen, his niece Cindy Peterson, and Al and Nati’s niece Therese Eckel.
Of all the attributes that we could ascribe to Al, that he was a distinguished sociologist and criminologist as well as a caring individual, the greatest accolade that we could bestow upon him was that he was a “mentsh” (or “mensch”). This is an English loan word borrowed from Yiddish and German, which, as noted in Wikipedia, means a person of “character, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible.…a high compliment, expressing the rarity and value of that individual’s qualities.” Surely, this is a term that Al would have recognized and one that we lovingly offer as a posthumous tribute.
We all love you and miss you, Al.
Al Cohen (University of Connecticut), Gerianne Cohen, Arnold Dashefsky (University of Connecticut), Jim DeFronzo (University of Connecticut) and Jungyun Gill (Stonehill College)
Scott Eliason, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona, passed away peacefully at his home in Sarasota, FL, on January 7, 2015, surrounded by family and close friends. Scott was known for his path-breaking work in quantitative methodology and statistics, focusing in particular on models for discrete outcomes and causality. He worked in a number of substantive areas including stratification, the sociology of work, economic sociology, the life course, the comparative welfare state and recently, the sociology of law.
After completing a PhD at Pennsylvania State University under the tutelage of Clifford Clogg, Scott began his career at the University of Iowa in 1989. In 2000 he moved with Robin Stryker to the University of Minnesota and then to the University of Arizona in 2008. Early in his career, Scott developed a fruitful collaboration with Clogg on statistical models for categorical data and their applications to sociological questions. He quickly developed a reputation as one of the leading experts on categorical models, developing and maintaining one of the early computer programs for such analyses, teaching short courses at the ASA meetings and publishing methodological papers on log-linear models, models for adjustment of rates, and models for labor force outcomes. Of particular note was his very popular Sage book on maximum likelihood, his endogenous switching model of labor markets and his latent class approach to characterizing the life course as role configurations and pathways. More recently he worked to combine fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis with causal inference with Stryker.
Scott worked with many collaborators and was valued for his capacity to develop innovative statistical techniques to capture and test the nuances of theoretical arguments. In recent years he worked with Lauren Edelman, Linda Krieger, Catherine Albiston, and Virginia Mellema to develop a statistical model of legal endogeneity theory, which posits that judges defer to organizational forms of compliance with law, and with Rachel Best, Edelman, and Krieger on an empirical test of intersectionality theory in civil rights litigation. He also worked with Erin Leahey and Sondra Barringer on complex issues on causal inference and with Stryker and Eric Tranby on the comparative welfare state.
Scott was an amazing teacher with an uncanny ability to explain complex statistical concepts not just through mathematical formulas, but also through intuitive analogies for those who were not so mathematically inclined. Scott was known for his wicked sense of humor, which he often used to defuse tense situations. At times his humor would sneak out against his better judgment. In trying to explain to his undergraduate students that there is nothing magical about the Greek letters used to represent parameters in statistical models, Scott exclaimed, “There’s no mu-ness to mu and no pee-ness to p!” The students laughed so uncontrollably, Scott had to end the class early. While Scott was not exactly known for his patience when dealing with bureaucrats or bureaucratic requirements, he had seemingly endless patience for students and colleagues who genuinely wanted to understand statistics. Well, maybe not quite endless. He was famous for responding to student requests to explain a statistical concept in a different way with “the only other way I can say it is louder.”
Scott was a mentor to a number of successful graduate students from Iowa, Minnesota, and Arizona. Two of his early graduate students, Teri Fritsma and Melissa Bonstead, once gave Scott a tissue box labeled “Graduate Student Tool Kit,” with a series of detailed instructions of when to bring out the tissues and what to say to graduate students who cried in his office, including “It will be okay; there are many things you can do with your life.” Scott taught his students not only sociology and statistics, but also the importance of maintaining a sense of humor in difficult times.
Scott fell ill with esophageal cancer in 2011 and was presented with a grim prognosis. Ever the statistician, he pointed out that someone had to be in the tail of the distribution. Scott lost his battle with cancer far too early. His many friends, colleagues, and students as well as his family already miss his wry sense of humor and his unique blend of cynicism and kindness.
Bill Bielby, University of Illinois, Chicago and University of Arizona; Laurie Edelman, University of California-Berkeley; Ross Matsueda, University of Washington; Robin Stryker, University of Arizona
Linda Majka, Professor of Sociology at the University of Dayton, died on November 17, 2014. She was 67.
She earned a BA in economics from the College of William and Mary in 1969, and a MA and PhD in sociology from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1973 and 1978. Linda joined University of Dayton (UD) in 1981 with her husband University of Dayton Sociology Professor Theo Majka, both having previously taught at Portland State University.
In her more than 30 year career at UD, Linda authored three books and more than 20 scholarly contributions on human rights, economic policies, farm labor movements, and immigration. Her most recent book, Children’s Human Rights (2005), was co-edited with UD professor Mark Ensalaco. Linda played an active role in various programs at the University of Dayton, especially Human Rights Studies and Women and Gender Studies, serving as director of the Women’s Studies Program from 1995-99.
With her spouse, Linda received the College of Arts & Sciences 2011-12 Award for Outstanding Service. Both have engaged in extensive service to the University and the broader Dayton community, particularly around issues involving immigration and social justice. For example, they were involved in the creation of the city’s Welcome Dayton: Immigrant-Friendly City initiative and have engaged in activities that facilitate the initiative’s goals, such researching challenges immigrants and refugees experience in becoming better integrated into their new communities and organizing three local conference on immigration.
Linda had a reputation for being a dedicated teacher and mentor, both to students and other faculty. A recent UD graduate wrote, “Getting to know and work with Dr. Linda was one of the greatest blessings of my undergraduate experience. Her class on the Sociology of Human Rights awakened a passion in me and has led me to pursue a research career dedicated to social justice, thanks entirely to the sincere passion with which Dr. Linda taught.” Former department chair Sister Laura Leming noted, “I knew of Linda’s work on immigration long before I joined the department as a colleague through one of my Marianist Sisters who worked with Linda and Theo on local migrant communities. Linda was a welcoming and supportive presence when I became a sociologist, and her engagement in Women’s Studies and in writing for justice helped encourage me to forge my own path as a scholar engaged in local and global communities.” Mark Ensalaco of UD’s Human Rights Studies Program commented that “Linda represented what is best about higher education. She had a fierce devotion to freedom of inquiry and education. She was committed to the pursuit of the truth and she devoted her marvelous talents as a sociologist to the cause of justice.”
Linda is survived by her husband of 44 years, Theo Majka, with whom she co-authored Farm Workers, Agribusiness and the State (1982) and numerous articles.
Leslie Picca, University of Dayton
Elizabeth Warren Markson passed away on January 1, 2015, at the age of 80, after a struggle with cancer. Liz was known for her work in social gerontology and especially the experiences of women as they age. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Ralph, daughter Alison, son David, and grandson Noah. Liz also leaves behind a small army of colleagues for whom she was a cherished friend.
It was a pleasure to be her friend and colleague. Liz was a person of impressive intellect, sharp insight, warmth, and a great sense of humor. She was always a careful listener, problem solver, and a woman full of creative ideas.
Since 2009 Liz was a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University. From 1985 to 2005 she served as the Director of the Boston University Gerontology Center where she developed a multidisciplinary pre- and postdoctoral training program funded by the National Institute on Ageing and an annual summer institute on gerontology. For 15 years Liz was also a Psychotherapist and family counselor with a focus on life transitions.
Liz had received her BA from Bryn Mawr College and her PhD in sociology from Yale University. She taught at Boston University, Northeastern University, SUNY-Albany, Wellesley College, and was a visiting scholar in gerontology at the University of Auckland. She was a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) and a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Liz was the author and co-author of 10 books and over 70 journal articles.
Liz published extensively in the area of social gerontology including four editions of Growing Old in America (with Beth Hess), Aging and Old Age (with Beth Hess), Social Gerontology Today, Intersections of Aging, and Social Gerontology: Issues and Prospects (with Peter Stein). Her book Older Women, one of the first in the field to focus on women in later life, received the Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing. With Hess and Stein, Liz also co-authored five editions of Sociology.
Liz was active in various professional organizations: she was President of the Northeastern Gerontological Society, chair of the Aging and Life Course Division and the Family Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, a member of the Publications Committee of GSA, and on the Executive Committee of AGHE. She was also very active in American Association of University Women (AAUW) and served as program chair for the Bedford-Lexington Massachusetts Chapter of AAUW.
Liz’s media appearances included CNN, PBS, WHDH, WBZ and Pacific Radio (NZ). Her research on women and film has been featured in various publications. Liz’s long-term interests focused on gender, aging, family, and film. Her research, including a number of published papers and book chapters, focused on the persistence and change in culturally constructed cinematic versions of older women’s lives. Liz asked, “to what extent do cinematic images reflect persistent or time-bound ageist and gender stereotypes?” as she sought to identify the messages the celluloid American dream created of older women.
Liz’s research also covered other —use of long-term care among members of the Framingham cohort; decision making to live in elder housing; views of clergy concerning the needs of older parishioners; and sexuality in later life.
She will be missed by all who were fortunate to know her.
Peter Stein, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Institute on Aging
On Christmas Day 2014 JoAnn Miller, age 65, lost her battle against primary peritoneal cancer. She joined the Department of Sociology at Purdue University in 1984, after receiving her PhD in sociology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Earlier, she had earned an Associate of Arts degree from the Merrimack Valley Branch of the University of New Hampshire in 1976, a bachelor of arts degree from Keene College in New Hampshire in 1978, and a master’s from the College of William and Mary in Virginia in 1980.
From the moment that she arrived in West Lafayette as an Assistant Professor of Sociology, Miller has served Purdue and Greater Lafayette, bringing together academics and community leaders to address social problems and implement solutions. Her life embodies scholarship in pursuit of social justice.
As part of her contribution to building the Law and Society program in the Department of Sociology at Purdue, she worked with the local prosecutor’s office, obtaining a substantial ($121,000) grant from the National Institute of Justice in 1988. Later she turned to more general community development efforts, building on a series of relatively small grants to develop the “Downtown Lafayette Weed and Seed Program” (2007-2008), which brought in over a half million dollars in funding for a five-year program. At the same time (2007), she developed a two-year program studying sex offenders returning from state prison ($168,136) and another project focused on “Affordable Housing: A Tool for a Successful Re-entry Problem Solving Court” ($256,485). Even in failing health she managed to secure a grant to study rental assistance to complement the affordable housing project as another aspect of the “Re-entry Court.”
Meanwhile, back at Purdue, Miller rose through the academic ranks, achieving national and international distinction, as Associate Editor, from 1994-1996 (with Robert Perrucci), of Social Problems, the official journal of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) and as co-Editor, from 2001-2005 (with Robert Perrucci), of Contemporary Sociology. In 2008, she was named Professor of Sociology and appointed Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and Engagement for the College of Liberal Arts. In 2009-2010, she served as Interim Head, for the Department of Sociology, stepping back temporarily from the dean’s office in a moment of departmental need. Then, after years of noteworthy scholarship and invaluable national service, she was elected President (2009-2010) of the Society for the SSSP. Most recently, she became head of the newly created School for Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue, in April 2014.
Her published works includes six books. These include two edited collections (1984 and 1986) for Research in Social Problems and Public Policy (volumes III and IV), two books (1991 and 2007) on child abuse and family violence (with Dean Knudsen), and two books (2009 and 2011) on “Problem Solving Courts” (with the honorable D.C. Johnson). This last project epitomizes her effort to bring academics and community leaders together in developing better ways to serve the noble goal of social justice within the context of civil and criminal law. Her scores of shorter papers include numerous publications coauthored with her many students.
JoAnn was born July 12, 1949, in Manchester, NH, the second of five children born to John Rogers Langley and Rita Violet Langley (née Carrier), both deceased. She is survived by four siblings, Donna Lee Leinsing, Debra Lou Fuchs, Ruby Margaret Stevens, and John Richard Langley. She was the loving wife and partner of Scott Frankenberger, devoted mother to Jonathan Miller, and his wife, Maura Smale, and was especially devoted to their son, her grandson, August (“Gus”). JoAnn was also a warm stepmother to Jennifer (Frankenberger) Segovia and Casey Frankenberger. She will be sorely missed by her family, her colleagues, and her many friends locally and nationally.
A memorial scholarship fund will be established in the College of Liberal Arts in her name. The exact nature of the scholarship is still to be determined, but if you wish to contribute to this fund, contact Lori Sparger in the CLA Development office at email@example.com or 765-494-9314. Checks to the Purdue Foundation can be mailed to the CLA Development Office, 100 N. University St., West Lafayette, IN 47907 with “JoAnn Miller” in the memo line.
Richard Hogan and Carolyn Cummings Perrucci, Purdue University