American Sociological Association

ASA Footnotes

A publication of the American Sociological AssociationASA News & Events
November/December 2018

TRAILS Welcomes Greg Kordsmeier as its New Editor

Greg Kordsmeier

Greg Kordsmeier

The Department of Academic and Professional Affairs of the ASA is thrilled to introduce Dr. Gregory T. Kordsmeier as the new editor of TRAILS, ASA’s online Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for sociology ( For the past few years, Kordsmeier has been very active in TRAILS, as a user, an author of several peer-reviewed teaching resources, and as an area editor in socialization and in emotions. 

Kordsmeier is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University Southeast. There, he teaches a variety of sociology classes, including Social Problems, Research Methods, Sociology of Health and Medicine, and Theory, to name a few. His commitment to excellence in teaching has been recognized by not one but two Trustees Teaching Awards by the university, a yearly award that is given to a select number of professors to recognize their commitment to undergraduate teaching. 

His contributions to teaching extend beyond his campus. For years he has been an actively engaged user of TRAILS. He has published several resources in TRAILS, including the very popular essay assignment “Sawbones and the Social Construction of Health and Illness,” where students must use the concepts they learn in a medical sociology class and apply them to an episode of Sawbones, a podcast that focuses on medical history. He has also served as the TRAILS area editor for the emotions and socialization areas. Greg has also been an active member of ASA and the Section on Teaching and Learning. Recently, he co-chaired (with Kathy Rowell) the planning committee for the section’s annual pre-conference. 

In an email to ASA, Kordsmeier explained the importance of TRAILS for sociology, “I think TRAILS produces great work that highlights the importance of teaching and learning in the discipline. In particular, by creating a repository of peer-reviewed teaching resources, it makes scholarly teaching more accessible to teachers in the discipline. At the same time, it offers an institutional basis for rewarding great teaching by giving the imprimatur of the ASA to the wonderful materials our authors develop.”

As editor of TRAILS, Greg hopes to find a balance between continuity and innovation. “I am excited to continue projects started by my predecessors, such as the Graduate Seminar Teaching Project and offering workshops at the ASA and regional association meetings. I’m also interested in reaching out to new individuals in new places filled with people interested in teaching and learning, including at the ASA Teaching Section’s Preconference Workshop and the ASA Teaching and Learning Symposium.”

Kordsmeier received his PhD in sociology in 2011from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation, “The Play’s the Thing: Stage Managers as Support Personnel and Their Role in the Creation of Art,” was supervised by Joan Fujimura. In it, he explored the intersection of labor and culture to understand the role of support workers and collaboration in the production of art. His current research focuses on social interaction in cultural industries. Using a variety of qualitative methods, including interviews, participant observation, and content analysis, his research seeks to understand the micro-sociological forces that affect work process in arts organizations. 

Kordsmeier will take over for TRAILS’ previous editor, Julie Pelton. During his term as TRAILS editor, together with the ASA staff, he will work on the day-to-day operation of the library, including supervising area editors, tracking submissions, and communicating with TRAILS authors about the status of their submissions. Kordsmeier will also be in charge of reviewing applications for TRAILS Graduate Teaching Seminar Initiative In addition, Kordsmeier will partner with ASA staff members to increase the number of users and submissions from faculty at community colleges and high school sociology teachers.