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Faculty and Staff News

Susan Babbel continues to take one course a quarter toward her MA in Education, with a graduation date of Spring 2018. She welcomed her first grandson into the world one year ago, with a 2nd grandson due on Mother’s Day. Her youngest daughter is getting married this July, so family events and education have forced a short hiatus from painting (she let her Art Studio go). Life can’t be better!


Dr. Cara Chiaraluce is a renewable-term lecturer, who is teaching the following courses this academic year: Soc 1 (Intro), Soc 157 (Family), Soc 165 (Human Services), Soc 175 (Race & Inequality), and Cultures & Ideas 1 and 2. Everything is going well in classes so far! Her current Soc 165 course has an Arrupe Engagement requirement, and she has invited guests from Arrupe Community Partner organizations to speak in class. Three of these invited guest speakers are SCU Alums: Amberlie Ridnour (Pastor, Believers in Christ), Roberto Gill (Educational Manager, Sacred Heart Family Services), and Joe Albers (Principal, Cristo Rey High School). Dr. Chiaraluce also has two articles currently under review for journal publication, titled “Narratives on the Autism Journey: “Doing Family” & Reconfiguring the Caregiver Self,” and “Transcending the Private Sphere: Communitybased Carework and Embodied Health Social Movements.”

Dr. Tracy DeHaan is an annual-year adjunct lecturer (AYAL) in the Sociology Department at Santa Clara University where she began teaching in Spring 2014. As an undergraduate student at San Jose State University, Tracy double majored in Sociology and Behavioral Science. Upon graduating she attended graduate school at the University of Oregon where she received her M.S. and Ph.D in Sociology. Her dissertation focused on media representations of teen/young adult suicides at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA and Cornell University. It explored how media frames create public discourse in an online environment. Tracy’s other areas of specialization include family, gender, sexuality, social psychology, social theory, and qualitative methods. She has a co-authored paper published in Journal of Social Issues titled “Fathers and Flexibility Stigma.” 

Dr. Fernandez continued to teach Survey Research/Statistical Analyses, supervised the Research Capstone papers of seniors, and worked with 7 seniors as they fined tuned their research for inclusion in the 2016 Silicon Valley Notebook, 14 and presentation at the 43rd Anthropology/ Sociology Undergraduate Research Conference. She has a contract with Oxford University Press of India to publish her book titled, The New Frontier: Merit vs. Caste in the Indian Information Technology Sector.

Dr. Alma M. García is proud to announce the publication of North from Mexico: The Spanish- Speaking People of the United States, 3rd Edition 2016 by Carey McWilliams, Matt S. Meier, Alma M. García. Dr. García has updated this classic book by adding three chapters that cover recent topics such as anti-immigration movements, language debates like Prop 227 and other anti-immigrant legislation, children of Mexican immigrants, the economic outlook for Mexican immigrants, issues facing the unauthorized immigrant population, and the development of the immigrant rights movement. According to one review, “Dr. García safeguards the integrity of this classic text while new and timely insights that bring the text into dialogue with the present. Professor Garcia (an undisputed expert in this area of sociological inquiry) displays as usual her keen insights into the experiences of Mexican Americans making this book a must-read for scholars, undergraduates, graduate students, and anyone interested in this important phenomenon.” The journal Choice, published by The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) “highly recommends” Dr. Garcia’s contribution to North from Mexico. Dr. García continues to work with her publisher on a collection of oral histories of university students who are children of immigrants:  A Tapestry of Multicultural Narratives: Personal Stories of Second-Generation University Students. She expects her book to be published next year.

Dr. García continues as the Director of the Latin American Studies Program. She is coordinating a university-wide event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the passing of César Chávez. Dr. García also continues her work as one of the commissioners appointed to the City of Santa Clara’s Senior Advisory Commission. This commission acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council in matters affecting people age 50 and older in the City, including health, education, employment, housing, transportation and recreation. The Commission consists of seven Commissioners that are volunteers and are appointed by the City Council. On a personal note, Dr. García continues her watercolor classes and has now taken up piano classes.

Dr. Patrick Lopez-Aguado This year I have been lucky to be selected as a contributor to the Institute for Latino Studies’ Young Scholars Symposium at the University of Notre Dame, as well as Santa Clara University’s Bannan Institute. These have both been invaluable opportunities to develop my research and analysis, and to put me into contact with colleagues who have helped me grow as a scholar. Additionally, this year I finished writing my book manuscript Stick Together and Come Back Home: Carceral Affiliation and the Bridging of Prison and Community. This project will be going into production with University of California Press in the coming months, and is currently scheduled for release in the Spring of 2018.

Dr. Laura Nichols has been enjoying working with students to study issues in the sociology of education in the course: Self, Community, and Society. Students participate in an Arrupe in an educational setting and then do analyses of their own neighborhoods and previous schools to reflect on inequality in education institutions as well as relevant policy. The course attracts students in all different majors as well as students in Engineering and Business which makes the discussions very interesting. She also continues to enjoy working with senior sociology majors in the Applied Capstone. Read about our new award for an applied project in another part of the newsletter. Thanks again to all of you who spoke with students in the applied class about your experiences post-graduation. The emails from this cohort will be coming soon! In terms of research, Laura continues to focus on the experiences of first-generation college students and is benefiting from new partnerships she is building with the help of SCU’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education Thriving Neighbors initiative.

Dr. Charles Powers maintained his normal teaching and service commitments while also trying to contribute constructively to department program review efforts which were underway at the time. He had a long-awaited sabbatical (spring term 2016) when he devoted his time to historically framing and trying to rise to the challenge posed by sociology's theoretical fragmentation into competing paradigms. His other scholarship also continues to move forward, and his co-authored book The Emergence of Sociological Theory (by Turner, Beeghley, and Powers, now in its 7th edition) was recently translated into and published in Portuguese. (A previous edition of that book was translated into and published in Korean). At the conclusion of 2015-16 Chuck entered phased retirement and is now on a reduced teaching load, but is projected to continue teaching theory and organizations courses until 2021. Phased retirement is allowing him an opportunity to further improve those courses, and he has been making some significant changes in both. With the world changing as fast as it is, Chuck thinks this would be an especially opportune time for alums to reflect on your experiences and write to the department offering advice about ways the program could best prepare students for challenges of the future. He hopes to hear from each of you, as do we all.

Dr. Laura Robinson continues to teach Qualitative Methods; Computers, Internet and Society; Cultures and Ideas; and Business, Technology and Society. She has also been active publishing in several highly regarded, peer reviewed venues. With Jeremy Schulz, Robinson’s article on interviewing (“Eliciting Frontstage and Backstage Talk with the Iterated Questioning Approach”) appeared in the last issue of Sociological Methodology. Another publication is “Collective memory: September 11th now and then” which appeared in Information, Communication and Society. Robinson also continues as Series Co-Editor of Emerald Studies in Media and Communications. Robinson worked with Jeremy Schulz and Hopeton Dunn (Co- Editors) and Jenna Harrison (Assistant Editor) on “Digital Empowerment: Opportunities and Challenges of Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Another forthcoming volume is “Brazil: Media from the Country of the Future,” for which Robinson collaborated with Brazilian and Brazilianist colleagues: Sonia Virgínia Moreira, Monica Martinez, Heloisa Pait, Joseph D. Straubhaar, Antonio C. La Pastina, Sayonara Leal, John Baldwin, and Pedro Aguiar, as well as Assistant Editor Nicole Speciale. Robinson was recently interviewed by Monica Martinez for Matrizes, entitled “Laura Robinson: Uma comunicóloga ‘brasileira’ no exterior” about her work in Brazil.

2017 Soci News