Sociology Faculty and Students Participated in Regional Conference

Friday, April 27, 2012

Two Westminster College faculty and four seniors participated in the North Central Sociological Association annual conference April 13 in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Kristin Park, professor and chair of Westminster's Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies, presented a workshop on "Peer Review of Teaching," drawing on her insights and experiences in addition to the American Sociological Association's newly-published book on the subject.

"Participants and I discussed different forms of peer review, including classroom observation, teaching portfolios, and teaching circles," Park said.  "Much of our discussion centered on classroom observations: who is most suited to conduct the observations; if they should be announced, unannounced, or both; what criteria should be used; if videotaping is advisable; and whether they are for formative or summative purposes.  We also discussed the merits of peer review for both adjunct and tenured faculty."

Park and Dr. Kristenne Robison, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice studies, moderated paper sessions for the presentation of research at the Student Conference.

Westminster students presenting capstone research were:
• Jordan Dunn, a sociology major, presented "Division III Coaches' Perceptions of Gender Inequality."  Dunn is a daughter of John and Kelly Dunn of Sarver and a graduate of Freeport Area High School.
• Alexandra Elliott, a sociology-criminal justice major, presented "The Perceptions of Socioeconomic Status and Self-Esteem."  Elliott is a daughter of Kenneth and Christine Elliott of Sarver and a graduate of Knoch High School.
• Katrina Falconer, a sociology major, presented "The Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors of the College Student."  Falconer is a daughter of Keith and Renee Falconer of Bessemer and a graduate of Mohawk Area High School.
• Cassandra Seaman, a sociology-criminal justice and history major, presented "Body Objectification at Fraternity Houses: An Examination of the Social and Environmental Settings."  Seaman is a daughter of Daniel and Greta Seaman of Ashtabula, Ohio, and a graduate of Edgewood High School.

Contact Park at (724) 946-7251 or email for additional information about the conference and presentations. 

The students received travel/presentation grants from Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning to attend the conference.

The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences.  Visit the Drinko website for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Drinko Center Information