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Focus

Sociology Program Development Coordinator and Student Liaison
Department of Sociology

Name of primary hiring contact:  Curt Raney
Title of hiring contact:  Acting Chair, Department of Sociology
Email:  ccraney@smcm.edu
Phone: (office) 240-895-4395, (home) 301-994-0837

Responsibilities and benefits to the student:

The Fellow will serve as the Sociology Program Development Coordinator and Student Liaison. The Sociology Department is evaluating its curriculum with the intention of implementing focus areas that will offer a more coherent, cohesive course of study with clear connections to the workplace, graduate studies and communities; revising course sequencing with more predictable and regular course offerings; establishing ongoing supervised internships and community-based learning; and offering more research opportunities for St. Mary’s Projects and directed research. Our goal is to involve students in these major changes and give them a voice in the department’s strategic plan.

As Development Coordinator the student would help develop a strategic plan to identify student interest and potential opportunities for students to do directed research in the discipline and to have more options to fulfill the ELAW requirement. This would entail gathering best practices from our faculty along with best practices and vision-mission statements from peer and aspirant institutions. The research would also involve exploring growth areas in sociology, contacting potential venues for research and internships, interviewing likely mentors and, when possible, conducting site-visits.

Additionally, the student will serve as a bridge between the sociology faculty and its majors and minors. It is essential to give students a voice in how the new program changes will be structured. The Fellow will conduct interviews, administer surveys, and maintain and update social network links. The Department already has a Facebook page but it needs greater attractive presence. The student will help develop a SMCM sociology graduate survey that will enable us to collect and analyze data concerning how our majors and minor evaluate the sociology program—where it works and where it needs to be adjusted.

Two other opportunities for a Fellow to gain organizational experience are with broadening the visibility of Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honors Society, and breathing fresh life into the now-dormant sociology club. The faculty has not been able to accomplish either task because of time constraints. A student liaison with our majors and minors will be in a crucial position to accomplish these goals.

These responsibilities will have multiple benefits for the college and the community, and most significantly for the Fellow. Networking with faculty, administrators, community members, and fellow students will be an invaluable experience for a fellow.

Qualifications and unique application:

Applicants should have strong oral and written communication skills. They should be well organized, and demonstrate a history of networking with faculty and students, and feel at ease meeting and negotiating with the public. Ideal candidates should have interviewing skills as well as quantitative competence. They should be able to do basic web page upkeep and social network construction and maintenance. Candidates should have a keen understanding of how the mission of the college and the discipline of sociology support one another. The fellow will be the Department’s spokesperson where appropriate