Social Sciences on Tap

On the second Thursday of every month, faculty from the School of Social Sciences discuss topics of local, national, and global importance and engage in a lively conversation with the community. Come join us!

Next Event

Date: Thursday, September 13, 2018
Time: 6 p.m.
Topic: "Neoliberalism: Poison or Panacea?"
Presenter: Dr. Veronica Medina, Associate Professor of Sociology

New Albanian Brewing Company Brewhouse
415 Bank Street
New Albany, IN 47150

Topic Summary

"Neoliberalism: Poison or Panacea?"

Presenter: Dr. Veronica Medina, Associate Professor of Sociology

Economic transformations and their consequences for societies and individuals have long been an important topic of inquiry for sociologists. The current trend toward “neoliberalism” is no exception.

In this talk, Dr. Medina will define the concept of neoliberalism from a sociological perspective and address its origins, applications, and implications. This presentation will discuss the ways in which neoliberal economic and social policies and practices bear on the lives of individuals in both advanced capitalist and developing economies by examining findings from Dr. Medina’s ongoing research on reality television and microfinance, respectively. In her analysis, Dr. Medina seeks to determine whether neoliberalism is a poison or panacea to some of the most pressing social problems of our time.

Biography: Dr. Medina is an Associate Professor of Sociology at IU Southeast, where she teaches courses in introductory sociology, as well as advanced courses in the sociology of education, work and occupations, childhood, and family. She received a PhD (2012) and MA (2007) in sociology-- with a graduate minor in Women’s and Gender Studies-- from the University of Missouri, and a BA in sociology and English (2004) from the University of Kansas. She holds membership and committee chair positions in both the Midwest Sociological Society and the North Central Sociological Association.

Dr. Medina’s current research focuses on issues of representation in popular culture. She has published collaborative research examining immigrants’ work experiences in the Midwest (Journal of Counseling Psychology, 2011) and the intersections of race, immigration, and “new urbanism” in New Orleans, LA, post-Hurricane Katrina (Sociation Today, 2006 and 2007).

Dr. Medina’s most recent publication “The Promises and Pitfalls of Microfinance in Pakistani Women’s Lives” is co-authored with Dr. Priya Dua (USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service) and appears in the anthology Women of Asia: Globalization, Development, and Gender Equity (Routledge, 2018).

Previous Talks

May 10, 2018 - "Working Well: Managing Stress in the Workplace" and "Prescribing Persuasion: Which Persuasive Messages Influence Elderly Patients' Medication Compliance"

"Working Well: Managing Stress in the Workplace"

Presenter: Darlene Young, Director of Staff Equity & Diversity/Title IX Deputy Coordinator at IU Southeast

Effective management of stress is important to the welfare of all workers. Financial costs from lost productivity, absenteeism, associated healthcare, and turnover are on the rise because of chronic workplace stress.

My analysis will discuss findings obtained from social science and business research focused on identifying what workplace stress is; how it affects the mind and body; the main causes of workplace stress; and how healthy outcomes can be achieved through the utilization of coping strategies, and organizational resources.

Biography: Darlene Young currently serves as Director of Staff Equity & Diversity, and Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Indiana University Southeast (IU Southeast) in New Albany, Indiana. She works collaboratively with internal campus and external community members to develop and implement initiatives that create spaces where respect and diversity can thrive on and off campus.

Young received her bachelor’s degree from the IU Southeast School of Business; is a Six Sigma Green Belt; holds certification as a Senior Certified Affirmative Action Professional (CAAP); and is an ATIXA Level Three Title IX Investigator. Before joining administration at IU Southeast in 2008, Young served as Vice President of Business Support and Operations for Bank of America Merchant Services, and performed in various Information Technology and Human Resource roles for Brown-Forman Corporation in Louisville, Kentucky.

"Prescribing Persuasion: Which Persuasive Messages Influence Elderly Patients’ Medication Compliance"

Presenter: Michelle Churchman, IU Southeast Master of Interdisciplinary Studies student

Patients who fail to comply with medical recommendations for treatment or to take prescribed medications affect the cost and effectiveness of our nation’s health care system. Patients with chronic conditions who fail to follow medical orders get sicker, need more expensive interventions and die earlier than patients who regulate and maintain their health with consistent care. A careful examination of existing literature reveals health care practitioners struggle to address the problem of noncompliance.

Abundant research shows how effective marketing and sales professionals use persuasion and compliance-gaining techniques to influence the public’s behavior. It would seem, then, that creating persuasive messages that effectively use these empirically-tested psychological techniques and strategies could create an effective way for health care practitioners to obtain higher compliance rates from patients. In other words, using psychological principles to influence the way most humans make decisions about what toothpaste to buy could be used to influence the way they make decisions about their health, particularly their decisions to follow medical advice with regard to medications.

Biography: Michelle Churchman is a student in the IU Southeast Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies program. She has 14 years of health care experience at John-Kenyon Eye Center, where she is currently a refractive surgery counselor and scheduler. She hopes to use her degree to pursue a career in training and education in a health care setting or a post-secondary position. She is married and has lived in New Albany for over 30 years.

April 12, 2018 - "Civility in Public Discourse: Can We Get It Back?"

"Civility in Public Discourse: Can We Get It Back?"

Presenter: Dr. Joe Wert, Professor of Political Science

It seems you can’t look at social media, read a newspaper or watch television anymore without hearing people scream at each other. The state of our public discourse (public conversations and debates about political issues) is abysmal. Public airwaves are filled with vitriol, name calling, and sometimes even violence. We seem to be in a place we have never experienced before. Are we doomed to an ever-spiraling decay of our public rhetoric? Or can we do something about it?

In the next Social Sciences On Tap, we’ll explore the state of Rhetoric in Public Discourse. We’ll put it into historical perspective, look at some causes, and talk about some potential solutions. We promise the conversation will be both interesting and civil, and maybe even fun!

Biography: Dr. Joe Wert is professor of political science. He teaches courses in public administration, the presidency, constitutional law, research methods, and ethics and public policy. He is currently working on researching (with Dr. Cliff Staten) how politically-constrained presidents can work with Congress to achieve their agendas.

March 8, 2018 - "Innovations in Higher Education: Roleplaying, Games, and Simulations"

"Innovations in Higher Education: Roleplaying, Games, and Simulations"

Presenter: Dr. Margot Morgan, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Most students' experience of college used to involve sitting and listening to seemingly endless lectures. But higher education is changing. While the lecture still has its place, other more innovative means of teaching have entered the scene. Researching in teaching and learning indicates that students learn more - and learn differently - when more engaging, interactive activities are brought into the classroom such as games, simulations, and collaborative exercises.

Reacting to the past is at the forefront of the active-learning movement. The Reacting curriculum is composed of role-playing games based on key movements in world history, such as the French Revolution or the American Constitutional Convention. Within the context of the game, each student is assigned the role ofa historical figure and given a set of goals that s/he needs to accomplish in order to "win" the game. Students must work together to achieve their goals and solve conflicts along the way. Reacting games empower students by helping them develop the tools they need to succeed in the world after graduation: public speaking skills, interpersonal communication skills, persuasive writing skills, and the ability to collaborate with others to address problems and create solutions.

Biography: Dr. Morgan teaches Introduction to American Politics as well as courses in political theory on themes such as power, political freedom, and ideology. She used the French Revolution Reacting game in her Ideologies course last semester and will be offering a course on Political Freedom incorporating three Reacting games next fall for the Honors Program.

Her current research is on the value of active learning in the classroom. Her first book,Politics and Theatre is Twentieth-Century Europe: Shaw, Brecht, Sartre, and Ionesco Comparedexplores the power of theatre to expand the imagination and to incite social and political change.

Feb. 8, 2018 - "How to be an informed citizen in the era of fake news"

"How to be an informed citizen in the era of fake news"

Presenter: Dr. Adam Maksl, Assistant Professor of Journalism & Media

In the era of information abundance, anyone with a cell phone can share content widely and that content is often displayed on equal footing with more traditional sources of information. How do we know what to believe? How do we determine what is real and what is, well, fake? Dr. Maksl will discuss what citizens need to know to be better informed consumers of information. Through an examination of how modern media organizations are structured, he will explore the questions we should ask to be skeptical (but no cynical) consumers of information.

Biography: Dr. Adam Maksl is an assistant professor of Journalism & Media at Indiana University Southeast, where he teaches digital journalism and social media classes, advises the multiplatform student news laboratory and radio station, and researches news and media literacy. Maksl's research has been published in top-rated journals in his field, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly: Journalism & Mass Communication Educator: the Journal of Media Literacy Education; Electronic News; and Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking. His teaching focuses on multimedia storytelling, reporting, and communications law. He has won several awards, including the Teacher of the Year honor from the Small Programs Interest Group of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the Honor Roll Newspaper Adviser Award from the College Media Association. Maksl has a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, an M.A. in journalism from Ball State University, and a B.S. in secondary journalism education from Indiana University - Bloomington.

Dec. 14, 2017 - "Workplace Motivation: Lessons from the Wells Fargo Scandal"

"Workplace Motivation: Lessons from the Wells Fargo Scandal"

Presenter: Dr. Todd Manson, Associate Professor of Psychology

From January 2009 to September 2016, Wells Fargo employees created an estimated 3.5 million unauthorized customer accounts, such as checking accounts, credit cards, and online bill-pay enrollments. Affected customers received fees for the new accounts such as overdraft fees, late charges, and insufficient funds fees, and many experienced a negative impact on their credit scores. This has resulted in ongoing political, legal, and financial fallout for the company.

Unauthorized accounts were apparently created by employees in an attempt to meet aggressive sales goals incentivized both by financial bonuses for meeting goals and negative consequences for not meeting goals. Financial bonuses are used by many organizations to motivate performance and attract and retain top performing employees. While research has found that financial bonuses can be effective, there are also risks involved in their use. The Wells Fargo case highlights one major risk – motivating unwanted, unethical, and/or illegal behavior aimed at attaining bonuses.

This talk will review the Wells Fargo case, discuss the use of financial incentives, and describe other ways to motivate employee performance that are less likely to result in such negative behaviors.

Biography: Todd M. Manson, Associate Professor of Psychology, received a Ph.D. in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Manson has published peer-reviewed articles in the areas of job analysis, personnel selection, and the teaching of Psychology. Dr. Manson’s research in personnel selection has examined the role of impression management by job applicants when completing personality tests. Dr. Manson teaches classes in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Statistics and Research Methods, Social Psychology, Introductory Psychology, Careers in Psychology, and Senior Seminar.

Nov. 9, 2017 - "Should Punishment Last Forever? The Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record"

"Should Punishment Last Forever? The Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record"

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Ortiz, Assistant Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Currently, there are 2.2 million individuals residing in correctional facilities nationwide. Ninety-five percent of all incarcerated individuals will re-enter society at some point in their lives. Annually, an estimated 700,000 incarcerated individuals are released from correctional facilities in the United States. High recidivism rates result in a 'revolving door' whereby individuals cycle into and out of our prison system.

Formerly incarcerated individuals face substantial obstacles upon their release including barriers to employment, education, housing, and access to medical care. This presentation will discuss the impact of these issues on both formerly incarcerated individuals and society. Dr. Ortiz will draw data from national and local sources in addition to her ongoing research with formerly incarcerated individuals in the Kentuckiana area.

Bio: Dr. Ortiz is an Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at IU Southeast. She teaches introductory courses on criminological theory and research methods as well as advanced courses in corrections, wrongful convictions, and prison gangs. Dr. Ortiz's research focuses on punishment in the criminal justice system. Her current study explores the lived experiences of individuals exiting correctional facilities in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Dr. Ortiz's previous research explored a wide range of punishment topics including the impact of sentencing policies on prison populations, the impact of criminal justice policies on victims of crime, and the impact of police and correctional policies on prison and street gang structures.

Oct. 12, 2017 - "Accounting for Taste: What the Art You Consume Says About You"

"Accounting for Taste: What the Art You Consume Says About You"

Presenter: Dr. Greg Kordsmeier, Assistant Professor of Sociology.

They say there is no accounting for taste, but sociologists of culture have shown that social characteristics like class, gender, and race and ethnicity influence our seemingly idiosyncratic taste in art and music. This event explores how sociologists define taste and the implications of this school of research.

The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu coined the term cultural capital to describe the nonmaterial assets that individuals hold that mark their social position. These can include educational credentials, skills, knowledge, and aesthetic sensibilities. Understanding cultural capital offers us insight not only into our own taste in art and music, but also helps us perceive the subtle ways that class, gender, and racial distinctions are maintained. Cultural capital can help us understand everything from the future of arts organizations to how we should be educating first-generation college students.

Bio: Dr. Kordsmeier teaches introductory courses in social problems as well as advanced courses on Social Psychology, Social Theory, the Sociology of Medicine, and Research Methods. He serves as an area editor for the American Sociological Association's Teaching Resources and Innovations Library (TRAILS), a peer reviewed digital library of high quality teaching resources for sociology, in the areas of Emotions and Socialization.

Dr. Kordsmeier’s research focuses on social interaction in culture industries. He utilizes qualitative methods, focusing on in-depth interviewing, participant observation, and qualitative content analysis of documents. He is interested in understanding the social-psychological and micro-sociological forces that affect work processes in arts organizations, and the effects this has on artists and the art that they make. His work is forthcoming in Music and Arts in Action and The Journal of the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences.

Sept. 14, 2017 - "Britain, Brexit & the Future of Europe"

"Britain, Brexit & the Future of Europe"

Presenter: Dr. Jean Abshire, Associate Professor of Political Science & International Studies.

Last year's vote for Britain to leave the European Union, followed by a series of unexpected national elections, leave politics in Europe in a state of flux and the future overshadowed by question marks. This On Tap event examines the situation facing our closest allies and what may lie ahead.

European integration has focused on unifying Europe and making war obsolete on the European continent since shortly after WWII. What we now call the European Union, an organization of 28 member-states with deeply connected economic and political systems, has been successful in those respects yet many divisions remain. Economic challenges, terrorism, and a refugee crisis have highlighted the rifts that still exist and dangerously undermine the Union. The British decision to “Brexit” means an unprecedented step backward for integration and raises the specter of other countries following the British out the door. What will become of Europe?

Bio: Dr. Abshire teaches introductory courses in comparative politics & international relations as well as advanced courses on European politics, Asian politics, nationalism, comparative public policy, and occasional seminars on topics like globalization, genocide, and political grassroots movements.

Dr. Abshire’s research interests focus on conflict management in ethnically divided societies. Ethnic nationalism is a leading cause of domestic and international conflict, yet various societies have managed to accommodate diversity though government policies that offer rights and protections to minority groups – Dr. Abshire’s work has explored some of these policy approaches in places like Italy, Northern Ireland, Spain, and Finland. Her book, History of Singapore from Greenwood Press (2011), explores the development of Singapore’s multicultural society and status as a small, but economically significant global actor through Singapore’s extensive experience with economic globalization across the centuries. She is currently working on a book for Praeger Press titled Ethnic Conflict and Global Security.

May 11, 2017 - "Going green: Small changes for big impact on your carbon footprint"

"Going green: Small changes for big impact on your carbon footprint"

Presenter: Dr. Lucinda Woodward, Associate Professor of Psychology.

This Social Sciences on tap presentation will address simple changes you can make to lower your carbon footprint. Based upon best practices in sustainability, participants will learn how to make "green" household products such as laundry soap, all-purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner and scrubbing powder. Everyone who comes will take home samples of the products we make together (please bring a small plastic tub to contain your laundry soap so we can honor the “reduce, recycle, reuse” mantra.

Bio: Lucinda Woodward is an instructor in the Departments of Psychology and Sustainability at IU Southeast. She is passionate about issues pertaining to the environment and has taught multiple courses in environmental psychology, including a study abroad trip to Wales, U.K. where her students volunteered at the Lammas Eco-community. She currently sits on the Sustainability Council at IUS and is a founding member of the Sustainability Board. She maintains a small organic farm in Salem where she raises produce and livestock using permaculture techniques.

Please contact Dr. Kelly A. Ryan at if you would like more information on the series.

Campus Events

The Unity Principle: The Power Behind Teams

The Unity Principle: The Power Behind Teams

September 20th, 2018

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Bus Trip to IU Football vs. Michigan State (Kick-off TBD)

Bus Trip to IU Football vs. Michigan State (Kick-off TBD)

September 22nd, 2018

3:00 PM - 11:30 PM

Mental Health Screenings

Mental Health Screenings

September 24th, 2018

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Annual School of Business Golf Scramble

Annual School of Business Golf Scramble

September 28th, 2018

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention

Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention

September 29th, 2018

9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Intramural Softball Registration Deadline

Intramural Softball Registration Deadline

October 3rd, 2018

5:00 PM - 5:01 PM

Common Experience Film Night: The True Cost

Common Experience Film Night: The True Cost

October 3rd, 2018

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Part-Time Job Fair

Part-Time Job Fair

October 4th, 2018

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Major and Career Exploration Workshop

Major and Career Exploration Workshop

October 4th, 2018

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Graduate Business Information Session

Graduate Business Information Session

October 4th, 2018

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

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