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Social Sciences on Tap

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

Next Event

Date: Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018
Time: 6 p.m.
Topic: "How to be an informed citizen in the era of fake news"
Presenter: Dr. Adam Maksl, Assistant Professor of Journalism & Media

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

Topic Summary

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

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 the questions we should ask to be skeptical (but not 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. in journalism 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.

Previous Talks

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.

April 13, 2017 - "The Quaking Earth: The Haitian Earthquake and Chilean Earthquake and Tsunami of 2010 in Historical Relief"

"The Quaking Earth: The Haitian Earthquake and Chilean Earthquake and Tsunami of 2010 in Historical Relief"

Presenter: Dr. Quinn Dauer, Assistant Professor of History.

Late on the afternoon of January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti near the capital of Port-au-Prince. According to official estimates, 316,000 people perished in the disaster and 1.3 million people were displaced. In addition, the catastrophe destroyed much of Haiti’s infrastructure and housing, reducing much of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere to rubble.

The next month as the summer holidays drew to a close in the Southern Hemisphere, a massive magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile’s south central region in the early morning hours of February 27, 2010. A tsunami followed, sweeping through port cities and fishing villages along the Pacific coast. The catastrophe resulted in a death toll of 523 people and displaced 800,000 people. The earthquake and tsunami damaged the country’s infrastructure and housing from Concepción to Valparaíso and Santiago.

In contrast to the earthquake that struck Haiti, the seismic shock that shook Chile was 500 times stronger and shifted the earth’s axis, causing the length of a day to be shorten according to scientists. Why was there such as stark divergence in the death toll and destruction wrought by these two disasters? Scholars from the interdisciplinary field of disaster studies have pointed to the enforcement of building codes, stability of state institutions, and economic development. These explanations and others posited by scholars have deep historical roots. Indeed, historians study catastrophic events because they tear down façades of everyday activities that obscure or conceal the political, economic, social, and cultural structures of states and nations. The contrasting state and societal responses to the 2010 earthquakes and tsunami in Chile and Haiti were tied to historical processes that shaped each country’s vulnerability to a disaster.

Quinn P. Dauer earned his B.A. in history and Spanish at Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2005 and Ph.D. in Atlantic and Latin American history at Florida International University in Miami in 2012. His research broadly examines how state and societies have responded to natural and technological disasters. Dauer is currently working on two monographic projects, a comparative analysis of how natural disasters shaped the state formation and nation building processes of Argentina and Chile during the long nineteenth century and a study of 1939 Chillán earthquake in Chile. His work has been generously funded through the Tinker Foundation, a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship, research and writing fellowships from the FIU Graduate School, and a research grant and summer faculty fellowships from Indiana University Southeast. In addition to teaching courses topics in World and Latin American history, Dauer offers courses on the history of natural and technological disasters and environmental history.

March 9, 2017 - "The Politics of Punishment: Exploring the Regulation and Criminalization of Women"

"The Politics of Punishment: Exploring the Regulation and Criminalization of Women"

Presenter: Dr. Bernadette Jessie, Associate Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice.

Over the past 30 years, crime has played an increasingly crucial role in US politics and culture. Tough-on-crime policies and draconian sentencing laws make it clear that politicians will go to great lengths to define themselves as tough on criminals and those addicted to drugs. The resulting short-sighted and zero-tolerance policies have increased our prison populations at unmanageable and exorbitant rates; with particularly devastating effects on women. The number of women in prison has grown by over 800% in the past three decades; two-thirds of women in prison are there for non-violent offenses, many for drug crimes. From both an economic and harm reduction standpoint, the advantages of employing substance-abuse treatment and gender-responsive services as an alternative to prison for such women is evident. It is important to understand that incarcerating women does not solve the problems that most often underlie their involvement in the criminal justice system.

Dr. Bernadette Jessie is an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at IU Southeast. She divides her research efforts between the topics of gender and crime, and the burgeoning fields of forensic psychology and forensic science. Bernie teaches classes in international criminal justice systems; senior seminar in criminal justice; and forensic investigation and criminal psychology. She is currently developing a course on women and corrections, and will offer this in the fall of 2017. Bernie is in the final stages of writing a book that examines the nature of incarcerating females, specifically looking at how women “do time,” as well as the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse that takes place in many of the correctional facilities across America. In this manuscript, she addresses the daily and often demeaning, victimizing, and unchecked violations of inmates in the name of ‘security’ and justice, while also detailing the shattering of emotional and spiritual identity that develops with even limited incarceration.

Feb. 9, 2017 - "Neuroenhancements: Humanity in the Age of Biotech Cyborgs and Mind-Altering Medications"

"Neuroenhancements: Humanity in the Age of Biotech Cyborgs and Mind-Altering Medications"

Presenter: Meghan Kahn, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology.

Great progress has been made recently in the field of neuroscience, allowing patients who were once paralyzed to walk again and providing medications that can slow the deterioration from conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. While these advances present huge promise to many patients and their families, they are also changing the way we define humanity and personal achievement. This talk will describe some exciting new neuroscience innovations and some of the ethical concerns that come along with progress in the field of neuroscience.

Dr. Meghan Kahn is an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Indiana University Southeast, as well as a science fiction enthusiast. Her laboratory conducts research on the role of odors in memory, using the homing pigeon as a model species. Meghan teaches advanced courses on neuroscience, learning and memory, and the role of the microbiome on psychological functioning.

Jan. 12, 2017 - "The 'Formula' for Making Successful Small Talk: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Connect, Not Just Converse, with Others"

“The 'Formula' for Making Successful Small Talk: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Connect, Not Just Converse, with Others”

Presenter: Bernardo J. Carducci, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director of the Shyness Research Institute, IU Southeast.

Many people think being able to make successful conversation is an innate talent. It is, in fact, an acquired skill. There is a structure and there are rules of engagement. Once individuals know the basic structure and rules for making successful conversation, connecting with others can become less intimidating. This presentation will provide an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to the art of making successful conversation.

Dr. Bernardo Carducci (Kansas State University, 1981) is professor of psychology at Indiana University Southeast, where he has taught classes on personality psychology and introductory psychology for the past 37 years, and the director of the Indiana University Southeast Shyness Research Institute. A few of his many publications on the topic are The Pocket Guide to Making Successful Small Talk: How to Talk to Anyone Anytime Anywhere About Anything (1999, Pocket Guide Publishing), Shyness: A Bold New Approach (2000, HarperCollins); and Shyness: The Ultimate Teen Guide (2015, Roman & Littlefield). In addition to his multiple appearances on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and other national and international media services, including the BBC, Professor Carducci's writings and advice have been featured in such diverse sources as Psychology Today, U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, and Vogue, among others.

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

Campus Events

College Goal Sunday

College Goal Sunday

February 25th, 2018

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

2018 Sanders Speaker Series Featuring Story Musgrave

2018 Sanders Speaker Series Featuring Story Musgrave

February 26th, 2018

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

IU Southeast Graduation Fair

IU Southeast Graduation Fair

February 28th, 2018

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Early (Priority) Registration Begins for Fall 2018

Early (Priority) Registration Begins for Fall 2018

March 5th, 2018

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Last day to Withdraw for Full-Term

Last day to Withdraw for Full-Term

March 11th, 2018

All day event

Open Registration Begins for Fall 2018

Open Registration Begins for Fall 2018

March 19th, 2018

All day event

Spring Break Begins

Spring Break Begins

March 26th, 2018
April 1st, 2018

All day event

Classes End

Classes End

April 23rd, 2018

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Final Exams Begin

Final Exams Begin

April 25th, 2018

All day event

Final Exams End

Final Exams End

May 1st, 2018

All day event

IU Southeast 2018 Commencement Ceremony

IU Southeast 2018 Commencement Ceremony

May 7th, 2018

6:45 PM - 9:45 PM

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