Spring 2024

94th Annual Meeting of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

The 94th Annual Meeting of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences took place on October 6th, 2023, on the campus of Indiana University, Kokomo. Over forty IASS members hailing from nearly twenty colleges and universities from throughout Indiana, the Midwest, and the world presented research papers spanning a dozen panels representing the disciplines of sociology, political science, education, marketing/economics, history, criminal justice, and psychology. This year also featured an interdisciplinary social science panel, Disparity and Diversity, which brought together scholars in marketing, leadership, and the humanities to discuss racial and economic challenges in current employment and education climates. The Undergraduate and Graduate Student Poster sessions had over a dozen submissions. At the Executive Business Meeting, held during the Meeting’s luncheon, President Monica Solinas-Saunders, Indiana University – Northwest, welcomed attendees and Indiana University Kokomo’s Chancellor Dr. Mark Canada, Executive Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs Dr. Scott Jones, and Dr. Chris Darr, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Newly elected board positions included: Dr. J. Michael Raley, Hanover College, for Vice-President, Dr. Micah Pollack, Indiana University Northwest, for Treasurer, and Dr. Surekha Rao, Indiana University Northwest, for Editor of the Midwest Journal of Social Sciences.

Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences 94th Annual Meeting Participants

Chastity Akard (Indiana University Kokomo)

IASS 94th Annual Meeting Panel Session

Josh Myers (University of Indianapolis)

IASS 94th Annual Meeting Executive Meeting.

IASS Executive Meeting Standing from Left to Right: Margarita Rayzberg (Director-at-Large), Niru Devaraj (Director-at-Large), David Nalbone (Director-at-Large), Surekha Rao (Editor), Micah Pollak (Treasurer), J. Michael Raley (Vice-President), Monica Solinas-Saunders (Past President)

IASS 94th Annual Meeting Luncheon

New Leadership

Dr. Melissa Stacer, University of Southern Indiana, is the new President of the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences and will serve a period of two years! Dr. Solinas-Saunders handed over leadership to Dr. Stacer and formally took the office of Past President. Stacer previously served as a Director-at-Large and Vice Present for the IASS. Dr. Stacer is Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice at USI. Her teaching and research interests are in the area of institutional corrections, justice-involved veterans, prison culture, prisoner misconduct, reentry, collateral consequences of incarceration, and criminal justice education. She has served on the IASS Board of Directors for four years.

Melissa Stacer (President) Monica Solinas-Saunders (Past President)

Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences 94th Annual Meeting Award Winners

The IASS bestowed the George C. Roberts Award for Best Paper in the Midwest Social Science Journal Volume 24 (2022) to Lisa S. Elwood of Ponce Health Sciences University, Samantha Goodin of Western Reserve Psychological Associates, Christine Naydenov of Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System, Nicole Baldonado of World Without Orphans, and Tamara Weaver of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General for their article, “Assessment Practices and Experiences of Sex Trafficking in Assessment Practices and Experiences of Sex Trafficking in Caseloads of Service Providers Working with High-Risk Youth in Caseloads of Service Providers Working with High-Risk Youth in Indiana.” Dr. Tanvir Pavel of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and Margarita Rayzberg of Valparaiso University, each won Faculty Research Awards. Dr. Pavel will further investigate the project, “Social Networks, Shocks, and Consumption: Evidence from Rural Farmers in Bangladesh” and Dr. Rayzberg will use the award to fund the study, "Social isolation and Help-Seeking Behavior: Comparing Women in India in Joint versus Nuclear Families." The Graduate Student Research Award went to Huda Alqahtani of Ball State University, faculty sponsor Ligia E. Gomez, for “Exploring the Alignment between Pre-K Teachers' beliefs about Mindset and Their Practice during Read-Aloud.” The Undergraduate Student Research Award went to Alex Smith of Indiana University Kokomo, faculty advisor Kathryn Holcomb, for “Breaking the Bi-nary: A Comparative Study of the Coming Out Experience between Men and Women.” 

Faculty Research Award Winner Margarita Rayzberg, IASS Director-at-Large (Valparaiso University) and Melissa Stacer, IASS President

Faculty Research Award Winner Tanvir Pavel (Rose Hulman Institute of Technology) and Melissa Stacer, IASS President

Undergraduate Student Research Award Winner Alex Smith (Indiana University Kokomo) and Aimee Adams, IASS Administrative Secretary

Graduate Student Research Award Winner Huda Alqahtani (Ball State University) and Aimee Adams, IASS Administrative Secretary

New Board Members – Directors-At-Large

Denise Lynn (University of Southern Indiana)

Denise Lynn is Professor of History, Interim Chair of History, Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies. Dr. Lynn is also the Vice-President of the Historians of American Communism and the editor of its journal American Communist History

David Nalbone (Purdue University Northwest)

Dave Nalbone is a Professor of Psychology with expertise in attitudes and political psychology. His interests are in research methods, statistics, social psychology and stereotyping and prejudice.

Matt Hanka (University of Southern Indiana)

Dr. Matthew J. Hanka is Professor of Political Science. Dr. Hanka’s research interests include housing policy, community development, urban policy and governance, strategic planning, and social capital. He was hired in 2010 at USI as the Director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, a position he held for eight years.

Maureen Rutherford (Indiana University Northwest)

Dr. Maureen Rutherford is an Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Psychology Department. The Rutherford laboratory investigates how drug and stress exposure during different stages of development influences the expression of stress responses, with the goal of better understanding vulnerability to stress-related conditions, such as anxiety disorders.

Margarita Rayzberg (Valparaiso University)

Dr. Margarita Rayzberg is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology. She is a science and technology studies scholar whose work examines politics, knowledge production, and expertise in public health and global development.

Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences 94th Annual Meeting Keynote Presentation

Dr. Justin R. Garcia, Executive Director and Senior Scientist at the Kinsey Institute and the Ruth N. Halls Professor of Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington gave the keynote address. Dr. Garcia is an evolutionary biologist who studies the evolutionary and biocultural foundations of romantic and sexual relationships across human life. Garcia’s research on social and sexual behaviors, and on intimate relationships such as monogamy, intimacy, gender, courtship, dating, desire, satisfaction, and reproductive strategies, have been widely published in academic and public media forums. He is the is co-author of Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior (Harvard University Press) and co-editor of Evolution’s Empress: Darwinian Perspectives on the Nature of Women (Oxford University Press). In the keynote address, “Love, Sex, and Singlehood in Today’s Digital Age,” Dr. Garcia discussed global demographic shifts in marriage and reproduction have provided new contexts for people’s romantic and sexual lives. Similarly, the use of new technologies for courtship and relationship maintenance have also impacted the changing expectations surrounding intimacy and the ways that it is expressed and experienced.

Justin R. Garcia, (The Kinsey Institute and Indiana University, Bloomington)

 Invitation to Submit

Greetings from the Indiana Academy of Social Sciences! We are excited about the year 2024 and the upcoming 95th Annual Meeting of the Indiana Academy of Social Science to be held in Evansville, Indiana on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana. This year, we want to hear from you, our members. Tell us what you’ve been up to, academic or otherwise. Do you want to share valuable information? Have you published an article, taken a trip, or visited a museum? We want to know. We’re interested in reporting on all the academic achievements and cool endeavors of our members, so we are inviting you to submit a brief academic blurb or a short article to our newsletter Endnotes. Contributions can be short commentaries on contemporary issues, reviews, community news, personal experiences, academic achievements/publications or any other helpful information related to the social sciences and academia. When submitting please be sure to include:

Email submissions to executive.secretary@iass.org. This year Endnotes is moving to an online format that can be updated throughout the year instead of the annual newsletter. This new design will allow us to connect more regularly with one another, so remember to look out for new articles and features. Hope to hear from you soon! 


J. Michael Raley (with Lauren R. Rippy) | Hanover College

Professor J. Michael Raley and Lauren R. Rippy, both of Hanover College, have recently published an article, "We Have a Right to Live in This Country": Reverend Moses Broyles and the Struggle for Social Justice and Racial Equality in Nineteenth-Century Indiana," in the Indiana Magazine of History. Rev. Moses Broyles (1826–1882) ranks as a leading figure in Indiana’s African American religious, political, racial, educational, and legal history. Born a slave in Maryland, he was sold as a child to John Broyles of Paducah, Kentucky, from whom he purchased his freedom in 1854. Thence he moved to Lancaster, Indiana, where he enrolled at the Eleutherian Institute. In 1857, he relocated to Indianapolis and joined the Second Baptist Church. Recognizing his oratorical skills and spiritual leadership, its members soon called Broyles as their pastor. As a bi-vocational minister, Rev. Broyles also taught at a private school for African American children and helped integrate Indianapolis High School. He was a fierce opponent of slavery who demanded equal rights and privileges for African Americans as U.S. citizens. Later, he served as a statewide leader in the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant even as he challenged Indiana’s anti-Black laws. 

Raley, Michael J. and Lauren Rippy. ""We Have a Right to Live in This Country": Reverend Moses Broyles and the Struggle for Social Justice and Racial Equality in Nineteenth-Century Indiana." Indiana Magazine of History. Vol. 120, No. 1 (March 2024): 32-71.