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Engagement Opportunities

Sociology Creative Inquiry

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice prides itself on providing students with a wide array of opportunities for engaging with each other, with faculty, and with campus, local, and global communities.  Below are a few examples of the types of engagement opportunities that our department has offered in recent years.  Many of the listed projects are ongoing.

Creative Inquiry Projects

Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership:  This course, co-taught by Dr. Melissa Vogel and faculty from the College of Business, draws on interdisciplinary scholarship to inquire into the meaning of being of leader in order to empower students to be leaders in their own lives, communities, and societies.  Students who fully participate in the project will leave the course exercising leadership effectively as part of their natural self-expression.  

Causes of Death in Pickens County:  This project, led by Dr. Katherine Weisensee, gives students the opportunity to work with the Pickens County Coroner's Office to create a digital, geospatial database of death investigation records in the county over the past several decades. Currently records are only available in paper files, but with the digital database, students can examine detailed trends related to deaths in the county from both temporal and spatial perspectives.

“Gangsterism” as a Film Genre:  Students in this Creative Inquiry class, led by Dr. Marjie Britz, evaluate films on the American mafia, comparing and contrasting depictions of various criminal syndicates, assessing accuracy and identifying stereotypes.  Qualified students have the opportunity to travel to New York City to interact with various law enforcement agencies and to visit geographical locales with significant importance to the history of the mafia in the U.S.

Minorities and Majorities: Gaps in Life, Death and Migration: This hands-on project, led by Dr. Victoria Prieto Rosas, uses public worldwide demographic data on health, migration and reproductive behavior by race, ethnicity, and sex to find new demographic paradoxes for a broad range of developing and developed countries by applying statistics and demographic techniques.   

People-Place-Sustainability:  This project, led by Dr. Brenda Vander Mey, allows students the opportunity to develop scholarly and practical understandings of the complex webs of association between space, place, people and sustainability.  Students then put their knowledge to work while addressing local school and community challenges during a visit to the island nation of Dominica.

El Purgatorio Excavation

Study Abroad

Cultural Anthropology in the Czech Republic:  Students spend four weeks traveling in the Czech Republic under the direction of Dr. Mike Coggeshall, comparing the Czech culture to that of the United States.  Students have the opportunity to recognize the interrelatedness of cultural components (such as history, art, language, and social behavior) while visiting major sites throughout the country.  

General Education in Rome:  Students can complete general education requirements with Clemson faculty at the American University of Rome. Introduction to Anthropology is occasionally offered through this program. Students in this course make primate observations at the Rome Zoo, study the impact of social stratification in the Jewish Ghetto, and examine religious rituals at a Roman Catholic mass at the Vatican.

Human Skeletal Analysis in Hungary:  Dr. Katherine Weisensee leads students on a three-week trip to the University of Szeged in Hungary to examine a collection of skeletal remains recovered from archaeological excavations dating from the Neolithic to the 1800’s.  Students collect and analyze data to examine demographic and health trends within a selected sample of skeletal remains.

Project El Purgatorio in Peru:  This project gives students the opportunity to work on original archaeological data from Dr. Melissa Vogel's site in Peru, El Purgatorio, while learning how to use the latest cutting-edge technological applications. Project components have involved creating maps from a GIS database, 3D virtual reconstructions of artifacts and architecture including animation, and Portable X-ray Fluorescence componential analysis of metallic artifacts.

Student Organizations

Anthropology Club:  The anthropology club is a lively organization that provides students with social and professional networking activities, as well as opportunities for fields trips and service learning projects.  Past activities have included archaeological digs, a trip to a zoo to study primate behavior, and the surveying and mapping of a local slave cemetery.  For more information on the anthropology club, please contact Dr. Katherine Weisensee

Criminal Justice Club:  Our department houses a very active criminal justice club that sponsors professional development and networking events throughout the year, as well as an annual law enforcement and legal career fair that attracts dozens of federal, state, and local agencies and graduate schools from across the country.  For more information on the criminal justice club, please contact Dr. Marjie Britz.  

Sociology Club:  The sociology club offers students with an interest in the field the chance to develop friendships and professional connections at a variety of scheduled events throughout the academic year.  For more information on the sociology club, please contact Dr. Candace Coffman.  

Student Advisory Board:  The student advisory board for the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice represents the interests of all of our 250-plus majors.  Members of the board host social events and informal focus groups for students throughout the year and share student comments and concerns with departmental faculty.  For more information on the student advisory board, please contact Jennifer Holland.

Alpha Kappa Delta:  AKD is the International Sociology Honor Society, dedicated to the ideal of Athropon Katamannthanein Diakonesin or "to investigate humanity for the purpose of service."  Qualified undergraduate students in our department derive a variety of benefits from membership, including access to publications in the field and the chance to compete in student paper competitions.  For more information on AKD, please contact Dr. Sarah Winslow.

Internships

Students in both our sociology and criminal justice programs have the opportunity to complete internships for course credit through our Field Experience (SOC 4950) and Justice Leadership Practicum (JUST 4920) courses, respectively.  Both courses require students to complete a 112-hour, semester-long field experience and to take part in a weekly professional development seminar.  Students may apply to internships with hundreds of local and national agencies and organizations.  Some examples of our students’ past field placement sites include:

  • Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, the U.S. Marshals, the Secret Service, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Anderson and Greenville County Sheriff’s Offices
  • Human services agencies, such as the Department of Social Services, the Family Counseling Center of Anderson, Foothills Alliance Sexual Trauma and Child Advocacy Center, and Safe Harbor Domestic Violence Shelter
  • Local and national nonprofit organizations, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the United Way, and Clemson Community Care
  • Health and medical organizations, such as St. Francis Hospital, Oconee Memorial Hospital Hospice of the Foothills, and Sterling House Assisted Living
  • Educational settings, including Clemson’s Michelin Career Center, the School District of Pickens County, and Anderson County’s Communities in Schools Program

An internship offers an amazing opportunity to apply social science concepts in a real-world setting, while developing professional skills and making valuable connections for future careers.  If you are interested in learning more about sociology internships, please contact Dr. Catherine Mobley.  For more information on criminal justice internships, you may email Dr. Marjie Britz