News and Events

Leesa Freeman's first novel was titled, The Wisdom to Know the Difference. Her second novel was titled, Into the Deep End.

The Wisdom to Know the Difference
Leesa Freeman
Into the Deep End

Laney Abbott



At the recent May graduation ceremony, sociology major Laney Abbott received the Harry Soladay Memorial Award. This honor is given the outstanding graduating senior, male or female.

Brianna Brown and Smantha Derden



Brianna Brown and Samantha Derden, shown in the photograph, presented their research at a conference, “Democracy’s Promise: Deisolating Gendered Experiences,” through Texas State University's Center for Diversity and Gender Studies.  Under the guidance of Dr. Jori Sechrist, Brianna presented a poster, "Colorism, Self-Esteems, and Social Identity."  Samantha presented a paper written with Dr. Robert Wallace "Gender and the Experience of Exoneration."

Smantha Derden, Yuri Brown and Cecilia Ramirez

 Students in Dr. Robert Wallace’s spring class, SOCI 3325 - Wrongfully Convicted, participated in a session, “Texas Injustice: Eyewitness Misidentification and the Wrongfully Convicted,” at the 2 nd Annual McMurry Academic Conference.  Each student presented a poster of a person in Texas who was exonerated of a crime he or she did not commit.  In the photograph, Samantha Derden, Yuri Brown, and Cecilia Ramirez pose in front of their posters.

Samantha Derden



Samantha Derden graduated with departmental honors in sociology. Her honors thesis was titled, “The Changing Face of Innocence: Female Exonerations in Texas.”  In the photograph Samantha is presenting her thesis at the McMurry Academic Conference.





Shanil Logwood, Deanna Dawson, Lara Williams

Next year three students are working on honors theses.  Brianna Brown is researching colorism and self-esteem, Candace Boehm’s work concerns body image, and Ashley Parsley is combining her interest in sociology and religion by studying faith-based social programs.

Candace Boehm had a busy semester presenting her scholarship at several professional conferences.  At the Southwestern Sociological Association meetings she co-authored a paper with Dr. Robert Wallace, “The Innocent Men: Social Psychological after Exoneration.”  She also presented her work regarding eating disorder patients with yoga-based therapy at the Great Plains Honors Conference in South Padre Island and at the Student Research Festival at the University Houston-Clear Lake.

Shanil Logwood, Deanna Dawson, and Lara Williams received Pauline B. Simpson Scholarships given by Harmony Family Services.  (Candace Boehm another recipient of this Scholarship is not pictured.)

Cole Baggett


 Cole Baggett received the Robert Dean Bouldin Scholarship given to the outstanding sophomore major in sociology.  In the photograph Cole is standing beside the Bouldin Scholarship plaque displayed in the Department of Sociology offices.



The Financial Aid Department sponsored a "Selfie" competition where a student was expected to take a photograph and then wait for votes of "like."  One our sociology majors, Edwina Biggins, came by the Department of Sociology and took the below selfie with Drs. Jerry Hollingsworth and Robert Wallace. Votes of "like" came pouring in and Edwina won a $500 scholarship.

Robert Wallace


 Dr. Robert Wallace has been asked to chair a committee to oversee the selection of the Outstanding Undergraduate Student paper presented at the 2016 Southwestern Sociological Association meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Social Research




During the spring term, Dr. Jori Semester taught SOCI 3300-Social Research.  In this photograph some of her students (Cole Baggett, Zackery Tucker, Jessica Price, and Paxton Grayer) are working with SPSS.

In the fall, Dr. Jori Sechrist is offering a new course, “Aging and Society,” and Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth is teaching his popular course, "Serial Murder Investigations." In the spring term, Dr. Robert Wallace will be teaching a new course to be required of all majors or minors, “Sociological Investigations.” 

Ashton Medford, sophomore sociology major, received a scholarship from the McMurry Women’s Club.

Paxton Grayer has received the Coach Neel Lemond Heart of a War Hawk Award. 

Lacey Reece performed in the following plays: "Over the River and Through the Woods", "The Receptionist", "A Hotel on Marvin Gardens", and "Moran."