Self-Study Report 2003 I. Environmental scan a. Sociology, Anthropology & the World


V. ACCOMPLISHMENT OF PROGRAM GOALS, OUTCOMES & RESULTS



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V. ACCOMPLISHMENT OF PROGRAM GOALS, OUTCOMES & RESULTS


A. Department Goals & Outcomes

The Department’s goals are to:




  • Continuously improve its undergraduate curriculum so that its students become leaders as citizens and professionals in an emerging age of multicultural societies and global interconnections.

  • Continuously improve its graduate curriculum to ensure the training of teachers, scholars, and policy specialists who will become leaders in their professions and communities.

  • Vigorously pursue national and international recognition of its scholarly activities through high standards of publication and funded research.

  • Contribute to making South Florida—a multilingual, culturally pluralistic region with far-reaching transnational connections—a more sustainable, just, and livable metropolis.

  • Contribute to FIU’s development as a thriving, innovative public university that is anchored in the ideals of academy and citizenship.



B. Instruction & Learning



1. Undergraduate Program
The current undergraduate major program reflects the Department’s commitment since 1997 to improving the program in terms of both curriculum and student advising. The Department has done so through the vigorous work of its Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. It has also done so by appointing as Undergraduate Studies Coordinator a tenured faculty member (Professors Richard Tardanico in 1997-2002, Lois West in 2002-03, and Lilly Langer in 2003-04); and by encouraging the activities of its Sociology & Anthropology Club (whose advisor is Professor Shearon Lowery) and its Sociology & Anthropology Students Association (whose advisor is Professor Lilly Langer).

The Department’s efforts both anticipated and responded to FIU’s SACS reforms (see Appendix E). Hence they are meant to give students a strong foundation in theories and methods of sociology and anthropology; to prepare students for advanced work in these disciplines; and to provide accessible, supportive, and consistent advising to undergraduate majors.

The reforms were designed, then, to better prepare students not only for graduate and professional studies, but also more generally for the demands of citizenship in a multicultural, globalizing, and information-intensive world. The improvements address the SACS requirements and reinforce FIU’s institutional missions. They focus on boosting student skills in comparative analysis, critical thinking, research methodology, and written, oral, and computer-graphic communication. The revisions took effect in two stages during 2000-01 and 2001-02.
The first stage of revisions increased the required courses in comparative analysis and/or research methodology by replacing one elective course with a required course selected from the following: Comparative Sociology, World Ethnographies, Qualitative Research Methods, and Advanced Research Methods. The second stage folded a formerly required course, Ethical Issues, into the required Research Methods as well as into the larger Department curriculum. Doing so freed space for the most important curricular reform, the Senior Capstone Seminar (SYG 4972).
Professor Lisandro Pérez inaugurated the Senior Capstone Seminar in Spring 2002. The seminar’s co-requisites (which will become prerequisites in Fall 2003) are drawn from the major’s core requirements: Anthropological Theories (ANT 3034), Sociological Theories (SYA 4010)), and Research Methods (SYA 3300). Each seminar student carries out a project of research, writing, oral, and PowerPoint presentation. The seminar emphasizes professional standards.

The seminar builds on the major’s required core courses to reinforce the nexus of conceptualizing, conducting, and presenting research. It also builds on these courses (especially Research Methods) by culminating in a mini-conference. Attending the mini-conference are not only the seminar students and other undergraduate students but also graduate students and the Department’s faculty. Awards are presented annually for the best projects.

Since 2002-03 the Department offers the Senior Capstone Seminar in both the Fall and Spring semesters. The Department intends the seminar to be a vehicle for improving the academic-professional standards of undergraduate work and for building ties among students and faculty. The Department recognizes that the Senior Capstone Seminar represents a first step toward a broader quest: to make hands-on research a key dimension of its undergraduate program on the whole. How to do so, given FIU pressures to increase FTE’s, is a critical university-wide challenge.
Another important departmental step in the direction of hands-on undergraduate research is that, as previously discussed, Advanced Research Methods (SYA 4450) will be offered periodically as a follow-up to Basic Research Methods for selected students who will work as a team on the course professor’s current research project. In the Spring 2003, the course’s students worked with Professor Alex Stepick on a funded research project concerning agencies helping immigrants in Miami.
Complementing the reforms in the undergraduate curriculum are improvements in the undergraduate advising program. These were implemented in 2001-02. They focus on advising hours by the Department’s Undergraduate Studies Coordinator at University Park and by another faculty member (currently Visiting Assistant Professor Ida Tafari) at Biscayne Bay. At University Park students regularly consult with the Department’s Administrative Assistant (Michelle Lamarre) on miscellaneous matters.
These advising hours are publicized on the Department’s website, as well as in classes and via flyers at University Park and Biscayne Bay. Materials on career options for sociology and anthropology majors are available at both locations, as well as on the Department’s website.

Now that the Senior Capstone Seminar is firmly in place, in the Spring 2003 the Department began in earnest to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum changes (Appendix E). The Department will develop a fund-raising strategy to fund a competition to support undergraduate research projects. A complementary step will be the introduction of an accelerated M.A. program for qualified undergraduate majors, which the Department has begun to consider. Finally, the Department has begun to organize a new advising system that will allocate majors to specific faculty advisers.

2. Graduate Program
The principal recent change in the graduate program is the implementation of a professional-track master’s degree that requires no post-coursework thesis after the completion of coursework. As discussed under “Curriculum Review,” FIU’s professional track meets the needs of the local job market (e.g., teachers and public-sector employees who need graduate degrees for professional advancement). In this regard, it is competitive with such programs at benchmark universities. The first six professional-track M.A.’s were awarded in the Fall 2002 (see Appendix G). The professional-track M.A. does not require a thesis and allows the students to select just three of the five core courses (Research Methods I and II, Social Research and Analysis, Classical Social Theories, and Contemporary Social Theories). Arguably a more rigorous professional-track M.A. would focus on evaluation research, for which there is significant demand in government, non-profits, and business (see Section VI-B, “Comparing Tracks & Areas of Concentration). The current absence of such an curriculum signifies that FIU’s M.A. program is not competitive with applied M.A. programs at institutions such as the University of Central Florida; the University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Houston, Wayne State University, and the University of Houston (Section VI-B, Table 7).
C. Research & Publications
1. Faculty Specializations & Scholarship

The Department currently numbers twenty-one regular faculty members. Twenty-one of the faculty members are tenured. Various members have full or partial assignments to other areas of the university. Holding full assignments outside the Department are Stephen Fjellman, Associate Dean, Honors College; Hugh Gladwin, Director, Institute for Public Opinion Research; and Douglas Kincaid, Vice Provost for International Studies. Holding partial extra-Department assignments are Lisandro Pérez, Director, International Migration Initiative; and Alex Stepick, Director, Institute for Immigration & Ethnicity. In 1999-2000 Jean Rahier was Acting Director of African-New World Studies.



Table 2

Books by Department Faculty, 1997 – 2003


Faculty Member

Date

Title

Press

Jean Muteba Rahier and Percy Hintzen

2003

Problematizing Blackness: Self Ethnographies by Black Immigrants to the United States

Routledge

Alex Stepick, Guillermo Grenier, Max Castro and Marvin Dunn

2003

This Land is Your Land: Immigrants and Power in Miami

University of California Press

Guillermo Grenier and Lisandro Pérez

2002

The Legacy of Exile: Cubans in the United States

Allyn & Bacon

Lisandro Pérez and Grisel Sangroniz

2002

Cuba & U.S. Nonprofits: Resource Guide and Directory

Cuban Research Institute

D. Murphy Arthur, Alex Stepick, Earl W. Morris, Mary Winter

2002

La Cabeza de Jano: La Desigualdad Social en Oaxaca


Instituto Estatal de Educacion Publica de Oaxaca

Abraham D. Lavender

2002

Miami Beach in 1920: The Making of a Winter Resort

Arcadia Publishers

Lisandro Pérez

2001

Cuban Studies, volume 32

University of Pittsburg Press

Robin Sheriff

2000

Dreaming Equality: Color, Race and Racism in Urban Brazil

Rutgers University Press

Douglas Kincaid and Victor Bulmer-Thomas

2000

Central America 2020: Towards a Regional Development Model

Institute for Iberoamerican Studies

Richard Tardanico and

Mark B. Rosenberg


2000




Poverty or Development: Global

Restructuring and Regional Transformations in the U.S. South and the Mexican South

Routledge



Jean Muteba Rahier

1999

Representations of Blackness and the Performance of Identities


Bergin & Garvey (Greenwood Press)

Marifeli Pérez-Stable

1999

The Cuban Revolution, 2nd Edition

Oxford University Press

Alex Stepick

1998

Pride Against Prejudice: Haitians in the United States

Allyn & Bacon

Marifeli Pérez-Stable

1998

La Revolución Cubana, translation of The Cuban Revolution, 2nd Edition

Editorial Colibrí, Madrid

Lois A. West


1997



Feminist Nationalism

Routledge



Lois A. West

1997

Militant Labor in the Philippines

Temple University Press

Jerald Brown and Rinaldo Brutoco

1997

Profiles in Power: The Antinuclear Movement and the Dawn of the Solar Age

Simon & Schuster Macmillan

Richard Tardanico and

Rafael Menjívar Larín


1997


Global Restructuring, Employment, and Social Inequality in Urban Latin America

North-South Center Press, University of Miami; Lynne Rienner

Publishers



Walter Peacock, Betty Hearn Morrow and Hugh Gladwin

1997

Hurricane Andrew: Ethnicity, Gender and the Sociology of Disaster


Routledge

Such assignments notably reduce the Department’s full-time teaching faculty. They demonstrate, however, the vital importance of its faculty’s expertise to FIU’s local and international themes.


The faculty’s record of research and publication (Tables 2-5) underpins the Department’s strong national and international reputation in its specialization areas. Senior sociologists Lisandro Pérez (Director, International Migration Initiative), Marifeli Pérez-Stable, Anthony Maingot, and Guillermo Grenier have distinguished themselves not only in scholarly research on Cuba and Cuban-American affairs, but also as civic leaders concerning U.S.-Miami-Cuba relations. Professor Maingot has also distinguished himself as a scholar and civic leader concerning the Caribbean Basin in general. Senior sociologist Barry Levine is likewise prominent as a scholar of the Caribbean and its wider connections.

Senior anthropologist Alex Stepick (Director, Center for Immigration & Ethnicity) is another distinguished scholar and civic leader. Professor Stepick’s work focuses on Greater Miami’s nexus with immigration and ethnicity in the Caribbean Basin. Sarah Mahler (associate professor of anthropology) is fast approaching the same stature in this field. The extensive public-health research of Lilly Langer (associate professor of sociology) adds a crucial dimension to the Department’s urban expertise.

Concerning environmental issues, senior anthropologists Janet Chernela and William Vickers have distinguished themselves in research and civic engagement with regard to South American indigenous groups. Jean Rahier (associate professor of anthropology; editor, Journal of Latin American Anthropology) has attained high stature in African-Latin American diaspora studies, race-ethnicity, and performance studies. The Ford Foundation has funded Professor Rahier’s international, multidisciplinary summer graduate seminar program on the African diaspora, which will take place at FIU during the summers of 2004-2006.
Hugh Gladwin (Director, Institute of Public Opinion Research, associate professor of anthropology) has done extensive research on disaster vulnerability in metropolitan Miami, is developing funding proposals to apply geographic information systems to study South Florida’s urban-regional ecosystem, and serves on various metropolitan urban-regional planning boards. Laura Ogden (assistant professor of anthropology) is crafting articles and a book on her innovative research in The Everglades, and is preparing to launch a comparative research phase in Alaska. The research and community activities of Jerald Brown (associate professor of anthropology) revolve around connections between environmental and health issues.

Kathleen Martín (associate professor of anthropology), Douglas Kincaid (Vice Provost for International Studies and associate professor of sociology), and Richard Tardanico (associate professor of sociology) reinforce the Department’s Latin American strengths through their research on Mexican culture (Martín) and the political economy of Latin American development (Kincaid and Tardanico). Much of their work has involved active collaboration with Latin American scholars and research institutions. Martín’s recent work on gender in Yucatán has solidified FIU’s growing research presence in southeast Mexico. Tardanico’s research and writing on U.S. cities in global perspective complements the Department’s U.S.-transnational research agenda, while his current research on sustainable development in Yucatan adds to its environmental expertise. Kincaid’s program-building endeavors have made FIU an integral part of an international academic program,“Transnationalism, International Migration, Race, Ethnocentrism and the State” (TIRES). His initiatives, then, have bolstered the Department’s already impressive strengths in race-ethnicity and immigration.

Stephen Fjellman (Associate Dean of the Honors College and professor of anthropology) and Abraham Lavender (professor of sociology) have published much-cited works on urbanism and on ethnicity in Florida. Professor Lavender’s considerable civic contributions include his service as a special assistant to the mayor of Miami Beach. Chris Girard (associate professor of sociology) has contributed expertise in survey and statistical methods to the above-cited research on disaster vulnerability in South Florida, and is studying outcomes of welfare-reform policies in metropolitan Miami. The publications of Lois West (associate professor of sociology) focus on Asian politics of labor, nationalism, and gender. Professor West has been vital as the Department’s bridge to FIU’s burgeoning programs in Asian Studies and Women’s Studies.
The Department’s faculty, in sum, has established not only the Department but also FIU as major players in transnational migration/race-ethnicity, environment and sustainability, and comparative social conflicts.
Table 3

Number of Books by Year and Faculty Rank


Year

Assistant

Associate

Full

Total

Average*

1998-1999




1

2

3

.12

1999-2000


1

2




3

.14

2000-2001







1

1

.05

2001-2002







3

3

.14

2002-2003




3

3

6

.32

*Per Ranked Faculty Headcount


Table 4

Number of Refereed Journal Articles by Year and Faculty Rank


Year

Assistant

Associate

Full

Total

Average*

1998-1999



5


6

11

.42

1999-2000

1

10

6

17

.81

2000-2001

1

7

5

13

.57

2001-2002

1

4

8

13

.62

2002-2003




10

5

15

.79

*Per Ranked Faculty Headcount

Table 5

Number of Book Chapters by Year and Faculty Rank


Year

Assistant

Associate

Full

Total

Average*


1998-1999

1

3

11

15

.58

1999-2000




6

6

12

.57

2000-2001




6

9

15

.65

2001-2002

1

4

12

17

.81

2002-2003




8

10

18

.95

*Per Ranked Faculty

2. Externally-Generated Research & Training Funds

Led by Professors Alex Stepick, Lisandro Pérez, Marifeli Pérez-Stable, Guillermo Grenier, Lilly Langer, Sarah Mahler, and Jean Rahier, the Department’s faculty has established the Department and FIU as major players in funded social-science research. Most of this funding comes from private institutions such as the Ford Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts (see Table 6 and Appendix F). As discussed earlier, such funding has underpinned much of the Department’s graduate training. It is also contributing to undergraduate research training, as Professor Stepick’s funded research served as the focus of Advanced Research Methods in Spring 2003. It is unclear how much of the recent drop in per faculty funding reflects insignificant short-term fluctuation, recent loss of faculty grants-oriented faculty members, or other factors.

Table 6

Summary by Year and Average

External and Internal Funding Generated


Year

Totals

Average per

Headcount Faculty

Federal

$274,488




State

$166,451




Private

$179,850.30




1999 – 2000 Total

$620,789.30

$29,561.40

Federal

$378,113




State

$80,000




Private

$905,268.13



2000 – 2001 Total


$1,363,381.10

$59,277.44

Federal

$314,668.50




State

$83,152




Private

$498,760.13




2001 – 2002 Total

$896,580.63

$42,694.31

Federal

$239,668.50




State

$8,000




Private

$611,342.13




2002 – 2003 Total

$859,010.63

$45,211.09

Federal


$211,000




State

$4,000




Private

$486,500




2003 – 2004

(to date) Total

$701,500

$36,921.05


D. Public & Professional Service
The Department’s faculty has a distinguished record of public and professional service (see Appendix H). Its members are interviewed frequently in the English- and Spanish-language media in the U.S. and abroad. Hugh Gladwin has played an integral role in federal, state, and local agencies and in community groups concerned with disaster policy. Gladwin and Jerald Brown are also vigorously active with agencies and groups concerned with environmental issues. Professor Brown serves as a Fellow and Trustee of the World Business Academy, an international organization that explores the role of business in creating a sustainable future. Laura Ogden serves on advisory committees concerning public involvement in Everglades restoration.

Jean Rahier is editor of the Journal of Latin American Anthropology, and Kathleen Martín is chair of the American Anthropological Association’s Ethics Committee. Janet Chernela and William Vickers play important parts in South American environmental conservation and indigenous rights. This includes Chernela’s service as chair of the American Anthropological Association’s Committee for Human Rights, and Vickers’s service as president of the Siona-Secoya Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization that benefits the Siona and Secoya Indians of South America.

Guillermo Grenier, Sarah Mahler, Lisandro Pérez, and Alex Stepick are called on frequently for their expertise on immigration, ethnicity, and refugees. Lisandro Pérez, Marifeli Pérez-Stable, Guillermo Grenier, and Anthony Maingot have been key national and international resources concerning Cuba and U.S.-Cuban relations. Maingot, moreover, is a mainstay of the national and international media with regard to Caribbean and Latin American affairs.

Among Abraham Lavender’s diverse community activities is his service as chair of the Miami Beach Homeless Committee. Lois West has frequently been interviewed concerning various local and national issues. Lilly Langer and Jerald Brown have been pillars of community service in matters of public health. Shearon Lowery’s energetic work in local prisons has received widespread recognition (see, e.g., South Florida Sun-Sentinel, June 16, 2003). Douglas Kincaid chairs the Academic Advisory Committee for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Global Business Center. This group promotes information and resource sharing between South Florida’s higher education and business communities.



VI. CURRICULUM REVIEW

A. Undergraduate Program

The Department’s cross-disciplinary commitment is reflected in the long-standing requirement that undergraduate majors take two courses in theory, one anthropological and one sociological. The required research methods course blends anthropology and sociology as well. So, too, does the Senior Capstone Seminar, while the upper-division electives are drawn from both anthropology and sociology. The required additional course in Comparative Sociology, World Ethnographies, Qualitative Methods, or Advanced Quantitative Methods permits students to gain greater depth in either anthropology or sociology.

The program is anchored, then, in sociological-anthropological theories; cross-disciplinary methods of research, as well as fundamentals of writing and graphic/oral presentation; and comparative/global perspectives. The faculty regards this as a rigorous, cross-disciplinary core curriculum. A key question is whether the cross-disciplinary focus, as currently organized, provides adequate preparation for those undergraduates who pursue graduate studies in either sociology or anthropology (see Appendix H on comparable undergraduate programs).
Each of the programs reviewed in Appendix H offers a distinct sociology track and anthropology track, rather than a combined sociology-anthropology curriculum (though Howard requires that anthropology majors take courses in statistics and demography, and Northeastern requires one upper-division course in the department’s partner discipline). We argue below that, while shortcomings of breadth should be addressed in FIU’s program, its cross-disciplinary emphasis represents a decided strength.
Breadth, Rationale, & Currency
1. Breadth
As currently organized, FIU’s program leaves students unprepared in linguistics, physical anthropology, and archaeology for graduate studies in traditional anthropology departments. The same is true regarding statistics in graduate sociology departments (including FIU’s own Comparative Sociology graduate program), and arguably for the post-B.A. job market as well.

The gap in statistics training could easily be closed through strong, consistent written and oral advising—perhaps including a suggested “sociology track”—recommending that students with a “sociological inclination” take a course in introductory statistics in FIU’s Department of Statistics (e.g., STA 1013 or STA 2122). In the past, though, a common complaint has been that such courses do not serve the general needs of social science students. The gap in anthropology could be reduced through a combination of advising (including a suggested “anthropology track”); incorporation of one or more linguistics courses offered by FIU’s English Department (e.g., LIN 2002, Introduction to Language); and more frequent course offerings by several excellent adjunct professors who specialize in physical anthropology and archaeology.

Let us keep in mind that Appendix H’s comparison programs do not have graduate programs in anthropology (or, for that matter, Ph.D. programs in sociology). Consequently they need not house the “critical mass” of faculty in disciplinary specializations to sustain advanced research programs. FIU’s program, by contrast, does need to house such critical masses, which for anthropology it does within the rubric of cultural anthropology. This emphasis, moreover, infuses the comparative strengths of the Department’s sociological, anthropological, and cross-disciplinary research agenda.
In an era of dissolving disciplinary boundaries, the faculty of FIU’s Department of Sociology & Anthropology regards its cross-disciplinary focus not as a weakness but as a decided strength. The objective is not to revert to a traditional—and arguably outmoded—disciplinary format. It is, rather, to flexibly incorporate strategic areas of disciplinary breadth into the undergraduate major.
2. Rationale & Currency
The Department’s cross-disciplinary approach rigorously engages fundamental, contemporary issues of cultural-social difference and globalization. Its requirement that majors take courses in both anthropological and sociological theories situates the consideration of contemporary comparative/global issues in analytical and historical perspective. Its requirement that majors take both Research Methods and the Senior Capstone Seminar provides strong preparation for today’s academic and non-academic careers alike, as students learn the basics of statistical software, data collection and interpretation, and written, graphic, and oral presentation.

Making internships and independent research projects more integral parts of the major would make the major all the more compelling. Professor Shearon Lowery’s Special Topics courses on South Florida prisons and prisoners merit emulation. So does Professor Alex Stepick’s Advanced Research Methods course, in which students have collaborated on his South Florida research on migration and race-ethnicity.

A complementary approach would be to establish a “Where We Live” series of public lectures and other programs, including in association with the local public radio station, to highlight the Department’s expertise on South Florida and Latin America and the Caribbean. Research, writing, and other work by the Department’s undergraduate majors could become integral contributions to the series (one of the objectives of which would be fund-raising). Still another complementary layer would be to emphasize the relevance of the Department’s comparative-global orientation in a “post 9/11” world.
Finally, the Department is in the beginning stages of considering the implementation of an accelerated M.A. program for selected undergraduate majors.



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