WOW-E! It’s all about access

It’s all about access.

As a major research university, Colorado State spends millions of dollars each year on subscriptions to thousands of scholarly publications. The information these journals contain is vital to the work of faculty and researchers on campus who learn from findings by and share their data with others in their field.

But what if instead of being locked up in expensive journals that take months if not years to publish, the results of all that research were freely accessible to anyone interested anywhere in the world?

That’s the concept behind the international Open Access movement, which encourages free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research and the right of anyone to use and reuse those results. Advocates argue that open access can benefit innovation, discovery, education and a better world by transforming the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted.

Some of the wild-eyed dreamers who support the revolutionary notion of Open Access include Nobel laureates, internationally respected researchers, and CSU’s own Vice President for IT and Dean of Libraries Patrick Burns.

“We can’t continue to pay for journal titles that just keep getting more expensive; the only way we can be sustainable in the future is open access,” Burns said. “There are many high-quality academic journals that have already adopted the open access model, and we will work with faculty to identify them and buy the necessary licenses so everyone can have access to their publications.”

Randy Schekman, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2013, talked about the open-access science journal that he edits, eLife, here on campus last semester, and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has made the research papers of six of this year’s laureates available for free through its digital library .

Reprinted from CSU’s “SOURCE” – click here for the entire story.

Call for Assistant Editor, Society and Natural Resources (grad student in Sociology)

Society & Natural Resources (SNR), a leading, international environmental social science journal, is
undergoing a planned, periodic editorial transition. Dr. David Sonnenfeld, Dept. of Environmental
Studies, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), Syracuse, NY; and Dr. Peter
Leigh Taylor, Dept. of Sociology, Colorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins, CO, are the incoming
Editors-in-Chief of the journal, for issues appearing during 2015-2017. In conjunction with this transition,
they seek formal expressions of interest from individuals seriously interested in consideration for a
part-time, 12 month, term appointment as Assistant Editor of the journal.

Responsibilities. SNR is published monthly, 12 issues per year. The Assistant Editor works approximately
20 hrs. per week, under the supervision of and in close cooperation with the Editors-in-Chief of the
journal, and in regular contact with both authors and the journal’s publisher. The Assistant Editor
manages the day-to-day receipt, screening, processing, preparation, and submission of manuscripts.
(The journal receives more than 350 mss. per year.) The Assistant Editor administers and maintains the
online manuscript submission/ review system for the journal. Specific tasks include preparing submitted
manuscripts for peer review; responding via e-mail to routine author inquiries; communicating with the
Associate Editors and publisher’s technical and production staff; copyediting accepted manuscripts prior
to submission for production; updating journal records and statistics, etc. As a monthly publication, the
position is deadline-driven throughout the year, including through university breaks as necessary


Required. Bachelor’s degree or higher in the social sciences or humanities. Outstanding
English language writing and editing skills. Professional/ business communication
experience. Excellent time management and organizational skills. Proficiency with office
computing applications, including MS Word, MS Excel, and Adobe Acrobat; ability to learn
proprietary database software.
Preferred. Master’s degree in the social sciences or humanities, with academic experience in
interdisciplinary environmental studies, natural resource management, or related field.
Prior experience in academic writing, editing, and publishing. Experience with online
manuscript management systems. Availability through June 2017, and possibly longer.


Deadline. All formal expressions of interest received by 5:00pm EST, October 31, 2014, will receive
priority consideration with respect to Fall 2015 graduate admissions. Subsequent calls may be made
and/ or applications solicited until the position has been filled.


Further information. Please contact Dr. David Sonnenfeld via email at (, or Dr. Peter
Leigh Taylor at (


Dr. Peter Hall, Sociology, interviewed at SSSI conference (video link below)

Interview with Peter M. Hall on YouTube Channel #sssi

At this summer’s SSSI 2015 Conference in San Francisco the journal’s editor, Robert Dingwall, interviewed Peter M. Hall. The interview covers various aspects of Professor Hall’s career, including his long-standing interest in power, and the current Call for Paper for a Special Issue of Symbolic Interaction on Space and Time issued by Professor Hall.

Clink here for the interview:

Dr. Lori Peek, Sociology, on 9/11, draws from her book Behind the Backlash

In this blog entry, on the anniversary of 9/11, Lori Peek, author of Behind the Backlashdescribes the aftereffects of the terrorist attacks for the Muslim community.

Soon after Behind the Backlash was published, I had the opportunity to give a guest lecture on the book at my undergraduate alma mater in Kansas. At the end of the talk, a student raised her hand and asked about the longer-term implications of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Specifically, she wanted to know whether anti-Islamic hate crimes and other forms of discrimination had continued to increase, even years after that fateful day. After she asked that question, another student raised his hand and inquired about the geography of post-9/11 hate crimes: Were they happening more often in big cities or small towns? Were they occurring in places close to or far away from the epicenter of the terror attacks?…to continue reading click here

Dr. Tara Shelley and Adam Mayer (Sociology) awarded TILT service learning mini grant

Dr. Tara O’Connor Shelley and graduate student Adam Mayer recently received a service learning mini grant entitled, “Sense of place, risk/ benefit perceptions, local drilling and fracking policy preferences among Coloradoans” from The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) at Colorado State University to incorporate service learning into the Sociology Department’s Fall semester Capstone course (SOC 403-02). The Service Learning Capstone will provide students with the opportunity to: (1) to apply research skills learned in the classroom while receiving in-depth mentorship from faculty and graduate students; and (2) experience the nuances of implementing research into practice.

Congratulation to Dr. Tara Shelley and Adam Mayer!

Dr. Carolan, Sociology, gives Keynote @ International Association of Critical Realism

Dr. Michael Carolan, Professor and Chair of Sociology, delivers the Keynote Address at the International Association of Critical Realism’s annual meetings in London. The title of his talk was “Getting a Feel for Sustainability: A Realist Look at an Undiagnosed Driver”.

Sociology students visit UNYP in Prague

Students from SUNY Plattsburgh and Colorado State visit UNYP

UNYP welcomed visiting students from three American universities with a reception on 26 May, where students were greeted by UNYP Student Council representatives and UNYP officials.

Studying subjects as diverse as International Entrepreneurship, Visual and Performing Arts, and Comparative Criminology, the students – over 50 of them from Texas Tech University, State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and Colorado State University – enjoyed traditional Czech snacks like chlebíčky while getting to know each other and settling in for their summer courses hosted by UNYP.

As a part of their courses, the visiting faculty members have arranged for their students to get to know the city of Prague, take in performances of the annual Prague Fringe Festival, attend lectures by Czech criminologists and other local experts, and visit Krakow, Poland.

For over a decade, UNYP has cooperated with the Rawls College of Business Administration at Texas Tech University, hosting faculty-led programs in the summer and exchange students during the rest of the year.

Since its founding in 1998, UNYP has cooperated with State University of New York institutions to offer American higher education in Prague. The State University of New York (SUNY) system is the largest comprehensive university system in the U.S., encompassing 64 institutions of higher learning and research. Through its cooperation with SUNY Empire State College, UNYP offers students from more than 50 different countries the opportunity to earn a double degree: A Czech Bachelor’s degree from UNYP and an American Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Empire State College.

Sharon Melzer, Assistant Professor, SUNY Plattsburgh said: “We are delighted to be in Prague with our students and study the Czech criminal justice system and comparative criminology.  We are very thankful for the hospitality and kindness that UNYP has shown toward their SUNY cousins as well as Colorado State University.  It is nice to be in Europe yet have a connection to home.”

We’d like to wish our visiting students and faculty members the best and hope they will enjoy their stay in Prague.

Dr. Peek, Sociology, has recent book mentioned in newsfeed

The Voice of the American Psychiatric Association and the Psychiatric Community

** Pre-Katrina Environment Was Critical in Children’s Mental Health Outcomes, Study Finds –

The social and economic circumstances surrounding children in New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 more strongly affected what happened to them afterwards than did individual or personal factors, reported two sociologists in The Dialogue, according to a study published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Technical Assistance Center.

“Disasters are often depicted as events that affect everyone indiscriminately, regardless of social status,” wrote Lori Peek, Ph.D., an associate professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis at Colorado State University, and Alice Fothergill, Ph.D., an associate professor of sociology at the University of Vermont. However, when pre-storm poverty, parental unemployment, poor housing, insecure neighborhoods, and unreliable access to health care and nutritious food were combined with exposure to life-threatening situations, the result was a “declining trajectory,” the researchers said. Children from poor families struggled later with increased behavioral problems, higher anxiety levels, and trouble concentrating in school, noted Peek and Fothergill. Those families often ended up in mass shelters, compared with middle-class children who could stay with family or friends outside the storm zone and had more resources to draw on as they recovered from the disaster. “Our work demonstrates how pre-existing disadvantage—the crisis before the crisis—and the profound disruption caused by a disaster like Katrina can send already vulnerable children on a downward spiral,” said the authors.

Drs. O’Connor and Opsal, Sociology, present oil and gas research findings in London

CSU Professors Tara O’Connor Shelley and Tara Opsal oil and gas research presented at the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Green Criminology Conference in London.

CSU Sociology professor Dr. Tara O’Connor Shelley was among 74 scholars from around the world participating in the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Green Criminology Conference at London South Bank University on July 7 and 8th, 2014.  The purpose of the ESRC seminar and conference series was to explore aspects of environmental, ecological, and species justice to further define the field of Green Criminology and set it apart from mainstream Criminology.  Dr. Shelley gave a presentation “Environmental Victimization: Citizen Experiences with Oil and Gas Activity in Colorado” coauthored with CSU colleague Dr. Tara Opsal.

Dr. Jeni Cross, Sociology, works to make schools more energy efficient

Contact for Reporters: Jeff Dodge 970.491.4251

Colorado State University’s school sustainability guide named national model

Note to Reporters: A photo of the three co-authors is available with this news release online at

A Colorado State University institute’s set of guidelines for making schools more energy efficient through sustainable practices has been chosen as a national model by an arm of the U.S. Green Building Council.
And it grew out of a graduate student’s thesis.
The council’s Center for Green Schools has published “The Whole-School Sustainability Framework,” a collection of principles assembled by CSU’s Institute for the Built Environment, and is urging schools around the country to adopt its recommendations on sustainable practices.
Stephanie Barr, now a research associate for IBE, presented the findings of her master’s thesis on sustainability efforts at U.S. schools during the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild conference in 2011. The presentation caught the attention of the director of the Center for Green Schools, and “the center said they’d like us to develop it further and encourage schools and districts across the nation to use it,” said Brian Dunbar, executive director of the Institute for the Built Environment, part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.
“We were asked to take the academic research and make it a public guidebook,” Barr said.
Jennifer Cross, an associate professor of sociology and IBE’s director of research, had already examined the dynamics that allowed Rocky Mountain High School in the Poudre School District to cut its electricity use by 50 percent over a seven-year period, outperforming sister school Fossil Ridge, the first high school in the state to earn a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver rating from the council. She gained insight into how a custodian, teacher and student group helped change the culture of the school, and those findings and her other research on the Poudre School District’s organizational transformation in sustainability were built into the guidelines.
Users don’t need to have a LEED-certified building to carry out the sustainability principles outlined in the guidebook; Cross calls it a whole-systems approach that involves educational programs and organizational culture in addition to facilities.  It also serves as an opportunity to educate students.
“We hear stories of students going back to their parents and helping the home change, and student engagement in sustainability at school leads to great career options for them,” Dunbar said.
“A land-grant institution is a perfect place for green-schools guidance to come from,” Cross said. “We’re committed to not just producing knowledge and letting it sit on a shelf, but also getting it out into practice.”
“A graduate student’s thesis can lead to something bigger, like this,” Dunbar added. “Stephanie could have said she was done after it was finished, but it grew into a national model.”
Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools, unveiled the guidebook at the Green Schools National Conference in March.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University to present to you a guiding framework that articulates the conditions and approach to advance successful whole-school sustainability efforts,” she wrote in the publication’s introduction. “Through years of focused study, the team at CSU has developed a research-based framework that supports lasting cultural shifts toward healthier, greener schools.”
The Center for Green Schools envisions the framework as a compass to help a school or district achieve recognition in the Green Ribbon School program, which was started by the center and the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to award the top green schools and districts in each state annually. The center is providing the framework to schools across the country that are pursuing Green Ribbon status.
Dara Ward, energy and sustainability manager for the St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont, has already adopted many of the principles outlined in the guidebook. She said IBE is helping the St. Vrain district carry out an energy conservation pilot program in a handful of schools to identify strengths and challenges.
“We have a lot of these components in place, but they need to be put into a framework to see how it all fits together,” Ward said of the principles. “This way we can identify the critical moving parts, how they interact, what gaps exist and the necessary steps to improve the system.”
The guidebook is available on the Center for Green Schools website