Dr. Thomas Kersen was an invited speaker at the New Fellow Orientation for the American Sociological Association (ASA) Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), at the ASA Annual Meeting held Aug. 16 in Denver, Colo. The new MFP cohort, the 39th in ASA’s history, is made up of eight promising minority doctoral students from around the country.
Kersen is an assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology. He discussed with the new fellows the reasons why he loves sociology and encouraged them to explore why they chose sociology as their field. Kersen gave them a brief overview of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, emphasizing his experience at Jackson State University. He encouraged them to be analytical and critical in their perspectives and to provide a public face to the discipline–a discipline he considered premier in dealing with societal issues. Finally, he stressed the interdisciplinary nature of science and that no one approach can provide all the answers to pressing social problems.
Located in the nation’s capital, ASA is “dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good.” It was founded in 1905 and has over 14,000 members. Over 6,000 people attend the conference every year, where hundreds of sessions cover a wide range of topics. This year’s theme was “Real Utopias: Emancipatory Projects, Institutional Designs, and Possible Futures.”
ASA President Erik Olin Wright visited JSU earlier this year.