Title - 0 33424

Smyth Chosen to Run Susquehanna’s Adams Center

Published on May 4, 2010

SELINSGROVE—Michael Smyth, assistant professor of sociology at Susquehanna University, has been named director of the school’s Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society. Smyth will start the part-time position July 1, while continuing his role as a Susquehanna faculty member.

The Adams Center explores the connections between law and other societal disciplines. It provides a forum and research opportunities for examining issues related to human rights and social responsibility, science and technology, and constitutional interpretation. The family of Sigfried and Janet Weis and The Degenstein Foundation of Sunbury, with support from the Annenberg Foundation, established the center in 2001 in honor of prominent Philadelphia jurist Arlin M. Adams.

Smyth was hired after a Susquehanna faculty steering committee conducted a thorough internal search. He holds a doctorate degree in criminology, law and society and a master’s degree in social ecology from the University of California-Irvine, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University. At Susquehanna, he has taught Social Justice, Crime and Delinquency, Criminal Justice, and Senior Seminar in Law and Society, among other courses.

At Susquehanna, Smyth serves on the chief diversity officer's advisory panel, the Admissions Committee, the Social Justice Experience Series Committee, the Schmidt Lectureship in Ethics Committee, and the Faculty Advisory Panel on Gender Identity and Expression. He is faculty sponsor of the Organization of Sociology and Anthropology Students.

Smyth is a member of the American Sociological Association, Law and Society Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems, for which he serves as newsletter editor. He is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research from the University of California-Irvine, including the 2004 Arnie Binder Award for outstanding service to the Department of Criminology, Law and Society; the 2004 Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Outstanding Research Article in Law and Society; the 2004 and 2005 Outstanding Mentor awards for performance in the role of teaching assistant and contributions to the teaching mission in the School of Social Ecology; and the 2005 Smith-Pontell Award for outstanding research and scholarship by a graduate student in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society.

“Mike’s appointment supports an academically focused center with primary concentration on bringing speakers to campus, sponsoring programming, and offering student research and internship opportunities in the area of law and society,” said Linda McMillin, university provost.

Students will find a wealth of ways to support their academic and professional aspirations through the Adams center. The center’s activities and materials expose students to the theory and practice of law through internships and field experiences, networking, professional seminars, independent study, research projects and enhanced library resources.

“My goal is to see the Adams Center realize its potential as a nexus of law-related inquiry and information on campus and in the broader community,” Smyth said. “Toward that end, I plan to build on the previous director’s efforts, creating a forum for students, faculty and the public to engage in practical and theoretical investigations at the intersection of law and society. The center will foster lively debate and provide a venue for high-profile speakers on critical topics related to law and other regulatory mechanisms.”

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 36 states and 13 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit www.susqu.edu.


Karen M. Jones

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