Monday, January 12, 2015

Temple Email Basics

This post really just applies to folks at Temple University.

As a Temple student, your initial email address may be set up as a random series of letters and numbers, such as That makes it hard for recipients to know who they are receiving emails from. Here are three easy steps to make your emails easy to identify!

1. In your email, click on the settings option.

Then choose the option "Accounts."

Then, under "Send Email as," click on "edit info." If your account is linked to multiple addresses, be sure to choose the correct address.

Finally, enter your name and click on "save changes."

2. Still in the settings, click on "General."
Scroll down to "Signature." Fill in a signature that includes your first and last name. You can also add other contact information such as an email address, business phone, or social media handles.
Click on the box at the bottom that reads "Insert this signature before quoted text in replies and remove the "--" line that precedes it." Then scroll to the bottom of the page to click on "save changes."

3. From TUPortal, open the Cherry & White Update under "Applications."
Set your AccessNet Username as a combination of your first and last name, or first initial and last name. Consider setting up aliases under alternative options.
Then click "Submit."

Those three options should ensure that your email recipients always know who you are.

Internship Skills: Interview Bucket List

I love this post on LinkedIn about creating an Interview Bucket List of places you'd like to pursue for your next job. The criteria are:
  1. "The company's product or service is something you believe in.
  2. You can explain in detail, what experiences you've had in life that have taught you the company's product or service is worthy of your admiration or respect."
Read more on LinkedIn:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Internship Skills: Technical Skills for the Modern Workplace

Internship Skills: Technical Skills for the Modern Workplace

In this post, I use a series of videos to step students through the basic technical skills they need for the average workplace.

The most important set of skills a modern worker needs are all related to the Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook. For each of these, there are also non-Office alternatives that are worth considering, but everyone needs to know how to operate successfully in the Office Suite first and foremost. The Microsoft Suite is available online as a software download and it is even available by subscription, which means you would always have access to the most updated version.


Word is, of course, a text editing program. The best alternatives to consider are Google Documents (in Google Drive) and Apple Pages.A full course of Word training is available here:


Excel is a spreadsheet program. You can use it for both quantitative numerical) information, and for keeping track of qualitative (text) information. Alternatives are Google Spreadhseets (in Google Drive) and Apple Numbers. You can use to record information, analyze information, and produce visuals that allow you to share your findings with others. A full course of Excel training is available here:


Access is a database program, used for recording contact details and a range of other information. A full course of Access training is available here:


PowerPoint is a presentation program. Alternatives include Prezi, Google Presentations (in Google Drive), and Apple Keynote. A full course of PowerPoint training is available here:


Outlook is an email program and of course that are a lot of alternatives, particularly Gmail. But many companies continue to favor outlook. A full course of Outlook training is available here:

Beyond the Office Suite

Once you have conquered the Microsoft Office Suite, there are two more sets of skills you should focus on developing: web editing skills and social media skills. Web editing skills refer to html basics, image editing, site creation and management, and blog publishing. Social media skills refer to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, among others.

HTML Basics

HTML is the basic language used for creating websites. With a few simple HTML codes, you can even create a webpage using a program as simple as Notepad (you would then just need to find a host for the page). Although there are many web editors that allow you to bypass learning HTML, they all have their quirks. Knowing basic HTML allows you to have full control of any webpage (or blog).

Image Editing

Image editing involves taking/obtaining images, editing their size and resolution, cropping the image, and improving the image quality. It also involves understanding different image formats such a jpeg, gif, png and others. 

Site Creation

Site creation and management usually involves working with a site host. You can even use WordPress to create a website. You want to understand how to make and link new pages, remove pages, and update content.


The three main blog hosts WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. Tumblr is the most used by far. You can also create your own blog with basic HTML.


Twitter is a microblogging platform that lets you share ideas, images, videos, and links with your audience.


We all understand Facebook on a personal level, but it also has important implications for businesses and organizations.


LinkedIn in a social network site for career professionals. Use it to find jobs, glean insight from innovators in the field, and connect with other professionals.


Pinterest is the newest major social media site. It is a useful way to curate images, videos, and articles.

Further training for all of these programs and more can be found online, on YouTube, on, and a variety of other sources.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fall 2014 – Semester in Review – Dustin Kidd

Fall 2014 – Semester in Review – Dustin Kidd
I began work on a new book project entitled Social Media Freaks, under preparation for Westview Press. I completed two chapters of the book—a history of social media and an analysis of the relationship between sexuality and social media.
I published a review of the book Comic Book Crime: Truth, Justice, and the American Way by Nickie Phillips and Staci Strobl in the journal Men & Masculinities.
I was invited to undertake two encyclopedia entries related to my field. The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology invited me to write the entry for “Popular Culture.” At my request, two of my graduate students were added as co-authors: Jennifer Kim and Amanda Turner. The entry is due March 1, 2015. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies invited me to complete the entry for “Women as Producers of Culture.” This is due on March 23, 2015. 
I spent much of the semester promoting my last book, including a lecture at Philadelphia Magazine’s ThinkFest; guest lectures via Skype with classes at the University of Michigan, Pennsylvania State University and Chestnut Hill College; and interviews with The List (Australian radio program), and the International Business Times. I actively engaged and grew my audience using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,, Pinterest, Spotify,, Goodreads, Google +, Prezi, and SlideShare.
I attended the American Sociological Association 2014 meetings in San Francisco, as well as the Media Sociology pre-conference. At the ASA meetings, I presented the paper “Popular Culture and Inequality.” At the pre-conference, I presented a workshop called “Social Media for Social Research.”
I taught two classes this past semester: Sociology of Popular Culture and Development of Sociological Thought.
Sociology of Popular Culture is a large lecture class. I had 95 students and worked with one TA (Amanda Turner). The evaluations for this course were very good and I received a 4.9 out of 5 on the item “the instructor taught this course well.”
Development of Sociological Thought is a small writing-intensive seminar. I had 19 students. The evaluations for this course were very good and I received a 4.7 out of 5 on the item “the instructor taught this course well.”
I supervised one independent study in the summer of 2014, for a graduate student named Ryan Murphy. Ryan is a part time student and the independent study allowed him speed up his studies so that he could complete preliminary exams in the spring of 2015.
I supervised one independent study in the fall of 2014, for an undergraduate named Nicholena Honors. Nicholena completed readings in the Sociology of Culture and the Sociology of Music. She wrote a significant research paper on the impact of digitization on the music industry.
I attended three training programs related to teaching:
·      WebEx: Getting Started with Online Presentation and Collaboration, Temple Instructional Support Center, September 2014
·      Using Wikipedia Writing Assignments in Graduate and Undergraduate Courses, American Sociological Association Academic and Professional Affairs Webinar Series, December 2014.
·      Digital Learning, Temple College of Liberal Arts, December 2014.
Center for the Humanities at Temple (CHAT) Advisory Board. The CHAT board met once during the Fall of 2014, and I was present at the meeting. We discussed long term funding concerns and the organization of the fellowships, as well as possible programming for undergraduates.
Honors Program, Truman Fellowship Selection Committee. I spent three hours on the afternoon of December 9th interviewing potential candidates for the Truman Fellowship and reviewing the candidates with the other committee members.
CLA Graduate Committee Chair. This was my second year on the CLA graduate committee and my first year as chair. Me met three times during the semester (9/2, 10/8, and 11/10). We reviewed 35 proposals across the course of the semester. As chair, I followed up with each proposer to let them know the outcome of the review and how to proceed further. I coordinated the first ever (in recent memory) meeting of graduate directors in CLA. I also had 2 additional meetings with faculty members related to issues tied to my work as chair, and multiple meetings and phone calls with the Assistant Dean of Graduate Affairs.
CLA Open House Speaker. I was one of two faculty speakers at the CLA Open House event on Saturday November 8th. I delivered a talk about Temple alumnus Robert Merton and how his theories can be applied to contemporary popular culture.
Director of Graduate Studies. This is the role that occupied the most time and activities for me this semester.  My activities in this role included:
·      Planning and running new graduate student orientation.
·      Holding one meeting with all of the students in the graduate program, to discuss how the program was going and how we can improve.
·      Soliciting and supporting nominations for the Dissertation Completion Grant for Spring 2015. Two students were awarded the grant: Jessica Brathwaite and Christina Stewart.
·      Responding to inquiries about the MA and PhD programs (several per week).
·      Updating and posting the Graduate Handbook for the year.
·      Devising and implementing a new system for handling all program applications online and through email.
·      Updating and posting the graduate program pages on the department website.
·      Updating and posting the Sociology MA and PhD pages for the Temple Graduate Bulletin.
·      Advising the first year students.
·      Convening and chairing two meetings of the 5-member graduate committee for the Department of Sociology.
o   The committee passed a proposal to change the MA application deadline from March 15 to March, effective immediately, and to change the PhD application deadline from January 15 to December 1, effective next academic year (Fall 2015).
o   The committee began a review of graduate syllabi, looking to assess the level of training for empirical research.
·      Drafting and submitting a proposal to restructure the PhD program by changing the credits for two core courses (statistics and data analysis) from3 credits to 4.
·      Drafting and submitting a proposal to restructure the MA program by reducing the number of theory requirements and electives, and by increasing he credits for two core courses (statistics and data analysis) from3 credits to 4.
·      Attending two meetings of the Collegial Assembly to speak on behalf of proposed changes to the graduate programs in sociology that were being voted on at those meetings.
·      Drafting (but not yet submitting) a proposal to create a new sub-program within the MA that would allow MA students to receive GIS certification as part of their degree.
·      Creating and maintaining the graduate calendar for the year, and publishing it through the online department calendar.
·      Soliciting and reviewing Preliminary Exam Application forms to determine the necessary composition of preliminary exam committees.
·      Working with the Department Chair to determine the composition of the preliminary exam committees.
·      Working with Preliminary Exam Committee Chairs to solicit and finalize reading lists and distribute them to students.
·      Working with the Admissions Chair to plan for 2015 admissions, including planning for university fellowship and other deadlines.
·      Working with the Department Chair to schedule graduate course offerings for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. For this, I maintain a spreadsheet of course offerings and desired course rotations that is updated each semester.
·      Working with the Department Chair to determine TA and adjunct assignments for funded graduate students.
·      Working with the graduate coordinator to maintain the Student Status Sheet, which tracks graduate student GPAs, advisors, and progress through the program.
·      Reviewing and signing off on all dissertation defenses, proposal defenses, advisor changes, requests for independent studies, requests for outside courses, request for extra employment, etc.
Executive Committee. As Director of Graduate Studies, I am also a de facto member of the department’s executive committee. The executive committee met 3 times this semester (10/1, 11/5, and 12/10) to review sabbatical applications, tenure-line faculty merit nominations, and teaching-instructional faculty merit nominations, respectively.  Approved some spending decisions via email discussion.
Idea Incubator (ad hoc funding) Committee. This committee has been charged with finding new ways to increase the financial support for the Department of Sociology. We met 4 times this semester (9/3, 10/1, 10/22, and 11/12). We discussed enrollments, summer session, grants, fundraising from alumnae, and workshops. My specific focus was on fundraising from alumnae and I investigated and proposed a fundraising plan that will be implemented in Fall 2015.
Reappointment Committee Chair for Tom Waidzunas. I chaired Professor Waidzunas’s reappointment committee. The committee was tasked with reviewing his research, teaching, and service. I authored the portion of the report that focused on research and I edited the entire report. I presented the report to the faculty promotions committee (all tenured faculty). He was swiftly reappointed.
Web and Social Media Service. Although we do not have officially defined roles for maintaining our website or social media, I played a significant role in these areas for the department. I worked with a colleague and an administrative coordinator to update the website and then to migrate the website to a new server (while also preparing to shift from a Contribute administered site to a Wordpress administered site). I launched the department LinkedIn account, which now has about 400 connections. I took over the Twitter account for the department, which has grown from 20 followers to 200.
Advising. I serve as dissertation chair to Jennifer Kim, who is nearing completion of her dissertation on racial discourse in sketch comedy. I serve as advisor (and anticipated chair) to two students who are preparing dissertation proposals. Amanda Turner is studying gender and video games and AJ Young is studying organizations and politics focusing on the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. I serve as advisor to two students who are preparing for preliminary exams in the area of gender: Colin Hammar and Ryan Murphy. Finally, I served as advisor to all seven first year graduate students, as part of my role as graduate director.
I was a book manuscript reviewer for Routledge and for Rowman & Littlefield and an article reviewer for Sociological Forum and Sexuality & Culture.

Internship Skills: Difficult Scenarios and Difficult People

Internship Skills: Difficult Scenarios and Difficult People

For this exercise, we will take a look at difficult situations that can arise at work.

Learning Objectives
1.     Pinpointing Your Triggers
2.     Recognize How Culture and Personality Influence Your Reactions
3.     Implement Healthy Conflict Resolution Strategies
4.     De-escalate Volatile Situations

Pinpoint Your Triggers

Discussion: What do you think your personal triggers are? What kinds of interactions have pushed your buttons in the past?


Discussion: Where have you encountered cultural differences and conflicts in the past? What did you learn from them?



Discussion: Where have you confronted gender differences in the past? How have you confronted them?


Discussion: Which personality type/s are you? How do you interact with the various personality types?


De-escalating Volatile Situations

Discussion: How else can you handle these kinds of situations?


1.     A supervisor who asks you to come in during a time when you have class?
2.     A co-worker who asks you out?
3.     A copier that broke when you were using it?
4.     A moment when you had no assigned tasks because you completed all that you were given?
5.     A request to go somewhere that you thought might be unsafe?
6.     Seeing your co-worker in a bar on Saturday night?
7.     A co-worker who just seems rude to you all the time?
8.     An assignment to use a computer program that you had never used before?
9.     A missed deadline?
10. An emergency situation that will make you very late for work?
Develop good and bad examples for how to handle these situations.
Your Story
What’s the most difficult situation you’ve had so far?
What’s the worst situation you can realistically imagine?
What’s the best situation you’ve had so far?
What the best situation you can realistically imagine?

Download the scenarios as a word document (handout), without the videos, here:

Check out my internships Pinterest board here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Evaluation Summary – Fall 2014 – Development of Sociological Thought

Evaluation Summary – Fall 2014 – Development of Sociological Thought

10 evaluations out of 19 students

Quantitative Feedback
Item 1: I (the student) came well prepared for class.
Decline from 4.5 in Fall 2011.
Item 2: The instructor clearly explained the educational objectives of this course.
Decline from 4.9 in Fall 2011.
Item 3: The instructor was well organized and prepared for class.
Same score as 2014.
Item 4: The instructor was conscientious in meeting class and office hour responsibilities.
Decline from 4.9 in Fall 2011.
Item 5: The instructor promoted a classroom atmosphere in which I felt free to ask questions.
Decline from 5.0 in Fall 2011.
Item 6: The instructor provided useful feedback about exams, projects, and assignments.
Decline from 4.6 in Fall 2011.
Item 7: So far, the instructor has applied grading policies fairly.
Decline from 4.9 in Fall 2011.
Item 8: The instructor taught this course well.
Decline from 4.9 in Fall 2011.
Item 9: The course content was consistent with the educational objectives of this course.
Decline from 4.9 in Fall 2011.
Item 10: The course increased my ability to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view.
Decline from 4.9 in Fall 2011.
Item 11: I learned a great deal in this course.
Decline from 4.9 in Fall 2011.

Qualitative Feedback

·      Flexible professor 2
·      Knowledgeable 1
·      Passionate professor 1

Class Meetings
·      Discussion was helpful 4
·      Too little discussion of the readings 2
·      Videos are helpful 1
·      Good class atmosphere 1
·      Good use of board 1
·      More use of board 1
·      Good discussion of readings 1
·      Too much writing instruction 1

·      Liked the iterative writing assignments 3
·      Fewer readings 1
·      Readings are good 1
·      Too many writing assignments 1
·      Read summaries were helpful 1

Class Design
·      Good range of topics and authors 1

·      Find updated media/documentaries 1

Sensitivity to Diversity
·      7 comments about this, all positive

Selected quotes
·      Breaking down the big research paper throughout the semester was extremely helpful and made the final paper less scary. I feel very prepared for it.
·      His knowledge on the readings was rather impressive. Had a way of opening my eyes to a more sociological point of view. Made very difficult readings understandable. Really made me realize the amount sociologists differ, and the way you have to think in order to interpret them and their theories. Both reading and writing memos were very very helpful. Writing memos gave you more reason to try to understand the sociologist, and sitting there writing out the summary sometimes helped you catch more insight you missed from just reading it a few times. The writing memos were an awesome way to keep you on track for the final. The setup for this class was set for hard work and success, which he accomplished very well.
·      Awesome professor!!!

While the scores and comments are generally very good, they do show a definite decline from the last time I taught the course. I took three years off from this class, so I attribute some of the decline to being out of practice with the material. I also attribute some of the decline to some adjustments I made in the design of the research paper and related iterative assignments. In the previous version of the course, students were given a short list of possible topics. This made for a much more structured paper because I knew those topics very well. This past semester, I tried to give my students more opportunities to be creative, and to pursue topics beyond my own areas of expertise. But it also created more risk for students and I think they were very concerned about those risks. They struggled with their papers more this semester than my students in previous semesters. I am working to find a balance between structure and creativity for the next version of the course.