ASU and the Birth of a New Sociological Paradigm at the 50th A-MSA Conference
By Robert O White II, Seela Aladuwaka, Ram Alagan, and Brenda Gill
Alabama State University was well represented at the 50th annual Alabama-Mississippi Sociological Association (A-MSA) Conference, held on February 21-22, 2019 at Mississippi State University. The theme of the conference was “Looking Back and Looking Forward: A-MSA at 50.”
It is at a time of accelerated genius that ASU faculty rise to the occasion to lead one of the nation’s foremost academic organizations. Dr. Ram Alagan (University College) has humbly ascended to the position of President of the Alabama-Mississippi Sociological Association (A-MSA). Alagan’s first act as President was to successfully nominate ASU’s Dr. Robert O White (CLASS) as member at large for the State of Alabama, an honor that is shared with Dr. Kyle Knight of University of Alabama Huntsville.
This is an epic time in the organization’s existence because both Dr. Alagan and Dr. White are not sociologists but have waived their departmental tribalism and have personified an inter disciplinary approach to doing social sciences which had been brewing within the ranks of the organization for some time. Their research on Civil Rights GIS and Highway 80’s civil rights corridor along with their history of academic and community citizenship bring a new zeal to the already prolific organization.
During this year’s conference, ASU faculty were highly visible and elevated the standards; First by delivering panel presentation on organized and moderated by Dr. Alagan on “Understanding the Causes, Consequences and Challenges of Regional and Global Migration.” This has highlighted the burning sociological, cultural, political, geographical, economic, and humanistic problems for both receiving and origin countries by the ASU research team Ram Alagan, Seela Aladuwaka, Brenda Gill and Robert White.
Secondly, Dr. Alagan’s appointment keeps ASU’s legacy of A-MSA leaders. Some of the past ASU A-MSA Presidents include Dr. J. Garrick Hardy (1972); Dr. Anthony Troy Adams (2015); and Dr. Brenda I. Gill (2018). Thirdly, ASU faculty members also served as the judges for the poster session this year.