College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Summer 2019 Newsletter

SAC Updates Image

Fall 2018 Alumni in Residence – Katelyn M. Bries

Katie Bries with Dean Brenda Bass
In fall 2018 we welcomed Captain Katelyn M. Bries as our Alumni in Residence for the department. Captain Bries is a Special Victims’ Counsel with the Air Force Legal Operations Agency, Community Legal Services Directorate, Special Victims’ Counsel Division (AFLOA/CLSV), assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. 

Captain Bries graduated summa cum laude from UNI with a double major in Anthropology and Political Science in 2010. In 2013, she graduated with highest honors with a Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School. Captain Bries was a member of the Drake Law Review and the National Moot Court Team.

Captain Bries visited campus on Friday, October 5, 2018. She visited students in two of Dr. Cyndi Dunn’s courses: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and Language and Culture, as well as with the Anthropology faculty. She also met with students in the Women’s and Gender Studies MA program, as well as attending a reception at the end of the day to meet Anthropology and Political Science students.

2019 UNI Outstanding Student Leader

Siraj Acharya
The Outstanding Student Leader Award is designed to recognize students who have demonstrated dedication and leadership through their involvement in one or more campus activities. This year Sociology major Siraj Acharya was one of a select group of students to receive this award.




UNI Purple and Old Gold Awards

The Purple and Old Gold Award is the highest award given by the University of Northern Iowa. Named after the university colors, the traditional awards were first presented at commencement ceremonies in 1939. Recipients of this honor wear a bronze medal to symbolize their outstanding achievements, are noted in the commencement program, and a permanent notation is made on their academic transcript.

Brenna Wolfe - Sociology
Trenton Delp - Anthropology
Jesse Cardenas - Criminology

UNI Honors Students

Hailey Lorenzen - Anthropology
Thesis: Case Study in the Emotional and Social Benefits of Joining a Women's Organization in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Emma Rosenstrater - Anthropology
Thesis: The Anthropological Importance of Knowlton Hill

2018-19 Student Admissions Ambassadors

The Student Admissions Ambassadors (SAA) are a select (volunteer) group of UNI students who serve as hosts to prospective students and campus visitors at the University of Northern Iowa. Their primary job is giving campus tours to prospective students and their families, but they also help with a variety of other campus events and participate in service projects in the Cedar Falls and Waterloo communities. SAC students are consistently involved in SAA.

Erica Lysaught (Criminology)
Madison Foley (Criminology)
Nicole Schmitt (Sociology)

2018-19 Ethnic Student Promoters

Meka MosleyThe student members of Ethnic Student Promoters (ESP) come from multicultural backgrounds and promote the university through a wide range of recruitment activities such as campus tours, lunch, student panels, and community outreach to prospective students, parents and other UNI guests and friends. The distinguished students of ESP provide an inside look at what it means to be a UNI student. The focus of the campus visit is to encourage all students to pursue post-secondary education. The group was officially chartered in 1992 and recognized in 1995 by the University of Northern Iowa Student Government.

Meka Mosley (Sociology and Anthropology)


Social and Behavioral Representatives (SABRs)

Students who are selected to serve in the SABRs program work directly with the CSBS Dean’s Office to promote college-related programs, engage in community service and act as ambassadors to prospective students and external constituents. SABRs attend college recruitment events on campus, conduct occasional tours, meet with CSBS alumni and represent the college at administrative events like presidential lunches. SABRs also work with our college marketing and promotions team to create and evaluate publicity materials.

Siraj Archarya (Sociology)
Ricki Hall (Sociology)
Santiago Villafana (Sociology)
Marissa Abbott (Criminology)
Keely Fiedler (Criminology)
Kelly Gardella (Anthropology)

INSPIRE Student Research & Engagement Conference: Poster Presentations

INSPIRE ConferenceThe College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (CSBS) holds an academic conference for students each spring semester. This provides students an opportunity to share with others their research and internship experiences. SAC students participate in this event on a regular basis – this year our students participating in the conference include:

Paige Reynolds - Sociology
“Rohingya Refugee Crisis”
Co-authors: Sarah Kraft (Social Work), Colton Lanman (Criminology), Micah Criscuolo (General Studies)
Advisor: Kamryn Warren

Spencer Keeton - Sociology
“The Refugee Crisis in Jordan, Turkey & Syria”
Co-authors: Dominic Schmalz (Sociology and Criminology), Tylamin Ovel (Criminology)
Advisor: Kamryn Warren

Marissa Gabriel - Sociology
“Internship at Youth Emergency Services and Shelter”
Advisor: Kimberly Baker

Tami Franck - Criminology
“Internship at Friends of the Family”
Advisor: Kimberly Baker

Taylor Pearce - Criminology“Students Working Full-time Jobs: Why Do They Do It?”
Advisor: Kimberly Baker

Iowa Sociological Association Annual Meeting: Poster Presentation

Spencer Keeton - Sociology
Advisor: Kamryn Warren

Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting

Taylor Pearce - Criminology
“Students working full-time jobs: Why do they do it?”
Advisor: Kimberly Baker

CSBS Donald and Gudrun Fruehling Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Tami FranckThis fellowship award supports summer undergraduate research by CSBS students. Supervised by CSBS faculty, students design and implement research with the financial support of this fellowship, write a 10-15 page paper, and give a formal public presentation.

This year, Tami Franck, a Criminology major, was selected to receive this fellowship, and she successfully completed an internship at Cedar Valley Friends of the Family, which provides Domestic & Sexual Abuse Victim Advocacy services. She gave a presentation of this work on Thursday, May 2, 2019. Kimberly Baker, advisor.


SAC Internships

Between summer 2018 and spring 2019, our department has overseen 54 internships this year, across a wide variety of agencies. A great big thank you to the local, state, and regional organizations that are hosting our students for an invaluable internship experience.

Department of Corrections District 1
Juvenile Court Services
Cedar Falls Police Department
Waterloo Police Department
Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office
Black Hawk County Prosecutor Office
Black Hawk Public Defender’s Office
Cedar Valley Friends of the Family
Cedar Valley Support Services
Bakari Behavioral Health Services
Cedar Falls Historical Society
UNI Museum
John Deere Museum

YESS Iowa, Des Moines, IA
Des Moines Police Department
Sioux City Prosecutor’s Office
Lutheran Social Services, Minneapolis, MN
Lookout Mountain Youth Services, Golden, CO
Association of College and University Housing Officers, Harvard University Summer School Program, Boston, MA
Cedar Falls Police Department
Roberts, Stevens & Pendegrast
Black Hawk County Communications (911)
Our Little Haven
Iowa NEW Leadership Program



Alpha Kappa Delta Induction

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the International Sociology Honor Society, was founded in 1920. AKD seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to an improvement in the human condition. There are more than 670 chapters of the Society and more than 130,000 lifetime members. To qualify for membership, undergraduate students must be sociology majors or minors, at least a junior with an over GPA of 3.3 or higher or be in the top 35% of their class. Today we welcome 3 new members to the chapter at UNI. These new members will receive a certificate, membership card, and the teal honors cord to wear at graduation.

Siraj Acharya
Bekah Bass
Jalie Belloma

Sociology Club

Presidents: Brenna Wolfe (Fall 2018) & Nessa (Spring 2019)
Active members: Brenna, Nessa, Meka, Michael, Spencer

Sociology Jobs and Graduate School Placement

Siraj Archarya - University of Minnesota Human Resource and Industrial Relations
Marissa Gabriel - UNI School Counseling
Dante Miller - UNLV Sociology
Paige Reynolds - UNI Student Affairs


John Chase Memorial Scholarship

Each year the Criminology unit faculty awards the John Chase Memorial Scholarship of $1000 to one of our criminology majors. This award was established in 1989 and honors the memory and accomplishments of former UNI student, John G. Chase. After graduating from UNI in 1986, John Chase became a police officer for the Dallas, Texas Police Department. On January 23, 1988, he was killed in the line of duty.

Keely Fiedler: Keely is an exceptional student who was selected as the top candidate out of 68 applicants for the John Chase Scholarship. Not only does Keely get very high grades, but she is very active in her academic career. She is always prepared for class and can be counted on to provide thoughtful contributions to class discussions. Her written and verbal communication skills are excellent. On top of this, Keely has exceptional critical thinking skills. She asks very insightful questions and is able to objectively look at an issue from multiple perspectives.

Marissa AbbottSergeant Shawn G. Miller Criminal Justice Scholarship, West Des Moines Police Department

Marissa Abbott

Association of Crim Students

Student-leaders: Gabby Knight, Jacob Longest, and Taylor Parle

Criminology Jobs and Graduate School Placements

Madison Foley – Florida State Law School, Garnet and Gold Law Scholarship (75% tuition for 3 years)
Riley Thomann – Correctional Officer, Iowa Medical and Classification Center
Jesse Cardenas – Chief Security Officer, Burnsville Police Department, Burnsville, MN
Elliott Duax – Central Detention Center
Tyler Putney, Kaleb Bruggman, Tommy Baltes, and Marissa Abbott – Cedar Falls Police Department
Carrie Rogers – Operations Supervisor, Livingston Aviation


Research at the Capitol Day

Lyn Tacket presented, “Prehistoric Plant Resources in the Cedar Valley: How Prehistoric People Utilized Flora in Subsistence Practices.”

UNI Anthro Club

The UNI Anthro Club engaged in multiple fundraising activities, including designing and selling a T-shirt and redeeming bottles and cans.

Anthropology Jobs and Graduate School Placement

Casey Brown (Anthropology and Biology) – attending Des Moines University to pursue a Master of Science in Anatomy, planning for a career as a trauma surgeon
Trenton Delp (Anthropology and Communication Sciences & Disorders) – attending graduate school at the University of Iowa, in Communication Sciences & Disorders
Lyn Tackett (Anthropology and Biology) – will attend the UNI Biology graduate program to learn more about plants while continuing to pursue her interests in paleoethnobotany

Three students at dig siteDigUNI

UNI’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology (SAC) is conducting an excavation on the site where Central Hall once stood. Originally built as an orphanage, this building would become the first classroom building at UNI. Central Hall served students for nearly a century until it burned down in 1965. We started in fall 2018 and will continue in fall 2019.

Why are we digging?
A dig on campus raises awareness that archeology sites are everywhere. An excavation demonstrates that campus histories can’t always tell the whole story of a university -- sometimes you have to dig to uncover the remnants of the past. This hands-on learning experience also provides students with the opportunity for developing the skills needed for their future careers.

How will we do it?
Excavation blocks are laid out over the area where the ruins of Central Hall’s north foundation are thought to be. Excavation is done by hand with shovels and trowels while soil is sifted through screens to retrieve artifacts. Objects found in place are mapped and the soil studied to yield a better picture of what happened at Central Hall over the years.

Looking for more?
Visit or follow along on Twitter @diguniofficial.


SAC Retirees
Dr. Cyndi Dunn
, who joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology in 2000, is retiring from UNI on June 30, 2019. Dr. Dunn earned tenure in 2006, and full professor in 2015.

Dr. Dunn combines linguistic anthropology (exploring linguistic variation in politeness systems, speech styles, and genre) and psychological anthropology (examining cultural models of the self and social relationships). Her work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Journal of Pragmatics, Ethos, and, most recently, the Annual Review of Anthropology.

Dr. Dunn has served UNI in many capacities, including serving on the CSBS Faculty Senate, the Dorothy Jean Ray Anthropology Scholarship Committee, been involved in the Women’s and Gender Studies program, and most recently served the SAC department as PAC chair. She received the CSBS Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010. She regularly contributes to both the LAC and the anthropology major, including her signature course, Language and Culture.

Dr. Dunn is moving to Colorado Springs. In between hiking and wine tasting, she will also teach part-time at Colorado College. We wish Dr. Dunn well as she moves on to the next adventures in her life!

Dr. B. Keith Crew joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology in 1985, retired from UNI in March, 2019. Dr. Crew earned tenure in 1992, and full professor in 2016. Dr. Crew served as Department Head of SAC for ten years.

Dr. Crew’s research centers on criminology and law, publishing and teaching widely in these areas. He was deeply involved in the sociology and criminology graduate programs at UNI (before their elimination), by chairing nine graduate theses, and member of eleven graduate committees.

Dr. Crew has served UNI in many capacities, including as Institutional Review Board member and prisoner advocate, Carver Institute workshop leader, CSBS Project Awards Committee, and the Liberal Arts Core Committee. He was Internship Coordinator for Criminology, and was on the Comprehensive Exams Committee in Public Policy. Dr. Crew contributes to the discipline of criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and has reviewed manuscripts regularly for nationally recognized journals. At the community level, Dr. Crew works with state and local agencies, and works as a public scholar, communicating with local media on occasion.

The Iowa Sociological Association, on April 26, 2019, has decided to name the ISA Research Poster Award in his honor: Now known as the ISA B. Keith Crew Research Poster Award.

We wish Dr. Crew well as he enjoys his retirement.

Sociology Endowed Scholarship Fundraising Progress

As you may know, we are working to establish an endowed scholarship for students majoring in sociology at the University of Northern Iowa.

The price tag for such a “forever scholarship” is $30,000, which we have divided up into five years of raising $6,000. This year, we have already reached our fundraising goal, and have raised over $18,000.

Will you help us? Please consider making a tax-deductible gift in support of our scholarship fundraising efforts. Donate online today at If you'd prefer to pay by check, please make out to “UNI Foundation” and indicate “Sociology Endowed Scholarship” in the memo line.

UNI Foundation Financial Services
121 Commons
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0239

We truly appreciate your consideration of UNI. Together we can make this scholarship a reality and create a meaningful difference in the lives of our students.


The SAC faculty at UNI would very much like to connect with our alums. If you are willing to be featured in upcoming emails, webpage, or Facebook pages, please send an email to:

Find us on Facebook:

UNI Sociology Club
Anthropology: UNI Anthro Club
Criminology: Criminology at University of Northern Iowa


UNI Dept of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

Contact Us

The SAC faculty at UNI would very much like to connect with our alums. If you are willing to be featured in upcoming emails, webpage, or Facebook pages, please send an email to:

Find us on Facebook