April 1, 2014

Lowney Recognized Nationally for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Scholarly Activities

VALDOSTA – Dr. Kathleen Lowney, professor of sociology at Valdosta State University, has been selected to receive the 2014 Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award from the American Sociological Association (ASA). The award will be presented at the association’s annual meeting on Aug. 17, in San Francisco, Calif.
The award recognizes contributions that make a significant impact on the manner in which sociology is taught at a regional, state, national, or international level.

“This is the highest award for pedagogy that the American Sociological Association gives and to receive it  was a wonderful honor,” said Lowney, who received University System of Georgia 2013 Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award. “Through my scholarship of teaching and learning I have tried to improve as a teacher and then use my social scientific knowledge to study my teaching and how it impacts my students’ learning and then share that with the broader community of teacher-scholars in sociology.”

The award recognizes Lowney’s outstanding contributions and advancement of scholarship in teaching, through the development and dissemination of teaching strategies and resources, along with advocacy for the recognition of the importance of teaching within the professional community of sociologists.

A noted scholar, Lowney has published 19 articles and teaching resources, many as first or sole author, in addition to her other research. Her expansive volume of teaching publications focuses on victimization of women, use of film and puzzles to teach theory, examination of family social problems, and online collaborative teaching methods. She has given 27 presentations focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning at regional and national meetings, eight at the ASA’s annual meetings.

Lowney has been an active member of ASA since 1987, and she currently serves as editor of the association’s journal Teaching Sociology and served on the editorial board (2008-2011). She was an elected member of the Council for the ASA’s Section on Teaching and Learning, an appointed member of the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award Committee, member of the Publications Committee for the ASA’s Section on Undergraduate Education, and co-editor with Dr. Ginger Macheski, of the Section on Undergraduate Education’s (now renamed the Section on Teaching and Learning) newsletter.

With more than two decades of editorial work with the ASA, it was no surprise that fellow ASA members and editors nominated Lowney for the national award.

“As editor of Teaching Sociology, I see my decision letters and communication with authors as yet another opportunity to improve the teaching of sociology and, in turn, for me to learn from them,” said Lowney, who received Valdosta State’s 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award. “That several of the journal’s editorial board members spearheaded my nomination means that they saw that too in my decision letters.”

An active member of Valdosta State’s academic community, Lowney currently serves as fellow-in-residence for the university’s IDEA Center (Innovative Designs for Enhancing the Academy). Lowney, along with IDEA Center fellows, is a faculty mentor and assists in facilitating leadership groups and teaching circles.

The author of two books, Baring Our Souls: TV Talk Shows and Religion of Recovery and Passport to Heaven: Gender Roles and the Unification Church, Lowney’s third book, co-authored with Dr. Maxine Atkinson, In the Trenches: How to Teaching Sociology will be released in 2015.

Within the local community, Lowney is a member of the Mayor’s Council for Persons with Disabilities. She has also served as a member of the board of directors for The Haven, a non-profit agency that provides emergency shelter and services for victims of family violence and sexual assault, and on the local Habitat for Humanity board of directors.