Academic Affairs

Ken Laundra, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor

Kenneth Laundra obtained his Ph.D. in sociology at Utah State University in 1999 with an emphasis in social problems and environmental sociology. He has an M.A. in sociology from Central Michigan University and a B.S. in Psychology from Michigan State University.

Ken currently teaches a popular culture course, introduction to sociology, and multiculturalism for Fort Hays State University. He is also a visiting professor of sociology at the University of Portland, specializing in the areas of criminology, deviance, delinquency, social problems and environmental sociology.

His dissertation research deals with gender differences in delinquency and he has since published in the area of restorative justice, delinquency, diversity, and racial bias in academic testing. He was awarded Outstanding Paper at the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters, Social Sciences Division (Spring 2004) for his paper, Gendered Effects of Meditation on Juvenile Delinquents and has published a book on the subject of rural delinquency entitled Freeland: Delinquency in Rural America. He is currently researching and writing in the field of environmental sociology, including a visual sociology project on illegal dumping sites on public lands, decentralization among the Earth First! movement, and has recently presented findings of a Portland Parks & Recreation study conducted (as a service-learning project in his Environmental Sociology course) in early 2009 to assess multiple-use impacts in a local community park. He has presented over 20 papers at professional conferences.

In 2005, he co-founded the Southern Utah Recycling Coalition, receiving an EPA grant to facilitate the first citywide recycling program in Cedar City, Utah. He has also received university funding for service-learning research devoted to assessing learning outcomes of community-based learning in the classroom. He integrates service-learning in the classroom through community-based practicums and field excursions such as the University of Portland's Moreau Service & Learning Center's Environmental Justice Plunge, 2007. He has guest lectured for numerous student groups, and received departmental teaching awards and university nominations for excellence in teaching. Ken has acted as faculty advisor to a number of student organizations, including the Southern Utah University Earth Club, PRIDE club (gay/lesbian support group), AKD (sociology fraternity), Polynesian Club and the Black Student Union.

He is currently an editor for the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy, a member of the Pacific Sociological Association, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Focus the Nation (climate change consortium) and is vice-president of Friends of Pier Park in Portland, Oregon. He is also collecting initial data for a future book he intends to write called, Redneck America.

 

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