Skip to navigation

Covenant Professors and Students Present Papers at National Sociology Conference

Covenant representatives at ACTS Conference

Graduating students Caleb Mask ’10 and Adrienne Saxon ’10 joined Sociology Professors Matt Vos and Toni Chiareli at the 2010 Association of Christians Teaching Sociology (ACTS) Conference, where all four presented papers.

Founded in 1976 by the late Covenant Professor of Sociology Russell Heddendorf, the annual ACTS conference allows Christian scholars in sociology to share their research and enter dialogues with colleagues and students. “ACTS is the most active association of Christian sociologists in the country,” says Dr. Chiareli, who served two years as president. Dr. Vos is currently vice president of the association.


At this year’s conference, Vos presented “Those Who Mourn,” a personal essay dealing with the reality that the world is not as it should be. He also invited two graduating sociology majors to present their senior integration papers as part of the undergraduate research portion. Adrienne Saxon presented “May I Borrow Your Glasses?: Seeing Life Through the Lens of Five African American Girls.” Caleb Mask’s paper, “Watches and the Grip of Time,” explored man’s alienation from and submission to time, manifest in the portable measuring device, the watch. “It was wonderful,” says Mask. Saxon agrees, noting “the conference broadened my understanding of the discipline.” 

Involving students in the wider academic community is a vital part of Covenant’s sociology department, says Chiareli. “We are a close-knit department. Our goal is to give students the experience of doing scholarly work and presenting that work professionally.” Chiareli’s paper, entitled “That’s Amore,” reviewed the preliminary findings of research he conducted in Rome, Italy, along with five Covenant students: Michael Bowser ’10, Ashley-Marie Chinchen ’11, Haley Garis ’11, Jane Travis ’12, and Amanda Van Camp ’10.

In these and many other ways, Covenant professors continue to mentor their students, offering them opportunities to work as colleagues as well as pupils.