History of ASAA

January 23, 2012 by aesaa | Edit

The Arkansas Sociological Association was organized on April 27, 1971, at Russellville Polytechnic College. The convened elected Harridas T. Muzumdar (Arkansas Mechanic and Noraml College) to serve as President, E. Lusby (Southern State College) as Vice-President, Doris Chambers (Arkansas Mechanical and Normal College) as Secretary Treasurer, and Bill Culp (Harding College) as Public Relations Officer during 1971-72. The newly-constituted ASA created three committees: the Constitution Committee, the Program Committee, and the Membership Committee. Bill Verkler (Harding) served as the first chairperson of the Program Committee).

The first Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Sociological Association convened at Hendrix College on October 8, 1971. Harridas T. Muzumdar delivered a Presidential Address on “Major Issues and Opportunities Facing Sociologists.” The morning program consisted of a discussion and adoption of the ASA Constitution, the presidential address by Harridas T. Muzamdar, and a presentation by Kent Rice (University of Arkansas at Fayetteville) on “Social Forecasting.” The afternoon consisted of sessions on “Teaching High School Sociology” and “Research Opportunities in Applied Sociology,” a student session consisting of two paper presentations, and a business meeting.

The 15th Annual ASA Meeting on October 25-26, 1985, featured remarks by Lieutenant Governor Winston Bryant. At this meeting the membership decided to rename the ASA the Arkansas Sociological and Anthropological Association.

The 16th Annual Meeting in Fayetteville in 1986 was the first one in which the association convened under its expanded name. UAF Chancellor, Daniel E. Ferritor, a sociologist, presented a Keynote Address on “What My Mother Never Told Me About Being Chancellor.”

The ASAA Meeting in 1987 featured a panel discussion on “Social Activism in Arkansas: Insiders’ Perspectives” which included presentations by Jo Stewart (Arkansas Delegate to the Inter-Regional Committees of Correspondence, U.S. Greens), Robert Bland (Arkansas Alliance), Georgia Lance (Advocates for Battered Women), Odies C. Wilson (Arkansas Rainbow Coalition), Barbara Stanford (Arkansas Peace Center), Brenda Hale (Community Help Center), and Pattie Frase (Environmental Congress of Arkansas).

The ASAA Meeting in 1991 marked the granting of the first Presidential Award to a worthy Arkansan who has addressed social problems in Arkansas. The awardee is selected by a committee consisting of the Past-President (its chair), the President, and the President-Elect. The first recipient of the award was J. Bill Becker, President of the Arkansas AFL-CIO. Subsequent recipients of the award have included Brownie Ledbetter, Joycelyn Elders, and Elena Hanggi.

The 1994 ASAA included two panel discussions. The first of these on “Faculty Unions: Do They Have a Place in Arkansas Higher Education?” featured various representatives of the newly formed UALR chapter of the Arkansas Educational Association, including three who are members of ASAA, as well as spokespersons from Hendrix College and UCA. The second of these on “How to Practice the Sociology of Inclusion” included various representatives of campus sociology clubs and student awareness groups in Arkansas.