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Juniata Sociologist to Talk on Internet Coalitions

(Posted March 17, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Cynthia Merriwether-deVries, assistant professor of soiology at Juniata College, will give a talk on "Broader Horizons: The Role of Bricks-and-Mortar Institutions in Building Web-based Infrastructure" as part of the Bookend Seminar lecture series at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 19 in the Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Bookend Seminar series features afternoon lectures each month by Juniata College faculty.

Merriwether-deVries' talk will focus on how collaboration between colleges and universities and how collaboration between different departments on the same college campus can create informational Web sites and Internet information sources on major issues of the day as well as providing information for academic courses and other projects.

Merriwether deVries will detail her work with the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education, a cooperative project between 81 colleges. The group, funded by a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, created a multimedia resource based designed to help people understand the events of Sept. 11. The group also has created Web-based courses on a variety of topics and created several Web instruction modules.

One of the projects Merriwether-deVries will describe is a Web site, http://projects.Juniata.edu/reflections/, titled "Reflections and Reconciliations from Juniata College," which contains video interviews with three Muslim students who reflect on how their religion is perceived. The site was created by Juniata's Technology Solutions Center. Juniata's information technology staff and students filmed and produced all the interviews and developed all the content for the site.

Merriwether-deVries came to Juniata in 2001 after earning a doctorate in human development and family studies in 2000 from Penn State University. She earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree, both from Penn State in human development and family studies, in 1990 and 1994, respectively.

At Juniata, she has taught such courses as Introduction to Sociology, Minorities, The American Family and Social Welfare Policy and Services. Before coming to Juniata she was a lecturer in the sociology department at Penn State from 1994 to 2000.

Merriwether-deVries' doctoral research focused on how African-American adolescent mothers adjust to the role of motherhood. Her research has been published in such journals as Generations and Marriage and Family Review.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.