Penn College hosts state sociology conference

Pennsylvania College of Technology recently hosted the 63rd annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society. The theme for the conference, held Oct. 11-13, was “On Getting by with Change,” focusing on trends in modern society.

Five Penn College faculty members participated in conference presentations.

Abdul B. Pathan, professor of economics, presented a paper titled “Grameen Bank and its Social and Economic Role in Developing Countries.” Founded in Bangladesh, Grameen Bank is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning community-development organization. According to Pathan, 95 percent of Grameen funding recipients are women, and the organization provides training on utilizing funds in productive ways to generate income for the recipients and their families. Pathan says it would be an achievement if the organization’s approach could be replicated in low-income, rural areas of the United States.

Four faculty members engaged in a panel discussion titled “Post-Modernist Thinking and Social Activism: Are They Incompatible?” – Vinay Bahl, associate professor of sociology; Roy P. Fontaine, professor of psychology; Craig A. Miller, assistant professor of history/political science; and Richard Sahn, instructor of psychology/sociology. The informal discussion centered on philosophical changes in perceptions of consciousness and how they relate to social issues and activism.

The Pennsylvania Sociological Society serves sociology faculty, students, researchers and other professionals in the state. The purpose of the annual conference is to encourage research among sociologists and to expose professionals to the latest trends in the field.

The gathering is held at a different college campus in the state each year. This was the first year Penn College hosted the conference.

“There is a certain degree of pride in knowing that we are hosting this academic event,” said Sahn, who assisted in coordinating the conference. “For those of us who teach sociology and related courses at Penn College, this gathering reinforces our commitment to teaching to our students and to our colleagues at different schools and their students who attend the conference. Penn College offers a vigorous liberal arts education in addition to technology education.”

To learn more about Penn College’s School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications, visit .

Penn College will mark 100 years as an educational institution of national reputation in 2014. For more information, visit, email or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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Last Updated October 17, 2013