Membership Committee

The SWS Membership Committee is open to everyone: undergraduate and graduate students, practitioners and postdoctoral researchers, and faculty from high schools, colleges, and universities. 

The Committee is responsible for 1) recruiting new members, 2) helping to welcome and engage newer members, and 3) serving as a liaison between the national organization and our local and regional chapters. We are always looking to support new ideas and involve members willing to collaborate, get to know each other, and have some fun creating SWS spaces that are diverse, inclusive, welcoming, and rewarding.

The Committee is chaired by the SWS Vice President and includes six elected members, including two students, each serving 2-year staggered terms. The SWS “Hand Program” is an ongoing SWS signature initiative located organizationally in the Membership Committee. The SWS “Welcome Committee” and Chapter support are also organized through Membership.


The Hand Program 

Professional meetings can be intimidating for even seasoned students, practitioners, and faculty. The Hand Program can make meeting people and getting connected just a little easier. Hand mentors connect with newer members prior to a summer or winter meeting. They usually plan to get together for coffee or a meal during the meeting itself. Named after the late Jeanne Hand, a sociology Ph.D. candidate from Tulane University and active SWS member, the program serves as a signature SWS initiative connecting newer members with other SWS members, committees, and initiatives. 

On a related note, the Career Development Committee hosts the SWS Mentoring Program. Different from Hand, the mentoring program pairs members across the career spectrum around specialized needs from applying to graduate school or publishing a paper to navigating shifts to administrative leadership. 

The Welcome Committee

The Welcome Committee is a rotating group of volunteers who are enthusiastic and passionate about inclusivity in SWS. This committee ensures new and existing members feel welcome at meetings through a number of small activities from answering member questions to offering a seat at our table at the banquet. Additionally, this committee helps organize the opening receptions and helps coordinate organized dinners at the Winter meetings.

Local and Regional Chapter Connections

The Membership Committee provides a formal link to the National organization for local and regional chapters. A Committee member appointed to serve as our “National Liaison to Regional & Local Chapters” leads on creating and maintaining those connections through the following actions:

  • Support on the formation of new chapters 
  • Collection and posting of up-to-date chapter contact information, reports, and activity announcements on the SWS web site and through Network News
  • Bridging chapter-based membership-related activities with potential resources from the national organization

Find out more about SWS local and regional chapters through the “chapters” tab on the SWS Home Page.  Chapters may submit requests for monetary support directly to the SWS Treasurer using this form.


2021 Membership Committee

Mary Virnoche, SWS Vice President and Chair

Ethel Mickey, Elected Term 2020-22 (Hand Match Coordinator)

Laura Simon, Elected Term 2020-22 (Committee Delegate to SWS Member Emergency Fund Subcommittee)   

Penny Harvey, Elected Term 2021-23 (Chapter Liaison)

Julia Meszaros, Elected Term 2021-23 (Welcome Committee)

Alexis Grant-Panting, Student Caucus Liaison, 2021-23

Tristen Kade, Student Caucus Liaison, 2020-22

Committee Volunteers
Laura Adler
Tanya Cook
Madison Felicitas Garcia
Abby Ferber
Anita Harker
Daniela Jauk
Nancy Lopez
Dao Nguyen
Kylie Parrotta