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Alison Simons

Official photo of Dr Alison Simons

Alison Simons

Associate Professor of Sociology
Polytechnic United Methodist Church 251

Education

  • B.Sc. Applied Psychology and Sociology, University of Surrey (1994)
  • M.A. Sociology, University of North Texas (1997)
  • Ph.D. Sociology, University of North Texas (2012)

Research Interests/Scholastic Profile

Dr. Simons' has a variety of interests within the field of sociology. While her main interest focused on disasters; how people responded in disasters, and how disasters affect certain populations, she has expanded her research, while at Texas Wesleyan, to focus on vulnerable populations in general, and what can be done to help alleviate some of the problems they face. This passion in social vulnerability can be seen in her work with the local community of Rosedale and Polytechnic Heights, where, with the help of our students and the Home Owners Association, she organizes events specifically aiding our neighbors. Courses that she teaches reflect this passion for applied, hands-on, experience demonstrating that sociology is not a textbook subject.  

Obviously, you cannot be a sociologist without people watching, and Dr. Simons' also has an interest in collective behavior and collective violence, as well as popular culture, just for the fun of the studies.

Lately, Dr. Simons has been involved in teaching a social justice course alongside Dr. Payne from political sciences. This not only helps students understand a topic from different perspectives but helps throw light on some sociological issues too, and has futhered her interest in social justice. 

As an applied sociologist, Dr. Simons takes what is learned in the research and applies it directly in the field. She believes strongly that the best way to learn is through examples and application.

Publications
  • Simons, A.M. (2018) What does faith mean when faced with a disaster? An exploratory investigation into how those affected by hurricane Katrina used their faith and the differences by denomination. Journal of Social Science Research 12(2). 
  • Herring, A. M. (2013) "Sociology of Disaster" in Peter Bobrowsky (ed.) Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards. Springer.
  • Dash, N., McCoy, B., & Herring, A. M. (2010) "Social Class" in Brenda D. Phillips, Deborah Thomas, Alice Fothergill and Lynn Blinn-Pike (eds.) Social Vulnerability to Disasters. FL: CRC Press.
  • Green, C., Herring, A. M., Herring, M. C., & Tunstall, S. (1994) CVM: A Social Sciences Kaleidoscope. Middlesex: FHRC.
  • Green, C., & Herring, A. M. (1993) Euroflood: First Annual Report Chapter 3: Full Flood Impacts. Middlesex: FHRC.
  • Fordham, M., & Herring, A. M. (1993) Euroflood: First Annual Report Chapter 4: Flood Forecasting and Warning. Middlesex: FHRC.
Presentations
  • Simons, A.M. (2017) "The Gentrification and perceptions of social change in the local community." Southwestern Social Sciences Association Conference, 12-15 April, Austin, TX. 
  • Simons, A. M., and Bales, R.A. (2016) "Sense of Community and Belonging in a Neighborhood undergoing Gentrification in Fort Worth Texas" University College Day (UCD), 16 April, Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, TX.
  • Simons, A. M., and Hendrix, S. (2016) "How to Survive a Live Research Project in a Methods Class and Stay Sane (Almost)" Southwestern Social Sciences Association Conference, 23-26 March, Las Vegas, NV.
  • Simons, A. M., and Bales, R.A. (2016) "Sense of Community and Belonging in a Neighborhood undergoing Gentrification in Fort Worth Texas" Southwestern Social Sciences Association Conference, 23-26 March, Las Vegas, NV.
  • Simons, A. M. (2015) "Social Vulnerability and Faith in Disasters: An Investigation into the role of religion in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina" Southwestern Social Sciences Association Conference, 8-11 April, Denver, Colorado.
  • Simons, A. M. (2015) "Teaching Race, Class, and Gender using Monopoly" Southwestern Social Sciences Association Conference, 8-11 April, Denver, Colorado.
  • Lynton, E. J., Simons, A. M., Baxter, T., & Veliz, W. (2015) "Status, Cues, and Deception: The Social Construction of Behavior,” Southwestern Social Sciences Association Annual Meeting, 8-11 April, 2015.
  • Herring, A. M. (2009) "The Influence and Impacts of Faith in Disasters" 12th Annual Emergency Management in Higher Education Conference, 1-4 June 2009. Emmitsburg, Maryland.
  • Herring, A. M. (2008) "Faith in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina" Southwestern Sociological Association. April 2008. Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Childers, C., Phillips, B. D., Herring, A. M., & Garcia, C. (1998) "Defining and Applying Sustainability after Disaster: The Experience in Arkadelphia, Arkansas (USA)" Sustainability, Globalisation and Hazards: Enhancing Community Resilience Conference, London, UK.