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Ann Tickamyer named Distinguished Rural Sociologist

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 9, 2005) -- The Rural Sociological Society has selected Ann Tickamyer, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ohio University, to receive the Distinguished Rural Sociologist Award.

"This is a great honor," Tickamyer says. "It's the highest honor of the Rural Sociological Society, with which I've been involved for 25 years or so."

Tickamyer, former president of the society, earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Maryland, and her doctorate from the University of North Carolina. She is a Presidential Research Scholar and the former editor of Rural Sociology.

Her academic work focuses on inequality, work and gender and rural poverty and development. She studies rural regions in both the United States and Indonesia.

"Gender is a theme that goes through all my work," Tickamyer said. "Gender is an important primary organizing aspect of families, communities and whole societies."

With colleagues from the department of sociology and anthropology and the department of political science, she currently investigates effects of welfare reform in rural areas of Appalachian Ohio from 1999 to the present. The research is supported by grants from the Joyce Foundation, the National Research Initiative of USDA and Ohio University.

"Our research has implications for how welfare reform is understood and organized," Tickamyer says. "Welfare reform is an experiment in devolution from federal assistance to state and local control. The basic measure of welfare reform success is how many people have left cash assistance and found employment. Yet there are many obstacles to employment and few jobs that pay a living wage in rural areas. Many people remain very poor after they have stopped receiving cash assistance, whether or not they are employed."

Tickamyer, with a colleague from Ohio State University and another from Washington State University, has just completed a book called "Spatial Inequalities" to be published by SUNY Press.

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Media Contact: Ann Tickamyer, (740) 593-1381 or tickamye@ohio.edu

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