Katherine Weisensee named interim chair of Clemson’s sociology, anthropology and criminal justice department
Katherine Weisensee, associate professor of anthropology, has been named interim chair of Clemson’s sociology, anthropology and criminal justice department. Weisensee has been a faculty member at Clemson since 2008, and her appointment as interim chair began in mid-March.
Weisensee said she is excited to take on the role of interim chair in light of recent turnover in leadership in the department. She hopes to take an approach to the position that puts equal value on students, faculty development, and research in a growing, multi-faceted department.
“I’m excited to provide some stability as we move forward with strategic planning and aligning the efforts of the department with the goals of our college and the university,” Weisensee said.
In the short term, Weisensee hopes to maintain the quality present in the department’s sociology major while growing the anthropology and criminal justice majors most recently introduced to the department. She also hopes to invest in student engagement in the department through creative inquiry research projects, internships and study abroad programs.
Weisensee said she has been impressed with the dedication of students at Clemson since her arrival on campus. She has taken pride in helping them develop the knowledge and transferable skills that allow them to adapt to new situations and engage with diverse people, just as she has enjoyed working with them and her fellow faculty in research endeavors that explore the causes and consequences of human behavior around the world.
In regards to graduate programs, Weisensee hopes to expand the department’s applied sociology program, which has already placed many graduates in successful careers across a variety of industries. She said the continued success of students on the undergraduate and graduate levels is a testament to both the students and diverse faculty in the department.
“The department obviously represents a wide range of fields,” Weisensee said, “but that makes it all the more impressive that the faculty members have all worked together to support and complement one another as we grow as a department.”
Weisensee’s emphasis on unity and teamwork played a large part in her appointment, according to Brett Wright, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences which houses the department. He said Weisensee has proven to be an integral member of the department since her arrival at Clemson.
“Katherine is an outstanding faculty member and researcher in her own right, but she is also a true leader,” Wright said. “Our college is fortunate to have her take on this responsibility.”
Weisensee’s research interests include human skeletal biology, forensic anthropology and morphometrics. She currently teaches Introduction to Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology, Human Variation and Human Remains Recovery.
Weisensee earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Brandeis University.