Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Kjolhede is the well-respected superintendent of the Ionia County Intermediate School District, which provides services and support for nine public schools, two charter schools and six non-public schools. The district spans 576 square miles and has more than 12,000 students. He is also president of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, Region IV.

His work in education has taken him from teaching and serving as a guidance counselor in several districts throughout Michigan to administrative positions for more than 20 years.

"I am truly humbled by being selected for this award," Kjolhede said. "Choosing to attend LSSC almost 40 years ago was the best decision I had made up to that point in my life. Through the LSSC guidance and influence of Paul Ripley, Bud Cooper, coaches Tom Ludwig and Ed Douma and many others, I was able grow and navigate my way to graduation.

"They and LSSC believed in me, giving me the knowledge, skills and confidence to get where I am today," Kjolhede continued. "I gladly support LSSU as repayment for their investment in me and for what they gave to me. The LSSU family has been instrumental in my life and invaluable for the lifelong connections we have made through the institution."

Kjolhede earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and minor in psychology from LSSU, as well as secondary certification in social studies before moving on to earn a master's degree in secondary guidance and counseling from Central Michigan University.

Kjolhede is married to the former Patti Ripley '77. The couple has two children, Kelly and Jamie.

Outstanding Alumnus Robert J. Kjolhede 76

Sociology - General

Gives competitive edge in securing employment and in making career changes as opportunities present themselves.

The sociology program emphasizes research skills, knowledge about diversity, critical thinking and writing skills, all of which will enhance your value to employers.

Excellent Foundation

This major prepares you to enter a variety of fields with a bachelor degree. It also provides an excellent foundation from which to continue educational preparation for a number of professions.

Many entry-level positions in private and public sector careers require the understanding of organizations and human relations provided by the Sociology major. The sociology program emphasizes research skills, knowledge about diversity, critical thinking and writing skills, all of which will enhance your value to employers. With assistance from your advisor and your career goals in mind, you will select one or two minors. This combination of broad knowledge about social organizations from the Sociology major together with a set of specific job skills and knowledge from the minor(s) will give you a competitive edge in securing employment and in making career changes as opportunities present themselves and the labor market demands change.

If you are preparing for graduate studies or professional school , you will find that the Sociology major, together with one or two carefully selected minor(s), provides competitive preparation for a number of areas of advanced study, such as social work, business, international relations, survey researcher, public relations, urban planning and more. If you are planning to undertake graduate studies in Sociology, you are encouraged to take both a major and a minor in Sociology. Or, if you are planning to apply to professional schools, such as law or medicine, you will find that the Sociology program, more than any other major, allows you extensive time within the four-year program to take courses strategically selected to best prepare you for the desired professional program.

Meighen Havens received an Outstanding Student Paper Award

Once again the Michigan Sociological Association has chosen the research of an undergraduate sociology student at Lake Superior State University for its top student award.

Meighen Havens received an Outstanding Student Paper Award on Oct. 19, during the MSA annual meeting at Saginaw Valley State University. Haven’s research, The Differing Effects of Mandatory and Voluntary Service, found that there were no significant differences in the benefits received by adolescents fulfilling required service obligations and those who volunteered on their own accord.

Haven's work was also her senior thesis (pdf) topic, a capstone undergraduate research project that is required of LSSU's students. Senior thesis posters, papers, and talks in the arts and sciences are not only presented each semester to the University community, but at conferences throughout Michigan, the Great Lakes region, and North America.

This is the third consecutive year that a student from the LSSU sociology program has received top honors from the Michigan Sociological Association, and the fourth year in a row that the program has been honored at the state level.

Lake State' sociology program has also been honored by the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters with the top award for outstanding undergraduate research.

Dr. R. Kirk Mauldin, who has served as the sociology research adviser since 2009, attributes the success of the program to its focus on building practical research skills and involving undergraduates in research opportunities usually reserved for graduate students.

Havens, from Cheboygan, Mich., is getting a bachelor of Arts in sociology, with a minor (and associate's degree) in social work, this December. She plans to pursue a Master's in social work next year.

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Kapp Award Recipient

Kathleen Holstege

Kathleen Holstege, one of our 2010 Sociology graduates, won the Kapp award for her senior research project, presented at the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts & Letter. [ more ]

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