CORVALLIS - Richard Mitchell, an associate professor of sociology at Oregon State University, has been elected president of the international Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.

This prestigious, interdisciplinary organization is comprised of more than 400 scholars in the social sciences and humanities, from the United States, Mexico, Canada and 15 other countries. It was founded in 1974.

"This is a great honor, for the sociology department and for OSU," Mitchell said. "Symbolic interactionists have undertaken pioneering studies of the workplace, health care delivery, education, the military, the problems of substance abuse, homelessness, domestic violence, and other policy-relevant concerns."

The society publishes the quarterly journal, "Symbolic Interaction," which is ranked as one of the most frequently cited sources in the social sciences.

Mitchell will take over as president of the organization, while continuing as associate editor of the journal. He had served as the society's executive coordinator for the past three years. As president, he will oversee the society's national conference and international symposium, manage the journal, and set the society's agenda for the upcoming year.

An OSU faculty member for 17 years, he is the author or co-author of seven books and educational monographs, and 25 journal articles or book chapters. He has presented more than 50 conference papers or invited lectures through Europe and North America.

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Rich Mitchell, 541-737-5377