This website is devoted to making the history of

the Rural Sociological Society and rural sociology more accessible.


Additions and suggestions are always welcome!






Oral History Project




The RSS Oral History Project is a collective effort to capture the memories, recollections, and insights of members of the Rural Sociological Society. 


In particular, three goals form the focus of the project:

(1) to develop a sense of where rural sociology has been, what progress it has made, and where it is heading;

(2) to compare past challenges/issues/opportunities with those of today; and

(3) to develop a better understanding of the relationship between sociology and rural sociology.


While the initial focus has been on interviewing past presidents, all interviews are welcome

In addition to past Presidents of RSS, those in other leadership positions should also be interviewed (ie. Treasurer/Executive Director,

Editors of Rural Sociology, Editors of The Rural Sociologist, etc).



Project Brochure




Project Information



Interviews Conducted (last updated: Aug. 2014)


Person Interviewed



Person Interviewed







C. Milton Coughenour

Jess Kropczynski


Jan Bokemeier

Cynthia Struthers

James A. Christenson

Lori Garkovich


Ann Tickamyer

Lisa Pruitt

Olaf Larson

Julie Zimmerman


Ron Wimberley

Rosalind Harris

Jan Flora

Brent Hales


Bill Lacy

Lisa Pruitt

Bill Heffernan

Gill Gillespie


Larry Busch

Ray Jussaume

Cornelia Flora

Cynthia Struthers


Gerald Klonglan

Peggy Petrzelka

Lou Swanson

Lori Garkovich


Dudley Poston

Mary Ann Davis

David Brown

Julie Zimmerman


Bill Friedland

Michael Schulman

Bo Beaulieu

Lori Garkovich


Don Dillman

Julie Zimmerman

Rabel Burdge

Julie Zimmerman


Jim Zuiches

David Brown

Glenn Fuguitt

David Brown


Don Field

Doug Smith

Peter Fricke

Ivy Brashear


William Cross

Cecil Shelton

Jess Gilbert

Julie Keller


Ken and Edie Pigg

Julie Zimmerman

Archie Haller Joachim Singelmann


Linda Lobao

Lisa Pruitt




Project Background

The RSS Oral History Project was initiated by Joachim Singelmann, President of the Rural Sociological Society (2009-2010).  Initially conceived in December 2009, Joachim sought to have captured the memories and recollections of past presidents of the Society, their contributions, as well as the context in which the scholars worked. 


A key aim in developing the project was an interest in the evolution and development of rural sociology as a specialty area of sociology, but also the development of rural sociology as an organization particularly for past presidents who worked in the South since rural sociology there often was the vanguard of the establishment of general sociology at land-grant institutions.



For more information, or to sign up to conduct one of the interviews, contact:

Julie N. Zimmerman

RSS Historian

Professor, Rural Sociology

Dept. of Community and Leadership Development, University of Kentucky


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