The college remembers Professor Emeritus of Sociology James M. Watson, 79, who died on Aug. 18, 2010.
Before coming to Geneseo, Watson was a research associate and survey director for a major work on the Watts riots, The Los Angeles Riot Study, and taught at Indiana University and the University of Rochester. He joined the Geneseo faculty in 1973 as an associate professor and chair of the Sociology Department. He served as chair for nearly 20 years.
President Christopher C. Dahl said Watson was instrumental in building a strong faculty with commitment to teaching, research and service before stepping down in 1991. He retired in 1998.
Throughout his career, Watson was an active scholar on topics ranging from in social sources of urban riots to college student racial and ethnic stereotyping (with Geneseo colleague Jim Bearden) to the study of professional engineers (with Geneseo colleague Peter Meiksins). He chaired the College Senate Faculty Research Committee for almost a decade and helped stimulate faculty research on campus. After his retirement, Watson taught classical and contemporary sociological theory courses in an adjunct lecturer until 2005.