The Becky Houck Award for Excellence in Advising presented to Dr. Martin Monto at All-College Celebration, February 24, 2016
“This annual Award is named in honor of our beloved CAS faculty colleague, Becky Houck. The Award honors and recognizes an individual who has committed a large part of his or her faculty work to mentoring and advising students — something that doesn’t typically show up on a vitae. Like past recipients, this year’s award winner exemplifies Becky’s indefatigable spirit and love for helping prepare undergraduate students to live a life of integrity, compassion, and service. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Martin Monto of the Sociology Department as this year’s Becky Houck Award recipient.
Several former students note:
“Dr. Monto helps students find direction and often assists them to creatively pursue double majors or to customize their programs to individual goals and interests. “
“His creativity in advising serves the mission of the University in developing the whole person, which is only successful if we take the time to learn their individual goals and needs. In this regard, Dr. Monto is a rock star.”
“I transferred into the major late from Engineering. Not only did Dr. Monto help me to draw up a plan of classes to help me graduate on time, he also made it possible for me to add a minor in Education and take extra classes my senior year! After I graduated, my sister (then a sophomore at UP) was having difficulty scheduling classes without much assistance from her assigned advisor. All it took was a single email to Dr. Monto and he immediately took my sister under his supervision as an academic advisor. Professor Monto eased much of my sister’s stress and she actually graduated on time.”
Over the last many years Martin has been a long-term mentor on advising issues for other faculty members in his own department, in CAS, and across the university. Here are several peer comments:
“I regularly discuss advising issues with Monto and routinely solicit his advice on how to best help and mentor students during advising sessions. . . . I have worked with him to become a better advisor using methods that he has developed over the past two decades.”
“Several years ago, Martin served on the College’s first Advising Consortium. As a member of the consortium, he took an active role in building the initial advising website for the College of Arts and Sciences. He also helped to design and lead an early session focused on advising at the University of Portland on Faculty Development Day. “Dr. Monto has spearheaded several surveys of graduating seniors, each time taking the data received seriously and implementing changes [to the major that would] that help students improve internship experiences and better prepare them for graduate studies.
Martin has been a faculty model in helping further develop the advisor’s role from “course scheduler” to “mentor” or even “life coach.” In his role as mentor to undergraduates, Martin’s good influence reaches beyond simple scheduling and career advice, as he has also sponsored undergraduate research, even publishing an award-winning article with a former student, for which he received the Hugo Beigel Award for Scholarly Excellence for the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
An extension of Martin’s advising / mentoring role to students is clearly evident in his taking the lead on the Green Dot initiative, a university-wide mentoring effort to educate students about violence. Through traditional and non-traditional advising, Martin’s efforts as a respected faculty advisor to students inspires students to live the kind of life of service to one another that represents the highest goal of the College’s educational mission.
I am very pleased to present this year’s 2016 Becky Houck Award for Excellence in Advising to Dr. Martin Monto.”
-Dean Micheal F. Andrews
Famous R&B duo Salt-N-Pepa once said, “Let’s talk about sex, baby…Let’s talk about all the good things and all the bad things that may be.”
Sociology professor Martin Monto would agree.
He will receive the Hugo Beigel Award for Scholarly Excellence by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality for his research on “hookup culture” next month, which has also been covered extensively by major media organizations. This award is meant to promote and reward research excellence in sexology.
Monto has taught the sociology senior project seminar for several years. Each semester, his students come up with research projects regarding societal issues. One of his students, Anna Carey, proposed to research the idea of hookup culture within today’s society. Together, they compared the hookup culture of two different generations of college students: students from 1988-1996 and 2004-2012.
“That idea of the hookup culture just took popular culture by storm, and everybody’s talking about how students today are involved in this no-holds-barred sexual playground,” Monto said. “So, I was talking with her (Carey) about this and I said ‘Let’s find out!’”
The idea for the project sprung from a seminar Carey attended about the subject on campus. Carey and Monto delved completely into the research of “hookup culture.” Their goal was to find out if college students these days were more involved in casual sexual activity instead of dating than past generations.
Monto and Carey compared students from the two different generations using statistics from the General Social Survey. On that database, there was a survey conducted each year with college students across the country that asked students various questions about their sex lives and sexual behavior in college. With this data, they were able to compare college students from 1986-1996 and college students of our generation.
“It became a project that we both put a lot of work into,” Carey said.
With Monto’s guidance, Carey wrote a thesis on the subject for her senior research project.
“College students today don’t have more sexual partners, they don’t have sex more frequently, they don’t have sex sooner than college students did in my generation or today’s parents’ generation,” Monto said. “Doesn’t that come as a surprise? That’s what is so interesting about it!”
Both Carey and Monto were surprised by their findings, and it turned out that others were, too.
“Initially I was disappointed to discover that my own observations and perceptions were not in fact reflective of the dating climate in general,” Carey said. “However, I have come to understand and appreciate that discovering the existing myths that exist within our culture about various social trends (such as dating/hooking up) can be very useful.”
According to Monto, their research astounded multiple researchers and contrasted popular belief of the media.
Their research was published in the Journal of Sex Research, which Monto explained is one of the best journals in sexuality research that picks the most important contributions to the field each year.
“Out of the 70 articles they published, it’s fairly selective. Ours was, according to the editor, the clear choice,” Monto said.
After their article was published, it went on to be featured on Huffington Post College, Women’s Health magazine and Time magazine. In November, Carey and Monto will be heading to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality’s annual conference to accept the Hugo Beigel Award together.
Monto prides himself on taking his passion for social sciences beyond his work as a professor. He is involved with different sociological issues around campus and in Portland such as spreading awareness of sexual assault prevention and attending different rallies. Through his involvement, he hopes to improve the circumstances surrounding them.
“I really like taking advantage of the social diversity and unique, interesting things that are going on in the Portland area. If there’s something unusual or interesting happening, then I’m going to want to be there. If there’s the Shell protest under the St. John’s bridge, I’m going to go to that,” Monto said. “One of my biggest passions is sexual assault prevention. I work with the school’s sexual assault prevention program, Green Dot. I wrote the grant proposal that gave us a three year grant from the Justice Office of Violence Against Women to implement the Green Dot Program on campus.”
It’s this type of helping hand approach that Monto is known for among his colleagues, including fellow sociology professor Nick McRee. As the leader of the sociology department, Monto lends his advice and positive attitude not only to students, but to faculty.
“Martin is committed to working collaboratively with his colleagues. He tries to make sure that everyone feels included and comfortable to participate in making decisions. He’s also really friendly and easygoing,” McRee said. “It is rare to see him without a smile on his face. He loves working closely with students to help them reach their potential.”
–Story from the Beacon by: Natasa Kvesic
Congratulations to the following CAS faculty members who were recently notified of tenure and promotion to associate professor, effective July 1, 2015:
|Hannah Callender, Mathematics|
|David De Lyser, Performing & Fine Arts|
|Vail Fletcher, Communication Studies|
|Alexandra Hill, International Languages & Cultures|
|Valerie Peterson, Mathematics|
|Bryan Rookey, Sociology & Social Work|
This year’s conference theme was “In the Field: Cultivating Collaboration and Innovation” and both undergraduate and graduate students from dozens of universities across the US participated. Ruby’s paper was entitled Growing Opportunities in Education for Girls in Africa, and focused on best practices for improving educational opportunities in three countries. Each participant presented their research findings for about 15 minutes, and this was followed by audience questions. Students received feedback from a faculty moderator and were able to network and discuss their work with their peers throughout the conference.
Junior Julia Sheets (Engineering) also presented a paper entitled Time of Travel Study on Water Collection in Rural Honduras, and Junior Andrea Merrill (Sociology/Psychology) attended the conference as an observer.
Martin Monto, Professor in Sociology, has received a grant from the Department of Justice. The grant will support the university in strengthening our sexual assault response and prevention efforts, and will support us in implementing a training program to teach students to intervene to prevent all forms of violence on and off campus.
Special recognition goes to Kristina Houck, from the Health Center, who worked hard on the grant and will be coordinating many of the grant activities.
Welcome to the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Our department includes twelve full time and several part time or visiting faculty members, with more than 200 students majoring in our programs. We offer three undergraduate majors (with a total of four programs, including the criminal justice track within sociology) that prepare students to take positions of leadership in the helping professions, in academia, and in the general community. We also offer minors in psychology and sociology. Through educational opportunities both within and beyond the classroom, we support students in developing ethical, fulfilling, and productive lives in a complex and heterogeneous world.
We invite you to explore our programs and the opportunities our department has to offer and to contact us if we can answer any questions.
Chair, Social & Behavioral Sciences