Jack D HarrisProfessor Emeritus of Sociology

Joined faculty in 1974

Ph.D., Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
B.A., Sociology and Psychology, Tulane University

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Contact Information

Stern HallPhone (315) 781-3439Personal Homepage

Scholarly Interest

How organizations handle the change curve, if they do, has been a persistent scholarly interest.  Often organizations are stuck and are unable to effectively change.  This is a "change management" problem that I am addressing in a book length manuscript.  In addition, I am an applied sociologist and consult to local governments across the United States on business process reengineering, change management, and municipal information technology.

I have been studying men and masculinity in Vietnam for many years and have expanded into looking at the experience of Vietnamese as they go through massive economic and social change.  I have been inspired to turn some of my attention to Food Studies, especially Vietnamese regional cuisine.

Teaching Experience

Among his many academic experiences abroad, Harris has served as the core director of World Regional Geography for the Semester at Sea Program, twice directed the London, England Semester Abroad Program, twice directed the Vietnam Semester Abroad Program, directed the Rome, Italy Semester Abroad Program, and directed the Social Entrepreneurship program through ThinkImpact in Panama. Winter 2018 he directed a Social Entrepreneurship program through ThinkImpact in Ghana.  In the Fall 2019 he directed the Colleges' Ireland Semester Abroad Program in Galway.  He plans to direct the short-term Cuba program in December, 2021.


My scholarly involvement in service learning goes back to my involvement with the Learning and Mentoring Program (LAMP), a program through the New York State Department of Education aimed at researching and raising awareness of community-based service learning. As director of the Public Service Minor at the Colleges, I have been committed to engagement in service as a means of putting sociological methods to use. I serve on the executive committee for We Care Committee of Geneva and actively participate in community service activities like Celebrate Service, Celebrate Geneva, a day-long service initiative that engages as many as 1,000 students, faculty, staff members and community members.

As an Applied Sociologist I take my working knowledge of society and organizing systems to the real world, providing professional consultation to municipalities and businesses nationwide. I have conducted program and performance assessments in Burke County, North Carolina; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Elmira, New York; City of Milwaukee Water Works, Wisconsin; St. Paul, Minnesota and many other cities and counties. Locally, I work closely with the Geneva Housing Authority, and have served as an evaluator for the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Drug Elimination Grant in Geneva, New York, the local evaluator for the federally funded Finger Lakes Even Start Family Literacy program, and the Service Coordinator evaluator at the Seneca Apartments in Geneva.

Courses Taught

Sociology: Introduction to Sociology; Sociology of Business and Management; Sociology of Community; Social Deviance; Sociology of Vietnam; Vietnam:  Conflict, Contradiction and Change; Classical and Modern Social Theory; Sociology and Existentialism; Sociology of Minorities; Psychoanalysis and Sociology; Society and Technology; Totalitarianism; Sociology of the Future, Senior Research Practicum; Readers College on Vietnam

Bi-Disciplinary Courses: Men’s Studies: Men and Masculinity; Voyages and Expeditions; The Grotesque: In Literature and Life; Existentialism:  Sociology and Philosophy

General Curriculum Courses: Mosaic:  Knowing and Being; Mechanical Bride: Computers and the Liberal Arts; Ways of Knowing:  Science, Social Science, and Humanities

Independent Study Work with Students: Independent Studies, Geneva Collaborative Internships; Honors Projects


Special Guest Editor, Vietnam: Memories and Meaning, ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 25(1), Spring 2018. 

      “Notes from the Editors,” (with Marsha Smith and Hong Zhang) in Vietnam: Memories and Meaning, ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 25(1), pp.1–6. 

       “Introduction to the Special Edition on Vietnam,” in ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts. 25(1), pp.1–6. 

“Cooking Up the Culinary Nation or Savoring Its Regions? Teaching Food Studies in Vietnam,” (with Christopher Annear), In Vietnam: Memories and Meaning, ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 25(1), pp.115–148, Spring 2018.

“Human Rights in Upstate New York” (with Dylan Colbert and Joy Gitter).  Online database, GIS-linked map, and narrative -- The New York Six Upstate-Global Collective, 2015)

“Extramarital Relationships, Masculinity, and Gender Relations in Vietnam,” (with Nguyen Khanh Linh), Southeast Review of Asian Studies, Volume 31 (2009), pp.127-142.  Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies

In Rimmerman (ed) et. al., Service Learning in the Liberal Arts, Book Chapter:  Service Learning: Process and Participation, Lexington Books – Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008.

“Growing a Program on Vietnam,” ASIANetwork Exchange: A Newsletter for Teaching About Asia (Spring 2007)

Review Essay: Nostalgia for the Countryside, News and Reviews, Asian Educational Media Service, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois (Spring, 2005)

Review Essay: Gao Rang (Grilled Rice), News and Reviews, Asian Educational Media Service, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois (Spring, 2003)

“Transforming Information Services: New Roles, New Strategies,” (with J. Jacobstein and B. Strock) IQ Service Report, ICMA (International City and County Managers Association), Spring, 2001.

“Embezzlement, a Real Cause for Concern,” (with F. Bartz and B. Strock) PM-Public Management, Volume 82, Number 10, 2000. 

“Incorporating Men into Vietnamese Gender Studies,” Vietnam Social Sciences, Volume 5 (67), 1998, National Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities, Hanoi, Vietnam

The Municipal Computer Systems Handbook: A Practical Guide to Computer Planning, Negotiations, Contracts, Contract Planning and Implementation, 5th Edition, with Barry Strock, Rensselaerville Training Center, 1997

“Teaching Sociology as a Moral Discipline" (with J. Spates), in Quarterly Journal of Ideology

In Wright, Ideology and Controversy in the Classroom, American Sociological Assn. Teaching Resource Center, "Teaching Sociology as a Moral Discipline"


American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

American Sociological Association


When I am not teaching and doing research you can find me either SAILING or doing MOTORSPORTS.  

I maintain a website for Tartan 34-2 sailboat owners, and own a 1985 Tartan 34-2, Hull #9. 

I am a member of the Porsche Club of American and drive a 2007 Porsche Cayman.  Through the Sportscar Club of America I enjoy autocross, and also enjoy high performance driver education (HPDE) at Watkins Glen International Raceway and Shannonville Racetrack.


Social Entrepreneurship Project, with ThinkImpact, Kontomerie, Ghana (January, 2018)

Social Entrepreneurship Project, with ThinkImpact, Piedras Gordas, Panama (January, 2016)

Research Partner, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing [AFFH] Research Partnership Grant with Geneva Human Rights Commission, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2012-2013)

Co-Director, ASIANetwork Service Learning and the Environment in Asia Program [ANSLEAP], (2011-2013)

Co-Director, U.S. Department of Education Title VI Grant: Vietnamese cultural and language infusion at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, (2003-2006)

Academic Exchange Grant: American Council of Learned Societies, Center for Educational Exchange with Vietnam, and ASIANetwork (funded by the Henry Luce Foundation), (2005-2006)

Vietnam Research Grant:  ASIANetwork Freeman Foundation Student Faculty Fellows Program (2003)

Hobart and William Smith Colleges Faculty Summer Research Grant for Vietnamese Studies (1999-2003)

“Learning and Mentoring Program (LAMP),” New York State Department of Education Learn and Serve Grant to promulgate and research community-based service learning (2002)

Hobart and William Smith Colleges Faculty Award for Community Service.

Office Hours

Mondays and Wednesdays, 11am - 12:30pm, and meetings arranged by appointment.  I can be reached via email:  harris@hws.edu.

sailboat on the waterSailing Pastime

blue porsche race carJack @ Watkins Glen