Stephen Couch named interim chancellor at Penn State Schuylkill

Stephen R. Couch, professor of sociology and professor of science, technology and society, is interim chancellor at Penn State Schuylkill. Prior to assuming the position on July 1, Couch served for four years as the director of academic affairs at the campus.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in music from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, he remained at Oberlin College for a master's degree in sociology. His received his doctorate in sociology from Binghamton University, N.Y.

An award-winning teacher and researcher, Couch is co-author of four books and has written more than 30 published articles, most of them dealing with environmental sociology and technological hazards. He has presented the results of his research at conferences throughout the United States, as well as in Europe, Mexico and Japan. His current research interests are on community breakdown and recovery from environmental risks, popular culture and disasters, and the collective construction of meaning by groups victimized by modern technology.

Couch has served as an expert witness in several cases involving environmental contamination. He has consulted in his areas of expertise for numerous governmental and business organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Borden Chemicals. He is past chair of the Environment and Technology Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, former editor of Social Problems Forum, has been a member of the board of directors of the Sociological Practice Association, and sat on the council of the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.

Couch resides in Orwigsburg with his wife Kathy. He loves spending leisure time with her, his two granddaughters (7-year-old Stephanie and 4-year-old Kaitlyn) and their parents (daughter Amanda and son-in-law Drew).