Sociology

The University of Dubuque Sociology major enables students to understand the complexities of social life and to develop an awareness of the connections among themselves, their communities, society at large, and the global environment. By analyzing human behavior at these multiple levels, students are challenged to deepen their appreciation of cross-cultural perspectives, increase their understanding of patterns of inequality, and explore possible forces for social change.

What You Will Learn

  • Students will develop analytical and critical thinking skills appropriate to evaluating the theoretical perspectives that comprise the disciplinary framework of sociology.
  • Students gain insights into their own personal experiences as a positioned member of social institutions.
  • Students will learn to practice appropriate and effective communication, in both oral and written form, that expresses their understanding and appreciation of diversity at multiple levels.
  • Students will develop the skills necessary to contribute positively to their communities, society, and the global context through professional leadership and sociological insight.
  • Students will learn to critically evaluate their sense of vocation and their ethical values in relation to social problems at the local, national, and global levels.

Program of Study

A University of Dubuque degree in sociology prepares students by offering courses that provide students with a scientific and systematic approach for evaluating social issues in their personal and professional lives. The Sociology Program provides opportunities for students to explore, critique, and evaluate issues of difference in their daily lives and opportunities for students to form alliances and to create solutions for social problems. This program of study further allows students the opportunity to explore their own political beliefs, personal convictions, cultural and faith traditions in the context of the classroom, community, and global diversity.


What Our Students Do

University of Dubuque sociology students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal program to plan additional courses, internships, undergraduate research, and other experiences. Many sociology majors consider double majoring or minoring in the following programs of study: criminal justice, gender studies, psychology, history, communication, English, languages (such as Spanish), or religion/philosophy. 

Where Our Graduates Go

University of Dubuque sociology graduates seek careers as researchers and/or university teachers by continuing their study at the graduate level. The Sociology Program also provides an excellent background for graduate programs in social work, law, criminal justice, and other related disciplines. Additionally, the study of sociology or criminal justice prepares students for effective participation in a variety of careers in diverse fields such as education, government, criminology and corrections, community service, mental health services, business, and media and information systems. 

News from the Department

Consider joining the Du Bois Community: A psychology and sociology student-founded organization that is a multi-racial action group dedicated to racial and gender dialogue, authentic friendship, support, and equity at the University of Dubuque. 

Sociology - Program of Study

The courses below are a program sample of what students may encounter. Students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal educational program to plan their elective course choices, internships, undergraduate research, and other educational opportunities and experiences.

Year One

Fall Semester
WVS 101: World View Seminar I (3)
CIS 101: Introduction to Computers (3)
COM 101: Speech Communication (3)
SOC 111: Introduction to Sociology (3)
SCJ 104: Voices/Values/Vocations in SOC and CJ (3)

J-Term
Required

Spring Semester
ENG 101: Composition and Rhetoric (3)
REL 110: Judeo-Christian Journeys (3)
UDHS 121: World Civilization I (3) or other Global Awareness A Course
SOC Elective
SOC Elective


Year Two

Fall Semester
UDMA 112: Algebra (3)
BIO 125: Population, Resources, and Environment (3) or other Stewardship Course
ENG 112/260: Literature (3)
BIO 110: Human Biology (4) or other Biology Lab Course
SOC: Elective

J-Term
Required

Spring Semester
RES 104: Research Writing (3)
ART 111: Survey of Western Art (3) or other Aesthetics B course
SOC Elective
SOC Elective
WVS 201: World View Seminar II (3)


Year Three

Fall Semester
SOC 331: Social Stratification (3)
SOC Elective
SOC Elective
PSY 310: Social Psychology (3)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
SOC 486: Internship (3-9)
SOC Elective
SOC Elective
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1) 


Year Four

Fall Semester
SOC 335: Social Research (3)
SOC Elective
SOC Elective
CCS 101: Cross-Cultural Study (1) or other Global Awareness B Course

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
SOC 336: Social Theory (3)
SOC 495: World View Seminar IV (3)
SOC Elective
SOC Elective

John Shook
John Shook
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology and Criminal Justice Department Head

MPA, Ohio State University
BS, Pennsylvania State University

Office Phone: 563.589.3452
E-mail: jshook@dbq.edu 
Office Location: Severance Hall
Biography - Click Here

A native Pennsylvanian, Mr. Shook received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Pennsylvania State University , and later received a Master of Public Administration from the Ohio State University.  After graduating from Ohio State, Mr. Shook began a career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a correctional officer.  During his 29 years with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility at nine different duty stations, with his last position being Associate Warden at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas.   During this time, Mr. Shook also instructed in an adjunct capacity at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point; Upper Iowa University, Wausau Center and Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas.

Mr. Shook held the position of Assistant Professor/Department Chair of Criminal Justice Administration at Waldorf College from August, 2011 to May, 2014.  He accepted the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Dubuque in August, 2014.


Ben Bartels
Ben Bartels
Assistant Professor

JD, Loyola University
BA, University of Iowa

Office Phone: 563.589.3562
E-mail: bbartels@dbq.edu 
Office Location: Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Phil Baskerville
Phil Baskerville
Assistant Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice

MA/Post-Secondary Education, University of Northern Iowa
BA, Upper Iowa University
AA, Hawkeye Institute of Technology

Office Phone: 563.589.3457
E-mail: pbaskerville@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 315 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Mark Dalsing
Mark Dalsing
Adjunct Instructor

MBA, University of Dubuque
Graduate FBI National Academy-Session 245
BS, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

E-mail: mdalsing@dbq.edu 


Leisa Graves
Leisa Graves
Adjunct Instructor

LMSW

E-mail: lgraves@dbq.edu 
Office Location: Blades

Kim Hilby
Kim Hilby
Assistant Professor of Sociology

BSW
LMSW

Office Phone: 563.589.3718
E-mail: khilby@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 320 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Steve Hodge
Steve Hodge
Adjunct Sociology Faculty


E-mail: shodge@dbq.edu 

Dr. Farris Muhammad
Dr. Farris Muhammad
Adjunct Professor

PhD, University of Georgia
MBA, Eastern Michigan University
BBA, Northwood University 



E-mail: fmuhammad@dbq.edu 

Alice Oleson
Alice Oleson
Associate Professor of Sociology

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA, University of Iowa

Office Phone: 563.589.3307
E-mail: aoleson@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 318 Severance Hall
Fax: 563.589.3576

Sandy Ragona
Sandy Ragona
Adjunct Instructor of Sociology

MSEd, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
BA, Central College

E-mail: srragona@dbq.edu 

Biography - Click Here

Retired School Counselor: 30 years at J.F.Kennedy School, Dubuque

Author: 5 books related to bullying, storytelling, and motivation to come to school National Workshop Presenter: Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas, New Orleans


Caitlin  Vrotsos-Siemionko
Caitlin  Vrotsos-Siemionko
Adjunct Instructor

MS, University of Wisconsin-Platteville

E-mail: cvrotsos@dbq.edu 

Abby Wessel
Abby Wessel
Adjunct Instructor

JD, Roger Williams University
BS, Lewis University

E-mail: aswessel@dbq.edu 
Biography - Click Here

Practice of Law: Admitted, Iowa, 2010; Admitted, Florida, 2009

Rickert & Wessel Law Office, P.C., Partner, Reinbeck, Iowa

 Professional Associations and Memberships:

 Member Iowa State Bar Association

 Member Grundy County Bar Association

Vice-President, 2010-Present 

Member Florida State Bar Association 

Member American Bar Association 

Adjunct Professor at the University of Dubuque: Criminal Procedure, Criminology, Social Problems


Heidi Zull
Heidi Zull
Adjunct Instructor of Sociology

BA, University of Dubuque

E-mail: hzull@dbq.edu 

Careers in Sociology

Many careers which stem from the Sociology Program provide entry into a wide range of human services careers. These careers serve varying populations including: youth, elderly, juvenile and adult offenders, differently abled, women, and families.

BA Opportunities

A sociology degree provides entry into the following careers and/or entry to the graduate study necessary to pursue the following careers:

  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Mental Health Services
  • Programming
  • Administration

Post-graduate Opportunities

Many students with sociology and criminal justice majors have gone on to graduate school to prepare for careers in social science fields such as anthropology, criminal justice, education, ethnic studies, history, international human rights, law, non-profit management, public policy, psychology, sociology, social justice, and social work.

Successful Outcomes

Kelsy Gruhn BS, 2013 Sociology

Through my education in the sociology program, I learned how to evaluate inequalities as they relate to race, class, and gender, and how it affects people’s choices and beliefs. I gained understanding on how to assess social and cultural issues within our society. The sociology courses at the University of Dubuque encouraged me to utilize the different theories and concepts while in the field. In addition to sociology, I also studied criminal justice and psychology, and was an active member in the Justice League and the Psychology Club.

Upon graduation, I began serving as a juvenile detention specialist in the Youth Services Center in Rock County, WI. Currently, I am a member of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), advocating for neglected and abused children in Illinois for Lee, Ogle, and Carroll counties, and I am furthering my degree in clinical psychology. The sociology courses at the University of Dubuque have equipped me to help others overcome their lack of opportunity and to encourage positive outcomes.