Mission and Goals
The sociology department has several learning goals for majors. Those who major in sociology will acquire the following knowledge, skills and abilities.
- Students will demonstrate ability to communicate effectively through written means.
- Students will demonstrate ability to research a sociological topic and propose a study that would advance the topic.
- Students will demonstrate ability to engage in critical thinking with regard to patterns of inequality in American society.
- Students will demonstrate public speaking skills.
- Students will demonstrate an appreciation of cultural diversity.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of career options and graduate school opportunities.
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of key sociological concepts and theories.
Why Sociology at NU?
At Niagara University, you have the opportunity to work closely with some great faculty while you acquire the skills you need. Anchoring the department's focus is the work of Dr. Ken Culton and Dr. Todd Schoepflin, both products of one of the top sociology graduate programs in the country: the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Schoepflin is a figure in the emerging field of autoethnography, an exciting field where personal experience becomes the basis for discovering broader social meaning. Dr. Schoepflin has published in the academic journal, Teaching Sociology, and is an award-winning teacher at NU. He recently co-authored a book chapter about writing fictional stories as a way of exploring sociological concepts.
Dr. Culton specializes in the dynamic field of youth subcultures and teaches a popular course called Youth/Music/Subculture, one of few such courses in the country. Dr. Culton’s research addresses the broader importance of culture in shaping social life and driving social change. His published work on the “Free Space” concept is timely and can help us understand the current wave of predominantly youth-led movement activity including the “Occupy” protests.
Unlike what you might see at a large university, Drs. Culton and Schoepflin are readily available to discuss their work and help students to develop their own research projects as well. There are no closed doors at NU!