A Letter from the Chair

Dear Prospective Student,

As the study of social life, Sociology is focused on the examination of the relationships between individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and social structures. Sociologists are particularly interested in the social roots and consequences of human actions and interactions, including social structure, culture, deviance, violence and crime, immigration, urbanization, social inequality, social policy, social movements, and social change. Sociology students have the opportunity to develop and use their sociological imaginations to better understand the social realities that influence and are influenced by their lives, experiences, and communities at the local, national, and global levels. In the Sociology curriculum, students employ sociological theories and quantitative and qualitative research methods as they hone their communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills. Students completing the Sociology curriculum are prepared for graduate studies in sociology and other social sciences as well as in law. Sociology students are also well-prepared for a vast and diverse array of careers that include but are not limited to research analysis, marketing research, public policy, public health, education, social services, criminal justice, advertising, public relations, human resources, government, activism, and advocacy.

The Lewis University Sociology faculty are deeply committed to helping students see the role of Sociology in their lives and their world. We do this in and out of the classroom, offering students opportunities to work with a number of community partners in places like Romeoville, Joliet, and Fairmont, Illinois, as well as Chicago. Students also get the chance to study Sociology around the world, as a number of our students have recently studied abroad in Italy and Ireland. The Sociology Department is also home to a Travel Study course that takes students to the US-Mexico border every May to see and better understand multiple issues relating to immigration. The Sociology Department at Lewis University also is home to a number of interdisciplinary minors. These include programs in Latin American and Latina/Latino Studies, Ethnic and Cultural Studies, and African American Studies.

The Latin American and Latina/Latino Studies minor includes courses from a variety of disciplines, such as sociology, history, Spanish, literature, philosophy, psychology, communications, political science, and social work. The minor provides an analysis of the histories, politics, cultures, and societies of both the region of Latin America and the Latina/o communities in the US. It seeks to stimulate and facilitate inquiry, research, and outreach activities related to these areas and their cultural traditions. The minor provides a framework for understanding Latina/o history and culture and contemporary triumphs and struggles of Latinos. The rich traditions, cultural expressions, and historical experiences of Latinos are explored. For further information about the Latin American and Latina/o Studies at Lewis University, consult Dr. Jennifer Tello Buntin (buntinje@lewisu.edu), the Program Director or Dr. Tennille Allen (allente@lewisu.edu), Chair of the Sociology Department.

The Ethnic and Cultural Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program within the College of Education and Social Sciences that provides opportunities for the study of histories and cultures of various ethnic groups. This minor allows the student to design an individualized minor which is broad in scope. This minor is designed to encourage the examination of the rich traditions, cultural expressions, and historical experiences, as well as the social and economic realities of various ethnic communities in the United States in particular. The interdisciplinary minor includes social and behavioral science courses, humanities courses, as well as communications courses. The minor provides a framework for the systematic understanding of the heritage of many peoples, the many contemporary issues facing ethnic groups today, the varied and significant roles played by ethnic groups in U.S. society, and the contributions of ethnic groups in the U. S. and around the world. All students interested are encouraged to consider taking this minor. One foreign language course may be applied to this minor. For more information about this program, contact the Program Director, Dr. Tennille Allen (allente@lewisu.edu).

The African American Studies minor is includes courses from a variety of disciplines, such as sociology, history, literature, philosophy, psychology, communications, political science, and social work. This interdisciplinary minor provides a framework for understanding African-American history, culture and contemporary experiences as well. For further information about African American Studies at Lewis University, consult the Director of African American Studies, Dr. Tennille Allen (allente@lewisu.edu).

I look forward to getting to know you and answering any questions that you have about Sociology and studying at Lewis University!

All the best,
Dr. Tennille Allen
Chair and Professor of Sociology
Lewis University

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