Sociology is the systematic study of society which includes people in groups, cultures and subcultures, the socialization process, social organization, social institutions, social stratification, social change, race and ethnic relations, human ecology, and social problems. As an intellectual discipline, it deals with developing scientific and reliable knowledge about human social relationships in group life. Courses are designed to increase personal awareness of the social environment, to help students prepare for interpersonal relationships in careers, and to equip students for further studies in sociology.
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Intro to Sociology; Gender; Religion; Death & Dying
F-353, Box C17, Centennial
Sharon Bjorkman began her sociology career as an undergraduate researching low income women in Chicago and South Carolina for policy research. Having thoroughly loved that experience, Sharon went on to receive her Masters in Applied Sociology as well as a Doctorate, both from Loyola University in Chicago. Sharon’s dissertation research focused on the work of homebirth midwives and their use of spiritual language to justify their work and their career choices. Sharon is passionate about teaching and devotes her time to learning more about the best teaching approaches. Sharon teaches Intro to Sociology, Gender, Religion, and Death & Dying.
W-209b, Box R17, Rampart Range
Gloria Nikolai earned a BA in English and Sociology and an MA in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Using applied sociology, she worked for years in various capacities at a juvenile prison, wilderness adolescent treatment center, early childhood programs and as a caseworker. She has been a full-time faculty member at PPCC since 2001 and served as chair of the Sociology department from 2006 – 2012. She teaches several courses for the Sociology department, including Introduction to Sociology I and II, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Family Dynamics and Sociology of Deviant Behavior. Having grown up in Minnesota, Colorado and Saudi Arabia, she fully embraces sociologist Peter Berger’s statement, “Things are not what they seem.” When not busy advising or teaching, Gloria enjoys cycling, hiking, bird watching and photography.
F-322, Box C17, Centennial
Gina Swanson was born and raised in Oklahoma. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Oklahoma State University in 1993 and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force in 1995. The Air Force sponsored her to receive a Master of Arts in Sociology in exchange for a teaching assignment at the United States Air Force Academy, which she did from 1998-2005. She started teaching as an adjunct at PPCC in 2002 and became full time faculty in 2007. She currently serves as the department chair. She has also completed a Master's in Public Administration from UCCS and extensive specialized training in institutional research and assessment. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, step-daughter and two sons. Her hobbies include yoga and reading.