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Faculty Story

Diane Carlson
Professor / Sociology

"When students get to 'play', learn something at the same time, and grasp the connection to the class – that rocks!"

How do Sociology classes make someone a more well-rounded individual?

Sociology incorporates aspects of many disciplines (including History, Political Science, Economics, Psychology, Anthropology, Humanities, Media Studies, and so on) to help students discover more about themselves and how they are connected to others through a bigger picture of historical and social processes. Classes cover everything from the micro level (such as emotions, identity, and intimate relationships), to the societal level (such as divisions by race, social class, gender and sexuality; politics; media; environment; and social movements). Sociology makes visible the way societies are structured and the complex reasons why things are the way they’ve come to be. More importantly, Sociology encourages us to question our assumptions about the world, to break down stereotypes and systems of inequality, and to be active in the many ways that change happens. Being exposed to all this will help students be more informed and better members of their families, their work, and their local and global communities.

What advice would you give to a new college student?

Be yourself, work hard, and don’t give up. Breathe. Connect to other students. If things get hard, get help. We have excellent resources at the college dedicated to student success – use them.

What’s the favorite part of your job?

The students are the best part of my job. Every semester is exciting because students bring new and different ways of thinking about the material. I also love finding interesting hands-on/active learning activities to help explore a concept or process. When students get to “play”, learn something at the same time, and grasp the connection to the class – that rocks!

What was your proudest moment working with students?

I am the very most thrilled when I have students who at the beginning of the semester may have been unaware or even resistant to thinking about multicultural issues and inequalities, who then later in the semester resolve to use their privilege and dedicate themselves to work for change in whatever arena they will be. This happens every semester, so I never cease being thrilled!

Additional Information:

- 2000 Guest Lecturer - University of South Africa, Institute for Gender Studies
- 2008 Adjunct Faculty of the Year – Woodland Community College.

Diane Carlson has her B.A. and J.D. from University of Arizona and M.A. from UC Davis.

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