SOCIOLOGY + CRIMINOLOGY

The sociology major prepares students for a lifelong personal commitment to society and for a diverse range of careers in the public and private sectors or for graduate study. The sociology major is available through the Social Sciences Department. Social science courses offer experience in project-based course work and opportunities for original scholarly research, incorporating field trips and off-campus study throughout the United States and abroad.

Criminology/Criminal Justice Concentration

  • Understand current challenges in the criminal justice system and the directions the it will take for the future.
  • Design and execute original research, giving insight into a rapidly changing field.
  • Engage in community service and service learning activities.
  • Participate in field experiences relevant to the criminal justice system.
  • Work and interact with a diverse group of people interested in, and of interest to the criminal justice system.
  • Learn about the wide range of careers available in the criminal justice field.

Program Goals

The discipline of sociology is the social scientific study of human groups and societies. The sociology major at Wartburg College focuses on developing conceptual and practical knowledge and skills in the discipline of sociology. We are an active interdisciplinary major in the department of social sciences that offers multiple opportunities for field research, domestic and international travel, and applied work and service learning opportunities to demonstrate and understand the relevance of sociology through experiential learning. There are many opportunities to collaborate with faculty in various projects and programs. The sociology major prepares students for a diverse range of careers in both public and private sectors and continued education toward a postgraduate degree. Program goals for students in the sociology major are:

Use critical thinking to examine and evaluate a wide range of social phenomenon and organizations.

Demonstrate command of theory, methods, and empirical examinations of society in a manner that furthers the discipline of sociology.

Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills consistent with the professional expectations of the discipline.

Demonstrate a deep understanding of the social, historical, political, and economic contexts of human groups, organization, and interactions.

Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills, professional responsibilities, and ethical sensibilities in research and applied work.

Compete successfully in being admitted to graduate programs in sociology and/or obtaining a professional position utilizing applied sociological expertise.

FACILITIES

The Classroom Technology Center houses the Social Science Department and allows for personal interaction with faculty members and students.

Research with a faculty mentor. WORTH IT.

LEARN MORE

ALUMNI PROFILES

Whitney Mitvalsky Joachim ‘07
Sociology
Donor Recruitment Representative

American Red Cross Biomedical Services plays a critical role in our nation’s health care system. It is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, collecting and processing more than 40 percent of the blood supply and distributing it to some 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. My job is to keep blood on the shelves. I work with volunteers everyday… volunteer blood drive coordinators in 31 different counties in Iowa. It’s the most rewarding “job” I’ve ever had.

Erin Swancutt ‘03
Psychology, Sociology
Admissions Advisor

After graduating from Wartburg in 2003, I was an AmeriCorpsVISTA volunteer for two years. In 2005, I started graduate school at UNI in the Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs program. After graduating in 2007, I was hired at Simpson College that summer as a Career Counselor.  A couple of years later, I moved up to Assistant Director of Career Services and became the orientation coordinator.  This past summer in 2013, I left Simpson to move back to the Cedar Valley and I am currently the Admissions Advisor at Upper Iowa University at the Waterloo Center.

Breanne Pleggenkuhle ’06
Psychology and Sociology
Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice

I am currently an assistant professor in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Illinois). I received my Ph.D. from the University of Missouri- St. Louis in 2012, after also completing my Masters degree there. I have had opportunity to engage in a wide variety of research projects that have allowed me to evaluate challenges offenders face after a felony conviction and the impact of community context on success.

Alumni Outcomes

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the Social Science Department have had in the past.

Recent Wartburg College sociology graduates are working in the fields of community organizing, law enforcement, human services, marketing, financial services, college student services, policy and survey research, and church-related organizations. Others are pursing graduate degrees in sociology, child development, criminal justice, and clinical psychology.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:

  • Admissions Representative, Ashford University, Clinton
  • Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill.
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation Service Coordinator, Fairview Nursing Plaza, Rockford, Ill.
  • Graduate Student-Law, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Government Affairs Analyst, Pioneer Hi-Bred International/Dupont, Johnston
  • Attorney, Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, Des Moines

Sample Stand-out Alumni Positions:

  • Attorney/Partner, Best & Flanagan, LLP, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Attorney/Partner, Merlo Kanofsky & Gregg, Ltd., Chicago, Ill.
  • Assistant Professor, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn.
  • Higher Executive Officer/ Deputy Majority Leader, Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board, Oslo, Norway
  • Associate Professor of Psychology, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past 10 Years:

  • Police Officer, Longmont, Colo.
  • Benefits Assistant, Go Wireless, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Attorney, Sheridan & Murray, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Human Resources Representative, Iowa Department of Human Services, Des Moines
  • Behavior Therapist, Behavior Dimensions, Inc. Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Counterterrorism/Acquisition, Air Force, Boston, Mass.
  • Director, Kessel Kids Childcare & Learning Center, Cresco

FACULTY

Brian McQueen

Asst. Professor of Sociology

Daniel Sundblad

Associate Professor of Sociology