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"The human being is in the most literal sense a political animal, not merely a gregarious animal, but an animal which can individuate itself only in the midst of society" — Karl Marx

*Department Chair

Kieran Bezila

, Assistant Professor of Sociology
B.A., Boston College, M.A., Ph.D, Northwestern University.


Kieran earned a B.A. in Sociology from Boston College, and an M.A. and Ph.D from Northwestern University.

Courses Taught: Introduction to Sociology, the Sociology of Information/Knowledge, the Sociology of Organizations, and Research Methods.

Research Interests: Altruism and Cooperation, Organizations, Theory, Political Preferences, Cognitive Epistemology and Decision-Making, Experimental Methods.

Profile for Kieran Bezila was last updated on Sep 10, 2015.

Carla P. Davis*

, Associate Professor of Sociology
B.A., M.A., American University, Ph.D., University of California-Los Angeles


Professor Davis earned a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Affairs from American University.  She earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California-Los Angeles.  Her research and teaching focus on social inequalities (race, ethnicity, immigration, gender, class).  Her most recent publication is Girls and Juvenile Justice: Power, Status, and the Social Construction of Delinquency, published by Palgrave Macmillan.  She has published in, among others, International Migration Review, Crime & Delinquency, and Girls, Women, and Crime.  Her current research is an ethnographic study examining how women college students navigate institutional hierarchies (resources, status, power, intertwined with race/ethnicity, gender, class) in their everyday lives.  She joined the Beloit College faculty in the fall of 2006.

Courses Taught: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Women, Race, and Class; Race, Self, & Society; Juvenile Delinquency & Ethnographic Field Research; The Social Construction of Identity; Introduction to Sociology; Race and Juvenile Justice

Research Interests: How social inequalities are embedded in institutional structures, policies, programs, and practices.

Profile for Carla P. Davis was last updated on May 7, 2018.

Kate Linnenberg

, Associate Professor of Sociology
B.A., University of Virginia. M.A., University of Virginia. Ph.D., Northwestern University


Kathryn D. Linnenberg, associate professor of sociology, received a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in French from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Virginia, and completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at Northwestern University. Her dissertation was entitled #1 Father or Fathering 101: How Involved Fathers Are When They Live with Their Children. This work examines determinants of father involvement among cohabiting fathers, using married fathers as a comparison group.  Kate also spent two years working for the Academic and Professional Affairs Program of the American Sociological Association. She joined the Beloit College faculty in the fall of 2004.

Courses Taught: Introduction to Sociology, Survey Research Methods, The Sociology of Sex & Gender, Families in Transition, and Social Statistics.

Research Interests: Gender, Family, Statistics, and Methodology.

Profile for Kate Linnenberg was last updated on Sep 10, 2015.

Kendra S. Schiffman

, Teaching Fellow in Sociology
Ph.D., Northwestern University


Kendra Schiffman earned a Ph.D. in Sociology with a Certificate in Gender Studies from Northwestern University.  Her research and teaching in political sociology and social inequality examines the relationship between institutional politics, policy, and social movements.  In both her teaching and research, she investigates how people organize to create change through grass-roots collective action and social policy reform in numerous countries and time periods; she also focuses on how public policy has contributed to or alleviated social inequality.  Her current research draws from her dissertation, “Voting Rights and Gender Politics: Suffrage Movement Activism, State Formation, and Expanding Democracy,” and examines how the features of political institutions significantly affect movements’ capacity to achieve democratic reform.  She joined the Beloit College faculty in the fall of 2013.

Courses Taught: Political Sociology, Social Movements, Education: Inequality and Policy, Comparative Social Policy: Health, Work and Family, Research Methods, and Introduction to Sociology.  

Research Interests: How power operates in various institutions and through collective action to create or reduce social inequality.

Profile for Kendra S. Schiffman was last updated on Sep 10, 2015.

Charles Westerberg

, Associate Professor of Sociology, Associate Dean of the College, and Director of the Liberal Arts in Practice Center
B.A., Beloit College, M.A. and Ph.D., University of Missouri in Columbia


Charles Westerberg graduated from Beloit College in 1994 with majors in Sociology and Government.  He went on to get his M.A. (1997) and Ph.D. (2001) in Sociology from the University of Missouri in Columbia.  Recently, he has devoted his scholarly work to the study of the privatization movement in corrections and the increasing actuarial focus of the criminal justice system. He joined the Beloit College faculty in the spring of 2000. Charles has served as an Associate Dean of the College (for academic affairs) since June 2007 and as Director of the Liberal Arts in Practice Center beginning in Fall 2011.

Courses Taught: Introduction to Sociology, Criminal Justice, Social Deviance, The Sociology of Law, Social Stratification, and the Sociology Senior Capstone.

Research Interests: Criminology, Class Based Stratification, and Social Capital.

Profile for Charles Westerberg was last updated on Sep 10, 2015.

Carol Wickersham

, Adjunct Instructor of Sociology, Director of The Duffy Community Partnerships and the Leadership Initiative
B.A., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Magna Cum Laude. M.Div., Pacific School of Religion


Carol Wickersham has a B.A. from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Magna Cum Laude, and an M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion attending as a North American Ministerial Fellow. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, USA. Prior to coming to the faculty at Beloit College, Carol served local congregations and was involved in faith-based and secular social movements through grassroots, national and international initiatives. She has served local congregations, at the World Council of Churches and as an adjunct faculty member in field education at San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is currently involved in attempts to secure humane treatment for US detainees as founder of No2Torture and as a board member of the National Religious Coalition Against Torture. She joined the Beloit College faculty in the fall of 2002.

Courses Taught: Duffy Community Partnerships, Practical Approaches to Social Problems, and Leadership Seminar.

Research Interests: Social Problems, Social Change, and Activism

Profile for Carol Wickersham was last updated on Sep 10, 2015.