What is the relationship of self to society? Who determines societal norms? What factors create cultural identity? Does human suffering have a purpose? Questions of sociology are as diverse as people and societies themselves.
The sociology degree program at Nazareth College is the study of human life, group behavior, and social systems. Marriage and family, racial, cultural, and gender issues, criminal justice, and media and popular culture are just part of the terrain we cover.
Service-learning projects and internships complement classroom learning. Our students have engaged in field experiences on Native American reservations, in the criminal justice system, and in soup kitchens. They also volunteer for the United Way and mentor disadvantaged children.
The sociology major also encourages self-reflection—helping students gain insight into the human condition and their own behavior in social situations. Graduates often say that the program has helped them be more open-minded, objective, and understanding of social and cultural differences.
Education: Ph.D., Washington University (Anthropology); M.A.,Washington University (Anthropology); B.A., University of Nairobi (Anthropology)
Teaching and Research Areas: Culture and globalization, forced migration, anthropological approaches to political economy, agrarian transformations, African studies.
Understanding groups of people and systemic causes of inequities and discrimination inform his current role as chief operating officer at Finger Lakes Health System Agency, whose work includes addressing disparities in health care by race and ethnicity. His sociology major also shaped his previous work as chief operating officer and as director of advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights. Edgy protests and weeklong sidewalk campouts in front of political offices “were pretty reminiscent of everything (Nazareth professor) Harry Murray ever said.” Hilderbrant was named to Rochester Business Journal's Forty under 40 list of young leaders in 2015.