McGann riding her horse.

McGann riding her horse.

McGann teaching class outdoors in 2020.

McGann teaching outdoors (2020). She and her colleagues enjoy the intimate size of classes and the variety of teaching styles they get to share with students.

Background and expertise

I'm a sociologist who has always been really interested in studying how good teaching works. I've been involved with Nazareth’s Teaching Innovation and Integration Lab for many years and I'm committed to creating an engaging, meaningful classroom for all my students, regardless of major. As a researcher, my key interests include:

  • Innovative and inclusive pedagogy
  • Student retention
  • Social influences on romantic love
  • Online dating
  • The social construction of the news
  • Power and social inequality

My academic passion

I love that being able to “see” the world through a sociological perspective is relevant and useful to every student's life, regardless of what major they are pursuing or what they want to do after college.

My favorite class

My favorite class to teach is the freshman seminar section of Introduction to Sociology. I love introducing students to sociology for the first time — and changing up the examples we cover so they sync up with what matters to students in their day-to-day life. 


  • How who we find attractive and fall in love with is much more influenced by social forces than we think it is
  • How society-wide technology in the form of cell phones has changed everything from how people get together with romantic partners to our options for a sense of identity
  • How there is a consistent pattern in society for older generations to make the same complaints about younger generations, even as dozens of decades pass

Courses I teach

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Medical Sociology
  • Marriages and Families
  • Mass Media and Popular Culture
  • Individual & Society
  • Research Methods
  • Senior Seminar

Cultivating changemakers

I focus on giving students lots of opportunities to use their sociological imagination to see how larger social forces affect what happens every day. Once they see how their lives are shaped by social forces, many “Aha!” moments follow. 

Acting out in class

I make a point to go beyond discussion notes on the board. I also act out or mime concepts to help explain ideas. It results in quite a few hilarious (but also helpful) moments in class as I leap from one side of the room to the other or sit on the floor or make large hand gestures to explain an analogy.  

Keeping in touch afterward

I'm really proud of how many students email me later on in college or even after they’ve graduated to share articles, memes, or other links to social media that they have come across that remind them of something we learned in class. Sometimes it’s years after graduation. And it’s always super satisfying to know something they learned in a class really stuck and was relevant to them. 

Fun fact

Prof. McGann is a longtime Lindy Hopper. Watch video.

The Science of Online Dating

I was interviewed for a podcast by Brian Koberlein, a physicist at Rochester Institute of Technology, who hosted “One Universe at a Time.” He spoke with me about my research around online dating. Listen to podcast.