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Sociology Faculty

Elmhurst faculty members are scholars and practitioners in their own right—who love to teach on a campus where they can work with their students as individuals. Want to know more? See our faculty profiles, below. Or, contact a professor directly.

Full-Time Faculty

Bhoomi K. Thakore
Visiting Assistant Professor and Program Director
Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Thakore is the director of the sociology program and primary advisor for sociology students. Her research interests include social inequality and race/ethnicity/gender in the media, and she has published extensively on these issues. Prior to joining Elmhurst, Dr. Thakore worked at Northwestern University examining issues of diversity among STEM professionals. She teaches research methods, sociological theory, mass media, race and ethnicity, and social inequality.

Adjunct Faculty 

Cari Beecham-Bautista
M.A., DePaul University

Ms. Beecham-Bautista teaches social problems, sex and gender, and race and ethnicity. She has more than 10 years of teaching experience at various colleges and universities in the Chicago area.

Kimberly M. Harrison
Ph.D., Northern Illinois University

Dr. Harrison teaches introductory sociology and social problems. She is also the director of instructional support and online operations for the School of Professional Studies here at Elmhurst College. Her recent research has focused on the sociology of education, while her previous work focused on the intersection of disability with race and ethnicity.

Kasey Henricks
Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago
Dr. Henricks teaches introductory sociology and research methods. Currently he is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his research interests lie in understanding how racial inequalities are reproduced over time through institutional arrangements sponsored by tax policy.

Lydia J. Hou
M.A., Lindenwood University
Ms. Hou teaches gender and crime. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has teaching experience in various specialties of gender, race, media and methods. Her interests include racialization, postcolonial theory, diversity in higher education and gendered media.

Lori Klose
M.A., University of Chicago

Ms. Klose teaches introductory sociology, health and illness, marriage and family, and sex and gender. In addition to her academic and teaching background, she has professional experience with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers Compensation.

Barbara Rzeszutko
M.S.W., L.S.W., University of Illinois at Chicago

Ms. Rzeszutko coordinates and teaches the courses for the social work minor, including introduction to social work, social work with individuals, social work with groups, and social services for children and adolescents. She has previously worked with teens diagnosed with substance disorder, and is a former DUI Probation Officer in DuPage County. Ms. Rzeszutko has also taught social work classes at Lewis University for the past 25 years. 

Matilda Stubbs
Ph.D. Candidate, Northwestern University

Ms. Stubbs teaches cultural anthropology, specializing in communication, material and visual culture. Other areas of interest include United States social service administration, the anthropology of youth, adoption and fosterage, bureaucracy, institutional ethnography, recordkeeping and paperwork, audit cultures, semiotics, and ethnographic methods.

Emeritus Faculty

Brenda Forster
Ph.D., Northwestern University
Dr. Forster served as faculty in the sociology department from 1977 to 2015. She taught courses in family, social problems, majority-minority relations and aging. Dr. Forster was a recipient of the College's prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award, and was co-founder of the intercultural studies program. She is certified as a medical sociologist by the American Sociological Association and also holds advanced degrees in psychiatric nursing and Judaic Studies.

James P. Smith
Ph.D., University of Iowa
Dr. Smith served as faculty in the sociology department from 1976 to 2016, and served 39 of those years as department chair. He taught courses in social inequality, sex and gender, complex organizations, research methods, and sociological theory. Dr. Smith served on numerous committees at the College, and created the original criminal justice concentration. He also holds an advanced degree in history.

 

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