» Sociology Faculty

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
Assistant Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Thakore is the Chair of the Department of Sociology 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 the capstone seminar.

Adjunct Faculty 

Cathy Cassani Adams
M.C.S.W., L.C.S.W. Loyola University School of Social Work
Ms. Adams teaches introduction to social work and has been teaching this course at Dominican University for 7 years. She is the author of three books about self-aware parenting, and is the founder of Zen Parenting, Inc., an organization that focuses on self-awareness and mindfulness by offering education and support. She has a private practice where she concentrates on women, marriage, and parenting, and she teaches yoga and meditation.

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.

Lydia J. Hou
M.A., Lindenwood University
Ms. Hou teaches gender and crime, research methods, social inequality, and introductory sociology. 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 teaches 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. 

Ryan Alan Sporer
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Illinois at Chicago
Mr. Sporer teaches introductory sociology and social problems. He has teaching experience in various specialties of political sociology, social problems, methods, and theory. His research interests lie in the power relationship between people as mediated by nature, which includes the subfields of social movements, science and technology studies, and environmental sociology.

Amanda Stewart
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Illinois at Chicago
Ms. Stewart teaches sex and gender.

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.

Paige Sweet
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Illinois at Chicago
Ms. Sweet teaches sociological theory. Her research and teaching interests are in gender/sexuality, health and illness, sociological theory, feminist/queer theory, and violence against women. Paige’s research focuses on the medicalization of domestic violence, gender/sexuality, and the politics of knowledge production. 

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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