McDaniel College Department of Sociology.


Sociology is the study of social life and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. At McDaniel, sociology coursework takes a scientific, humanistic and cross-cultural approach when investigating the structure of groups, organizations and societies. It also analyzes the relationships that unite societies in the world system. Topics of interest to sociology include community life, family patterns and relationships, social change, social movements, intergroup relations, race, gender, social class, the environment, and technology.

The sociology major provides a good foundation for students wishing to pursue professional degrees in social work, education, public health, business administration, and community planning, in addition to law, medicine, and divinity school.

Lewis Recitation Hall, 2nd floor

Dr. Debra C. Lemke
Department Chair
(410) 857-2533

Sociology Online Catalog

Majors & Courses

Sociology majors have some long term career advantages when compared to students with specialized degrees. Many employers now realize that liberal arts majors such as sociologists are often better able to think abstractly, formulate problems, ask appropriate questions, get answers, analyze situations and data, organize material, write well and make oral presentations.




Professor and department chair Debra LemkeProfessor and department chair Debra Lemke

(Ph.D., Iowa State University), who coordinates a Jan Term trip to China and advises six campus clubs including the Asian Community Coalition and Belly Dancing Club, focuses her research collaborations with students on student designed projects relevant to the biannual campus survey and college pedagogy while her course topics include introductory sociology, sociological theory, social stratification, and asian culture.

Professor Lauren DundesProfessor Lauren Dundes

(Sc.D., Johns Hopkins University), who has published with students research papers that include such topics as combatting dental anxiety to perceptions of recommended portions of various foods, teaches the introductory sociology course, criminology and criminal justice and medical sociology while pursuing such research interests as the analysis of Disney films and crime.

Associate Professor Sara RaleyAssociate Professor Sara Raley

(Ph.D., University of Maryland), whose research and teaching interests include family, gender, sexuality, demography, and child well-being, regularly teaches introduction to global societies and the sociology of work and occupations and helped develop the popular sophomore interdisciplinary studies course, “South Park and Contemporary Issues,” which she team teaches with Philosophy senior lecturer Josh Baron.

Associate Professor Linda SemuAssociate Professor Linda Semu

(Ph.D., Indiana University), teaches urban sociology, introduction to global societies and global social change, in which she encourages her students to think about global inequality, international human rights issues and the cultural aspects of development in various countries, and has research and teaching interests in social change, international development, globalization, gender, comparative studies/Africa, family, social policy, social demography and political sociology.

Assistant Professor Richard Maurice SmithAssistant Professor Richard Maurice Smith

(Ph.D., Temple University), focuses his research collaborations with students on analyzing the intersection of race and religion, the influence of black clergy, and American Evangelicalism and teaches courses on topics that include introductory sociology, religion and society, and racial and ethnic relations. 


Interested sociology students have the opportunity to conduct independent research with any of our professors. In addition, we strongly encourage sociology students to pursue internships.
Recent Internship Placements for Sociology Majors:

• NCIS – acquisition and logistics
• Suffolk County Police Department, NY
• Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes of Johns Hopkins University- assist program coordinator
• Maryland State Police Forensic Lab- assist with handling and cataloging evidence
• Maryland State Police Fire Marshall Office- assist with arson investigations, fire safety, and K-9 training
• Sisters of Bon Secours — develop and update social media options
• Silver Oak Academy — mentoring young males
• National Security Scholarship Program — work with classified data
• Baltimore City Police
• Carroll County Detention Center Pre-Trial Services
• Emergency Management Homeland Security Prince Georges County Youth Program — design and give emergency preparedness seminars
• Voices for Children Carroll County, MD
• Abused Persons Program, Montgomery County, MD — assist with English/Spanish translation for domestic violence victims

Recent student–faculty research collaboration

Student Professor Topic
Shelby Dolby Dr. Lauren Dundes, Dr. Debra Lemke Managing Time for the College Climb
Joseph Timpanaro Dr. Lauren Dundes, Dr. Debra Lemke Parents’ Divorce Limiting Your Straight A Course?
Rula Zaru Dr. Sara Raley Sexting Among College Students: Who Does It and How Do they Feel About It?
Ja’Nairra Myers Dr. Richard M. Smith Building a Church in the City


McDaniel has a chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the national Sociology honor society, that seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of Sociology, research social problems and engage in social activities that will improve the human condition. To qualify, students must be at least a junior in credit standing, have taken at least 4 Sociology courses at McDaniel, have maintained a 3.0 average GPA in those courses, as well as a 3.0 overall GPA, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

Classes Resume
November 30, 2015, 8:00 am
Spring Graduate registration begins
December 1, 2015, 12:00 am
Therapy Dogs at Kriel Lounge
December 2, 2015, 11:00 am
De-Stress at Rec Lounge
December 3, 2015, 5:00 pm
Undergraduate classes end
December 4, 2015, 12:00 am
College Band Concert at WMC Alumni Hall
December 4, 2015, 7:00 pm
Reading Days
December 5, 2015, 12:00 am
© 2015 McDaniel College