Sociology Faculty

Ryan Ceresola, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
Areas of expertise: criminology, criminal justice, political sociology, rural sociology, civic engagement
Ryan Ceresola earned his Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a dissertation on the effects of US political corruption on voter turnout and citizen trust. His other research interests include criminology and criminal justice, civic engagement,environmental policies, and rural communities. His work has appeared in Sociological Perspectives, Rural Sociology, and Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. He has an MA in Sociology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a BA in Sociology and in English from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. He teaches courses in the field of criminology and criminal justice as wellas quantitative methods.

Elena Chernyak, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Areas of expertise: sociology, social work, women’s studies, gender-based violence and inequality, social theories, feminist theories, social psychology, family studies, Soviet/post-Soviet societies.
Elena Chernyak earned her Ph.D. at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She holds her MA degree in Journalism from Saint-Petersburg State University (St-Petersburg, Russia), Master of Religious Education from Assumption University (Canada), and Master of Social Work from the University of Windsor (Canada). In her doctoral dissertation, Elena examined risk factors for intimate partner violence in post-Soviet societies. Elena’s research interests encompass gender (i.e. gender ideology, politics, gender discourses and social institutes), gender-based violence, international marriage and relationships, and cultural and religious influence on behavior and identity. Her individual and collaborative studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals and disseminated through a number of scholar conferences. Elena has over 10-years of teaching and research experience. She is a licensed Master Social Work and registered…

Laurel Elder, Professor of Political Science
Ph.D., The Ohio State University
Areas of expertise: American politics with a particular focus on public opinion and voting, political parties and elections, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender.

Amber M. Kerwin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
MA, Boston University
Areas of expertise: criminal justice, corrections, juvenile delinquency, policing, police investigations.

Laura Landertinger, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., University of Toronto

Amy Forster Rothbart, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Political Science and Chair of the First-Year Experience
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Areas of expertise: Comparative politics and international relations, Russian, East European and Central Asian studies, international environmental policy.

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