Sociology and Criminal Justice Opportunities


Aslyn Avila ’18

We offer a number of exciting opportunities for those interested in exploring sociology and criminal justice beyond the classroom. Here are just a few.


Special Study Opportunities

  • Off-campus program in Ireland.
  • Internships in law, health, youth, social advocacy, and criminal justice organizations in the local community and throughout the country. Sociology majors have recently interned at Head Start, Oneonta Nursing Home, Otsego County Court, Opportunities for Otsego, Oneonta High School, and Mental Health Association.
  • Hardy Chair Lecture Program, which provides students with the opportunity to interact with distinguished, nationally recognized scholars in sociology.
  • Undergraduate research where faculty recruit and train highly motivated students to work on faculty research projects. Students have the opportunity to work with local agencies, conduct research, and present in local and national academic settings.

Student Research & Conference Presentations

Morgan Herrold ’18 presented a paper entitled “Violence through Generations: A Cross-Cultural Study of Children’s Exposure to Violence and Subsequent Domestic Abuse as Adults” at the Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting in Baltmore, MD February 2018.

Tyrell Blackmore ’17 and Candace Barrow ’18 presented a paper entitled “Analyzing Wrongful Convictions beyond Traditional Canonical List of Errors, for Structural Attributes” at the American Criminal Justice Society Annual Meeting in Kansas City, MO March 2017.

Alicia Clapper ’16 presented a paper entitled “Mental Illness and Labeling Theory: Why the Mentally Ill are Labeled as Socially Deviant” at the Eastern Sociological Conference in Boston, MA March 2016.

A Commitment to Community-Based Learning and Research

As a Department, we emphasize:

Civic engagement: students participating in fulfilling community needs as identified by our community partners and linking that learning to disciplinary concepts, theories, and desired course-learning outcomes. Course content is built around those experiences in order to achieve intellectual goals and practice skills in research, analysis, leadership, team building, community organizing, and personal development.

Community-based service learning: distinct from volunteerism, because it incorporates into the complete experience, this practice includes academic preparation in the theory and concepts underpinning social systems and civic actions. This approach openly takes into account the need for relationships to be based on mutual respect; it challenges the race, class, gender, privilege matrix that feeds town-gown conflicts, stereotypes, and insularity; and it uses our collective wisdom to tackle, immediately and directly within our community, key issues of our time. We often work in conjunction with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, Violence Intervention Program, Planned Parenthood, and Opportunities for Otsego.

Community-based research generally flows from previous field work in the community and personal interests and commitments in conjunction with intellectual questions. Its agenda is rooted in grassroots needs and concerns and its goal is social transformation resulting in greater social justice.

Social Work Minor

The minor in Social Work is designed to familiarize students with the social work profession and areas of work, social service systems, and major social welfare programs. This is an excellent minor for students interested in combining a primary academic area (major), such as sociology, psychology, political science, public health, nursing, anthropology or global studies with the study of complex social problems, social welfare systems, social services and professional social work content. A minor in social work should be of interest to those who intend to pursue a career in the social work field – a growing and high demand profession.


Criminal Justice Internship Opportunities

There are many great resources locally and nationally for those interested in embarking on internship opportunities. 

Criminal Justice Internships