Social
Location
Brandt Hall 329

MOST RECENT/NOTABLE PUBLISHED WORK

Caught in the Middle: Contradictions in the Lives of Sociologists from Working-Class Backgrounds (book)

WHAT AREA DO YOU TEACH?

As an adjunct: Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems

EDUCATION/DEGREE(S)

Ph.D. Louisiana State University, Sociology with minor in Anthropology (December 1990)
M.A. University of South Florida, Sociology with minor in Anthropology (May 1986)
B.S. University of Maryland-Eurpo[ean Division, Sociology with minor in Anthropology (Januiary 1982)

YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING:

Teaching is my passion. I see my role as teaching students the skills of thinking critically, expressing themselves precisely, investigating a topic competently, and evaluating the veracity of information. While discipline-specific knowledge may be more easily forgotten, I feel that these skills will serve them regardless of their area of study. These are the basics of living an informed life, that and a desire to continue learning throughout their lives. My research and teaching focus on the various dimensions of social inequality is reflected in my approach to teaching and I believe it is important to encourage advocacy in my students.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TEACH?

An especially impressive teacher in college impressed me with the effectiveness of hands-on, student-centered activities. I learned so much more in her classes (I took all the ones she taught) than in straight lecture classes. I loved learning about sociology and wanted to be the kind of teacher she was, to help students learn in ways that would reach them. As a nontraditional student, I was inspired to be creative in my teaching and develop methods that would be meaningful to both traditional-age college students and adults who were pursuing their educations after having established work and family lives.

CREDENTIALS/CAREER PATH

I used the G.I. Bill to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland in Germany after serving in the Air Force. While working fulltime and getting my Master’s Degree (University of South Florida), I decided to pursue a Ph.D. at Louisiana State University. I started my first academic position in 1991 at Kent State University. In 1993, I moved to the University of Central Florida where, in 1997, I was among the first to offer fully web-based courses at UCF. For several years, I was heavily involved in teaching other faculty members to move courses online. I worked at UCF for 18 years, until I took early retirement in 2011. After several years of retirement (missing teaching), I was hired by Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory North Carolina to teach sociology courses online. I am still teaching at LRU. I was hired this Fall to teach online courses for Southeastern Missouri State University and I plan to continue teaching for many years to come.

PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHT

Re-entering teaching after being retired brought a renewed energy for my profession.

AWARD/HONOR/RECOGNITION

UCF Competitive teaching award: $5,000 annual salary increase, received in 1999 and again in 2004.

ORGANIZATION WITH WHICH YOU ARE INVOLVED

American Sociological Association, Southern Sociological Society

BEST ADVICE FOR STUDENTS

Question everything, no matter where you hear it.
Learning how to learn is the most important thing.
Train yourself in media literacy (learning is more challenging in the “post-truth” era).
Reinforcing what you already think is easier but being open to new perspectives will get you further.
Dedicate yourself to being a life-long learner.

I see my role as teaching students the skills of thinking critically, expressing themselves precisely, investigating a topic competently, and evaluating the veracity of information.

Joan Morris, Professor