Department of Social and Cultural Sciences

2021-2022 Highlights

David O. Moberg Scholarship and Jay Balchunas Memorial Scholarship Award winners announced! Please see below to learn more about SOCS students, alums, and scholarship awardees.


The EPP Leadership Team (from left to right): Shar-Ron Buie, Darren Wheelock, Theresa Tobin, Robert S. Smith, Marisola Xhelili Ciaccio

SOCS Associate Professor Darren Wheelock is Co-founder and Faculty Liaison for Marquette’s Educational Preparedness Program (EPP). Housed at Marquette University’s Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach (CURTO) the EPP program is built on partnerships and provides pathways to higher learning, academic advising, and career services for the currently and formerly incarcerated.

In the spring of 2022, SOCS Adjunct Associate Professor and Internship Director Wendy Volz Daniels will teach “Invisible Sentence: Policy and Practice for Children Who are Impacted by Parental Incarceration” inside the Racine Correctional Facility. SOCS Assistant Professor Dr. Anya Degenshein will teach “Surveillance, Law and Society” to MU students and members of the formerly incarcerated population on Marquette’s campus. Marquette student interest in EPP classes has been overwhelming – all of the College of Arts & Sciences courses filled within days and have lengthy waitlists.

SOCS Faculty Receive Community Engaged Teaching Award Two Years in a Row



ANTH 4255: Sex, Gender, and Evolution. Explores human sexuality in cross-cultural perspective, including deconstruction of sex/gender binaries, examining cross-cultural constructions of gender and sexuality, and the dangers of applying eugenicist thinking to human reproduction. Offered by Assistant Professor Rodrigues.

CRLS 4500: Transformative Justice. Addresses the foundations of transformative justice through a lens of peacemaking and nonviolence using intersectional theories and analyses of violence and accountability. Considers abolition as a visionary process of dismantling carceral systems and building structures and relationships to replace it. Offered by Associate Professor Hlavka.

CRLS 4930/5930: Criminal Justice Policy and Practice. Evaluates the effectiveness of a variety of criminal justice policies in relation to the unique goals of each component of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, the courts, and carceral systems, with specific attention given to the increased use of evidenced-based decision making. Offered by Adjunct Associate Professor Vicki Lupo.

SOCI 3930: Latino/a Migration. Provides a sociological introduction to Latinx immigration, set in the context of history and U.S. involvement in Latin American countries, with a focus on experiences immigrating to the United States and the lives of immigrants post-migration. Offered by Visiting Assistant Professor Stephanie Dhuman.

SOWJ/CRLS 3170: Invisible Sentence: Policy & Practice for Children Impacted by Parental Incarceration. Focuses on understanding the experiences and issues faced by children with incarcerated parents especially among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomically marginalized and disenfranchised populations. With an emphasis on collaborative learning, the class includes traditional MU students and an equal number of students who are incarcerated at the Racine Correctional Facility. Offered by Adjunct Associate Professor Wendy Volz Daniels.


Students at Marquette have a wide range of field immersion possibilities. Here are a few offered by SOCS faculty that go beyond our service learning and Internships directed by Professor Volz-Daniels.

Comparative Crime and Punishment. Study Abroad in Finland, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania. This summer course examines how deviance and criminality are both embedded in a larger socio-political economy and a reflection of it. Finnish policies are focused on human rights and take full responsibility for those brought into the system by working hard to rebuild families and reintegrate individuals into society. In contrast, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia manage and respond to crime through harsh policies. Students learn how a comparative understanding of crime and punishment can lead not only to theoretical advancements but also to practical implications for crime and punishment policy. Summer 2022. Dr. Snowden.

Islam Immersion in Metro Detroit. This transformative, high impact interfaith service and learning field trip takes place in metro Detroit, home to the largest concentrations of Muslims and mosques in the U.S. Students learn about the significant religious, social, cultural, economic, architectural, and political contributions of Muslims to the Detroit area by visiting a range of mosques, meeting with scholars, religious leaders, activists, and elected officials, and completing a day of service in partnership with local Muslim organizations. Students experience the diversity of American Muslims — Sunni, Shia, Sufi, African American, Arab, Asian, and eastern European. Personal transformation is enhanced by nightly guided Ignatian reflection sessions. Spring Break 2022. Dr. Cainkar.

CRLS 6975: Criminal Justice Data Analytics Practicum. Ten graduate students in SOCS’ Criminal Justice Data Analytics Master’s program will be engaged with community partners on research projects that investigate pressing questions facing Milwaukee and Wisconsin communities. Practicum placements nurture bi-directional relationships between students and placement agencies to foster synergy and produce outcomes that are mutually beneficial. Students are afforded real-world work experience in the field of data analytics, while participating agencies will be provided the opportunity to examine data through the lens of Catholic Jesuit education, keeping with Marquette’s mission and tradition of service to the community. Spring 2022. Professor Lupo.


All of our SOCS faculty are actively engaged in research. Here are a few highlights.

Bronzeville Neighborhood Archaeology Project

Dr. Andrew Ranson, in collaboration with colleagues, is conducting several research projects related to local jails and pretrial detention. Everyday over 700,000 individuals are incarcerated in local jails across the United States and over 60 percent of those individuals have not been convicted of the crime for which they are held. Although individuals are able to be held prior to trial if they represent a flight risk or pose a threat to public safety, the majority of individuals detained prior to trial are held due to their inability to post bond. Given that individuals detained prior to trial fair worse on several case-related outcomes (e.g., sentence length), the practice of implementing money bail produces economic inequality at multiple points in the criminal justice system. Using a national dataset, Dr. Ranson’s research reveals that a county’s racial and ethnic composition, unemployment rate, crime rate, and jail capacity impact rates of pretrial detention.

Dr. Erin Hoekstra, in collaboration with Marquette faculty in the College of Education and the College of Health Sciences, is studying first-year students' transition to college after completing high school during the pandemic. The researchers are analyzing interview and survey data on students' experiences of learning during the pandemic, the impact of COVID-19 on themselves and their families, their expectations for their college experience, and their physical and mental health and well-being.


Sociology: David O. Moberg Scholarship