susan bodnar-deren [View Image]

Welcome from the Chair


On behalf of the faculty, staff and students, I want to warmly welcome you to our ‘digital’ home where you can learn about Sociology at VCU.

We are located on an urban campus in the heart of Richmond, Virginia, a diverse city with a rich and complex history.  This location shapes our commitment to advancing social justice through community engaged teaching and research.  VCU Sociology boasts a dynamic faculty whose scholarly research connects with local, national and international communities.  Faculty areas of interest include gender/sexuality, health across the lifecourse, media and culture, labor, social stratification and the environment. Current faculty research includes: research on the culture of student entrepreneurship and relationships with work; a project that examines the role of low-wage work as a major source of stress for Mexican immigrant women and how their unfavorable working conditions contribute to parenting stress.

Faculty and students share a strong interest in bringing sociology out into the public through social action, internships, community research, digital storytelling and civic engagement.  We have a very active student group called Students for Social Action which organizes an annual Public Knowledge Series designed to open dialogue about current social debates and cultural questions.

Sociology at VCU supports a Bachelors of Science degree, a Masters of Science degree and a graduate certificate in Applied Social Research.  Since the fall of 2014, the M.S. with a concentration in Digital Sociology has been offered entirely online!  It is the first program of its kind in the country! Our teaching is anchored by a strong commitment to student engagement both inside and outside the classroom.  Guided by the belief that ‘learning happens everywhere’, VCU students are encouraged to ‘make it real’ by taking their learning out into the community. Sociology students ‘make it real’ through research and/or internships with local community gardens, non-profit organizations, local community colleges, political and policy making organizations or across the ocean to study abroad.  By drawing directly from our research, our teaching creates a vibrant and intellectually engaging collegial experience.

VCU Sociology is an exciting, active and growing department!  There is no better place to ‘do sociology’ than VCU in Richmond, Virginia where a growing ‘foodie’ movement, a strong and vibrant arts culture and ample diversity stir the sociological imagination at every turn.  I invite you to become a part of VCU Sociology…everyone is welcome!!

With warm regards,

Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
Fall 2021

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