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BirnsSociology Faculty

Susan Birns

Curriculum Vitae 

Ph.D., Syracuse University
M.A., Miami University of Ohio
B.A., Kenyon College

Peoples of the World
Children and Culture
Sex Roles and Society
Community Organization
Family Violence
Poverty and Social Welfare

Special Interests
Social Policy and Social Justice
Children's Issues
Family Violence
Community Organizing


About me

Prior to teaching full time at MCLA, I was a community activist concerned with a wide variety of women's, children's, and poor people's issues. I worked for over a decade as a community organizer and policy analyst in the field of human services. My doctoral work was with formerly battered women and I am President of the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Freeman Center, the local battered women's service provider.

My concern for issues of social justice is reflected in my areas of academic interest and expertise. I teach across the curriculum in the Sociology Department including courses in anthropology (Peoples of the World, Sex Roles and Society, and Children and Culture), social work (Family Violence, Community Organization, and Poverty and Social Welfare), and sociology (Families). In addition to teaching, I had the privilege of directing the Susan B. Anthony Women's Center at MCLA from fall 2000 through spring 2012.

In the classroom, I perceive my job to be teaching the parameters of a field and exciting students to want to learn more. I encourage students to think critically and analyze, not memorize. Students report feeling comfortable actively participating in my classes. Visitors to my office might notice that I have a fondness for pink flamingos.

(413) 662-5521 | Email Susan Birns