College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Summer 2017 Newsletter

SAC Updates Image

Purple and Old Gold AwardsGraduation

Sociology: Jayce Hovey is a double major in Sociology and Psychology. Entering the Counseling program at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Anthropology: Samuel Calonkey was also the Dorothy Jean Ray Anthropology Scholar for 2016-17 and completed his honors thesis on “Still Going Bump in the Night: A Structural-esque Analysis of Yurei, Death, and Dying in Japanese Folklore and Anime.”

Criminology: Nathan Friederich begins full time employment with the Ankeny, Iowa police department.

SAC Internships

This year our students completed over 50 internships. These internships were in police departments and other law enforcement agencies, prosecutors' and public defenders' offices, juvenile and adult corrections, and a variety of social service agencies (such as the Black Hawk Mental Health Center). We offer an internship program that places students in agencies and organizations throughout the state of Iowa and sometimes in other states and countries. Through these internships our students are able to get real-world experience in a variety of criminal justice fields. If you are able and willing to supervise interns, please contact

Alumni in Residence

In spring 2017 we welcomed Ken Koltoff as our Alumni in Residence for the department. Mr. Kolthoff graduated from the Criminology program in 1988. He is the Director of the First Judicial District for the Iowa Department of Corrections, overseeing all of the probation and parole officers for District 1 (much of northeast Iowa, including Black Hawk County). Mr. Kolthoff visited campus on Thursday April 13th, visiting classes taught by Dr. Clem Bartollas and Dr. B. Keith Crew, as well as attending a reception at the end of the day to meet SAC students.

Alumni in Residence


Four students were inducted into the Alpha Kappa Delta international sociology honors society, for outstanding academic achievement. Congratulations to Austin Brase, Abbi Cobb, Danielle Chilcote, and Kenzie Hamlett!

Original Research Presentations at Regional Conference

Three Sociology majors presented original research at the Midwest Sociological Society annual meetings in Milwaukee, WI in March, 2017:

Yena Balekyani, “Please, Caro, Make Me Lighter: Skin Bleaching in the African Diaspora Community“ (also selected for UNI Research in the Capitol in March 2017 and CSBS Student Research Conference)

Rachel Bruns, “Crime on College Campuses in Iowa”

Jayce Hovey, “Divine Intervention? The Effects of Income and Religiosity of Happiness Levels”


The Dorothy Jean Ray Anthropology Scholarship for 2017-2018 has been awarded to Elizabeth Akers. Elizabeth completed an internship at the UNIMuseums in which she worked with Alaskan Native objects including some donated and researched by Dr. Dorothy Jean Ray. Since then, she has continued to work part-time at the museum and is planning to pursue an M.A. degree in the conservation of ethnographic materials and object art.

Alumni Updates

Laya Liebseller, class of 2013, completed her M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and is planning to continue there for her Ph.D.

Katie Bries, JAG attorney, currently stationed in North Dakota

Ingrid Sensor, Senior Consultant at Booz, Allen Hamilton, in Washington, DC

Julia Wignall, Seattle Children's Hospital


Great things are happening for UNI's Criminology majors!


Several students have been recently hired by the Johnson Co. Sheriff's Department, University of Northern Iowa Police, Iowa City Police Dept., Davenport Police Dept., Dubuque Police Dept., Iowa Capitol Police, Juvenile Court Services, State Training School for Boys, 1st Judicial District Dept. of Correctional Services, Anamosa State Penitentiary, and many others.

John Chase Memorial Scholarship Award

This year's awardee is senior Nicole Powers, who currently works in victim services and intends to pursue a law enforcement career. She was selected from a pool of 89 applicants.

New Programs

This past fall we added an emphasis in criminal justice to our B.A. in Criminology. The Emphasis allows students to take more applied classes related to the criminal justice system, including Criminal Investigations, Criminal Law and Procedure, Criminalistics, and Report Writing for CJS Professionals. So far this is proving to be a popular option for our majors.

BAS in Criminal Justice Program: The BAS degree is designed for students who earned an A.A.S degree. The A.A.S. has previously been a terminal degree because traditionally very little of the degree will transfer to Bachelor's programs. This is a fully online program to provide full access to those wishing to seek a four year degree but may be place-bound. If you are interested in this program, please contact the program coordinator at:


Hello! My name is Lisa Burnell, and I graduated from UNI in December 2016 with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Social Welfare and Family Studies. When I started at UNI, I went in thinking that I wanted to major in Biology. It did not take long for me to realize that I did not see myself in that work field. So, during that time of change I was taking a Sociology course, and I fell in love with the way the material and professors helped me grow my critical thinking skills.

During my time at UNI I didn’t have a clear job occupation that I knew I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I knew I did not enjoy research, and graduate school was not something I wanted to do. It was not until a month before graduation that I started looking for jobs. Sociology is such a broad major, which means I had MANY options. However, having a broad major means you need to find something within yourself that makes you stand out. In November, I had an interview with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company for a Commercial Underwriter position. I didn't even know what an Underwriter does or how they fit within insurance. What influenced me apply was the job description of an Underwriter and that they wanted individuals with strong communication and critical thinking skills. I knew Sociology would help me in both those two categories, so I applied. I realized during the interview that the main purpose of this job was to use critical thinking skills to evaluate different risks and ultimately determine if it was something Grinnell Mutual wanted to write. I was surprised I got the job due to my limited knowledge with insurance, however now after being here for a few months, I know that the Sociology program is the reason I got the job. It made me stand out from the other applicants by giving me the critical thinking skills I needed.

I am so thankful I choose UNI, but more specifically Sociology as my major

Contact Us

The SAC faculty at UNI would very much like to connect with our alums. If you are willing to be featured in upcoming emails, webpage, or Facebook pages, please send an email to:

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