This year UIC Sociology is thrilled to welcome 4 new faculty to the department. The diverse research interests and commitment to teaching are a core strength of UIC Sociology, and we are excited to have these faculty in our department. Each day this week we will feature one of our new faculty, so you can get to know them and the unique skills and interests they bring to our community. For our final feature, we are catching up with another familiar face in the department, Clinical Assistant Professor, Kevin James!
What’s new in your role?
In the Spring, I’ll be teaching a SOC 290 course which is basically an orientation to the major and various opportunities. So when students select sociology as a major or minor, they can participate in this course to get an overview of research opportunities, service learning opportunities, what sort of expectations various courses will have, and even begin to think about where their future career opportunities will take them after UIC. So it really is that chance to say, before they’re a senior and say “Oh, you know, I wish I would’ve known about x, y, and z” to really get them jumpstarted on the front end.
How did you get into Sociology?
When I was in high school my guidance counselor told me to major in anything except sociology. Seriously. So I went to college and I started out as a music education major, history, psychology, business entrepreneurship, something I can’t remember right now, and then sociology because I thumbed through the catalog and I thought “I’ll be here forever.” You know, I was going into my junior year and I had to settle on a major, I mean I was changing majors at the beginning and end of the semester. Sociology was the one major that would accept all of my other credits and I thought “They’ll take all of this jumping around that I did?” and so, I was like “I’m majoring in sociology now.” And when I showed up for my first class it was Social Problems, and I loved it I couldn’t stop talking about it and it just kind of hasn’t stopped since.
What do you like to do outside of UIC Sociology?
I enjoy road trips, this is the most beautiful time to take one I think. And I love thrift shopping, I just love rummaging through and seeing all the different shapes, styles, colors, and it’s like therapeutic almost. Things come from so many different places and experiences that I think when I travel, I want to have that awakening, I want to see something unique and I get to kind of get a little of that I think in thrift stores.
If you want to learn more about Kevin’s research and teaching interests, read on in his UIC Sociology faculty profile!
Welcome to UIC Sociology, Kevin!