Dr. Bill McCready
PhD, Sociology, UIC 1972
Master’s, Sociology, University of Chicago
BA, Philosophy, St. Mary of the Lake Seminary
Dr. McCready is currently Professor Emeritus, Sociology, Northern Illinois University; Visiting Scholar, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan; Senior Fellow for Evaluation at the Ministry Leadership Center, Sacramento, CA and a Senior Consultant at GfK North America.
What brought Bill to sociology
At the University of Chicago he developed an interest in social justice and the social gospel that was stimulated during his time in seminary. He became interested in pursuing sociology and anthropology. Sociology ultimately caught his eye because of its attention to topics like religion, family, and cities and how they come together in society.
What sociology has to offer
Bill believes that sociology is different from other majors because it engages in social criticism. It offers its practitioners experience and skills in survey research, such as data analysis, interpretation, and statistical modeling. These skills provide sociologists with insights that can be used in constructing and critiquing social policies, evaluating social behaviors in many different realms, and in using their sociological thinking to translate the data into “big data” and into meaningful patterns of human activity.
Advice for students and recent alumni of UIC Sociology
Because sociology is a diverse discipline, sociology majors may be unsure about the career path that best fits them. Dr. McCready suggests that while the courses students take are very important and teach a sociological way of thinking about society, the influence of professors is even greater. He urges students to get to know faculty, which will help them to navigate future career and graduate school paths.
Claim to fame
Bill McCready was the first Center Director at NORC at the University of Chicago!
Interviewed by Itzayana Alvarado