Sociology Department Faculty (with former Augustana College signage displayed in the Froiland Science Complex)

Department of Sociology Faculty (with former Augustana College signage displayed in the Froiland Science Complex)

Dr. Susan Schrader

Dr. Susan L. Schrader
Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Professor & Social Science Division Chair


Dr. Schrader has taught an array of courses at AU over 25 years and will be retiring after the 2018-19 academic year.  With extensive background in health care organizations, she continues to support the department in its offerings of internships and online courses in Aging Studies.  Research interests have included South Dakotans’ end-of-life preferences, the lived experiences of centenarians, reflections on what it means to be grandchildless, and most recently, nurses’ experiences of providing support to family and friends “off the clock.”  Dr. Schrader earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and her B.A. (triple major, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from St. Olaf College.


William Swart

Dr. William J. Swart
Ph.D. University of Kansas, M.A. Marquette University

Professor, Department Chair, and Director, Civitas University Honors Program

Dr. Swart teaches in Ethnicity, Native American Studies, Sociological Theory, and Deviance and Criminology, in addition to a wide range of global education courses in countries including Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Germany, Australia and Spain. His research considers the broad influence of globalization on local politics, economics, and identities. Dr. Swart’s recent book, NASCAR, Sturgis, and the New Economy of Spectacle (2017 Brill) explores the economic structure of motorsports spectacles as a facet of the contemporary American economy of spectatorship. He earned his master’s degree in sociology from Marquette University and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Kansas. Dr. Swart is a member of the Augustana chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta (International Sociology Honor Society), and is currently director of Augustana’s Honors Program, Civitas


Susan Claussen Bunger

Susan Claussen Bunger
M.S. South Dakota State University



Prof. Bunger earned her bachelor's degree with an emphasis in sociology from Augustana and her master's degree in sociology from South Dakota State University. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society, and Augustana chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta. The courses Prof. Bunger teaches include Native American Social Systems, Aging Studies, Sociology of Family, and The Injustice of Social Justice.  Her areas of study include social stratification, inequality in society, and cultural diversity. Bunger’s master thesis “The socio-economic influences on the all-volunteer military” addresses the inequality of sacrifice. Prof Bunger is a contributing columnist for the Argus Leader.


Carolyn LyDr. Carolyn M. Ly-Donovan
Ph.D. Yale University

Assistant Professor



Dr. Ly-Donovan offers courses in medical sociology, organizations and workplace culture, social inequality, gender, and topics in cultural sociology. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University and her B.A. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Hunter College, City University of New York. Dr. Ly-Donovan is broadly interested in examining social mechanisms of inequality. Current projects include an examination of the cultural and organizational dynamics of American municipal firefighters, and the role of the South Dakota State Medical Association (SDSMA) in institutionalizing health care in the state, with particular attention to Native American health policy. Dr. Ly-Donovan has a forthcoming article on the SDSMA co-authored with recent Augustana graduates, and has previously published work on the functional and symbolic role of neighborhood libraries. She is a member of the Augustana chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, a Faculty Fellow of The Yale Center for Cultural Sociology, and is currently a Mayoral appointed Commissioner on the City of Sioux Falls Disability Awareness Commission serving a three-year term. 


Kelcie Vercel Augustana Fall 2019 Kelcie Vercel

A.B.D. University of Notre Dame

Joining in Fall of 2019 as Assistant Professor


Kelcie Vercel is a sociologist specializing in family, culture, and consumption. She is particularly interested in the ways meanings of family, work, and the home impact intimate relationships, economic decisions,and communities. Her dissertation investigates how home stages, homebuilders, and realtors translate their ideas about the home into housing interactions and into the material qualities of houses. Her research reveals how their decisions shape the landscape of housing in the U.S. and conrtibute to symbolic exclusion. Her other research has investigated definitions of fatherhood among low-income fathers, and meanings of work and leisure among lifestyle bloggers.