Coronavirus information for Faculty


William SwartDr. William J. Swart

Ph.D. University of Kansas, M.A. Marquette University
Professor, Chair (Sabbatical 2020-2021), & Director, Civitas University Honors Program

Dr. Swart teaches in Ethnicity, Native American Studies, Sociological Theory, courses in the Criminology, Deviance, and Law Major/Minor, 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. Dr. Swart was one of two recipients to be awarded the Granskou Award for Professional Development in 2011-2012. 

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, 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.

Kelcie Vercel Augustana Fall 2019

Dr. Kelcie Vercel

Ph.D. University of Notre Dame
Assistant Professor

Dr. 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. Dr. Vercel's other research has investigated definitions of fatherhood among low-income fathers and meanings of work and leisure among lifestyle bloggers. She offers courses in the Family and Community Services Major/Minor, Research Methodology, and topics in Cultural Sociology.

Kelcie Vercel Augustana Fall 2019

Dr. Spencier Ciaralli
Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, M.A. Cleveland State University 
Visiting Assistant Professor

Dr. Ciaralli teaches courses inclusive of Medical Sociology, Contemporary Society, and Race and Gender in Medicine and Health. As a past AAUW fellow, Dr. Ciaralli prioritizes nontraditional student success in her classroom. Dr. Ciaralli centers their research within social inequalities, particularly at the intersection of gender and sexuality. Currently, Dr. Ciaralli is examining sexual behavior, heteronormativity, and gender embodiment within the queer community. Additional research interests fall within medical sociology, with past research pertaining to cancer, aging, race, and health such as: “The Landscape of Perception: Racial Differences in how Disability is Viewed by Older-Adult Cancer Survivors,” or “Cancer Disclosure, Stigma and Identity: Racial Differences among Older Adult, Cancer Survivors,”  and “Life Satisfaction among Older Adult, Long-Term Cancer Survivors: A Comparison of Black with White Survivors”. This research uses data collected as the project manager and data analyst of the Cancer Survivors Research Program (NIH Grant RO1-CA-78975).


Faculty Emeriti


Dr. Susan L. Schrader
Ph.D. University of Minnesota
Professor Emeritus
Dr. Schrader taught an array of courses at AU over 25 years, retiring at the end of 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.