Hands-On Learning

AU faculty-student collaboration presenting at a conference

Dr. Ly-Donovan with Daniel Schmidtman '17, Reed Ritterbusch '18, and Evan Meyer '18 presenting their research on the South Dakota State Medical Association at the 2017 Social Science History Association Meeting (Montréal, Québec, Canada).


Students have many opportunities for research - from independent study courses, to independent or collaborative research endeavors with faculty and other students - there are many avenues to explore, engage, and gain first-hand experiences in sociological inquiry including the Augustana Research Institute (ARI).

Recently, Dr. Ly-Donovan, Reed Ritterbusch '18 (Sociology/Medicine and Healthcare with Honors & Biochemistry), Evan Meyer '17 (Biology), and Daniel Schmidtman '17 (Biology) completed research and presented their findings at: Yale University, the Center For Western Studies, and the Social Science History Association Annual Meeting (pictured above). Reed Ritterbusch additionally presented on his experience doing research and working collaboratively with faculty at the 2018 Augustana Arthur Olsen Student Research Symposium (First Year Seminar Pleanary Session).

The group's archival research featuring the South Dakota State Medical Association, published in the academic journal, Great Plains Research in spring of 2020. Their project was supported by the Center for Western Studies Faculty and Student Research Award, the Augustana Research and Artist Fund (ARAF), and the Augustana Research Award for Undergraduates (ARUFA). All of these financial support opportunities for research are available to students (and faculty) on a competitive basis. Additional funding for research and presentations at regional meetings (like the Midwest Sociological Society annual meeting or the student symposium) may be supported by the sociology department and are available through The Glenda J. Sehested Memorial Scholarship & Educational Fund.


Having opportunities to see the intersection of race, class, and gender in organizations and work settings provides valuable perspective and fosters clearer career direction for sociology majors.  Faculty are committed to working with students to identify appropriate internship sites that will foster personal  growth, depth in sociological understanding, and career exploration and networking.  Examples of settings include Children’s Home Society, Sioux Falls Police Department, Dougherty Hospice House, Active Generations (senior citizen center), Bethany Christian Services (adoption agency), and Touchmark at All Saints (senior retirement community).

Community, Service, & Social Justice

Sociology majors often participate and/or hold leadership positions within Augustana student organizations such as athletic teams, musical ensembles, student government, Coalition for Social Justice, SALT, and Augie Green.  Volunteer opportunities abound in this small metropolitan community of 160,000

International Sociology Honor Society

Alpha Kappa Delta

Augustana’s Chapter of AKD (Delta of South Dakota) began in 2012 and inducts students who have a keen interest in sociology and who maintain a grade point average of 3.3 in sociology courses.  All students who have an interest in sociology are welcome to attend programs sponsored by AKD


It's undeniable that paid workforce participation (part-time on-campus or off-campus) is part of college life for many.  Augustana is centrally located in Sioux Falls, allowing for a wide range of options for paid positions

Learn about real-world experiences through the sociology department.