New faculty

Dr. Darcy Leach Assistant Professor of Sociology

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October 26, 2011

The Department of Sociology welcomed four outstanding faculty members in 2008 and 2009: Dr. Darcy Leach, Dr. Marwin Spiller, Dr. Lori Wiebold, and Dr. Jill Wightman.

Dr. Darcy Leach
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Dr. Darcy Leach came to Bradley in 2009 from Boston College, where she had been teaching for several years. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Michigan, where she graduated in 2006. Dr. Leach teaches the core Social Theory course as well as upper-level seminars on political sociology and social movements. Her research examines the viability of directly democratic, non-hierarchical organizational forms and the effectiveness of culturalist strategies for social change in advanced capitalist democracies. This has resulted in several published articles on the German autonomous movement, the nature and impact of social movement “scenes,” and on how social movements resolve internal conflicts over the use of violent tactics. She is currently working on a book, The Power of Praxis: Notes from the German Left’s War on Oligarchy.

Dr. Marwin Spiller
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Marwin Spiller holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Master of Arts in sociology from Western Illinois University. He came to Bradley in 2009 from the University of Maine. Dr. Spiller’s areas of expertise are race, stratification, culture, political sociology, and the sociology of education. He regularly teaches courses on all these topics. Dr. Spiller has published multiple articles on race, class, and political behavior. He is currently involved with two ongoing research projects, a study of racial and social segregation of online social networks, and an investigation of the life patterns of black men between the ages of 25 and 40 (in collaboration with Dr. Lori Wiebold).

Dr. Lori Wiebold
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Dr. Lori Wiebold joined the department in Fall 2008, after teaching for a year at the University of Northern Iowa. She received her master’s degree in sociology at the University of Northern Iowa and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Kansas. Dr. Wiebold teaches a variety of courses focusing on gender, medical sociology, work, and globalization. Her prior research includes a qualitative methodological piece published in Qualitative Sociology. Her current research focuses on the ways in which county governments in rural states attempt to deal with globalization, while at the same time attending to an increasingly aged population in need of health care. She is also working on a study of the life patterns of black men with Dr. Marwin Spiller. The recipient of a university grant for collaborative research with students, Dr. Wiebold has involved a number of sociology students in her ongoing research projects.

Dr. Jill Wightman
Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Dr. Jill Wightman, the department’s cultural anthropologist, came to Bradley in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts degree in anthropology from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Wightman teaches a variety of cultural anthropology classes focusing on religion, medicine, and Latin American cultures. Dr. Wightman has conducted extensive research in Bolivia on Pentecostal conversion and social movements, and on indigenous culture and religiosity. Her publications include “Healing the Nation: Pentecostal Identity and Social Change in Bolivia,” which appeared in the edited volume Conversion of a Continent: Contemporary Religious Change in Latin America. Dr. Wightman’s current research focuses on the performance of the Pentecostal identity and on Pentecostal conversation, medicine, and the quest for healing in Bolivia.