Two years ago, the University of West Alabama was lucky enough to hire the charismatic Texan Sociology Professor Dr. Nicole Farris. Farris teaches with excitement and gives students her best in every class. She displays heart and an eagerness for her student’s chances to learn and hopes they become successful not only in college, but in life after class as well.
Dr. Farris is a 2002 graduate from Douglas MacArthur High School and a 2006 college graduate from Texas A&M University. Farris graduated with a B.A in Sociology and accomplished a masters and Ph.D five years later.
She began her working career in the well-known sub shop, Quizno’s.
“As a result of working there and smelling that baking bread smell, I haven’t been able to eat at one in almost 15 years” Dr. Farris mentions.
“My first real job was as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in my Master’s program, where I helped professors with different aspects of teaching like taking attendance, helping students, grading papers and stuff like that. During my Ph.D. I was a Graduate Instructor and that is when I got the chance to finally start teaching around 2008.”
Most students either go to college knowing their desired major or are listed as undecided. Farris stumbled upon her love for Sociology by accident. After realizing the math and science courses weren’t her cup of tea, she remembered the fun she had had in a sociology class during high school and changed her major on a whim from Physical Therapy to Sociology. Farris’s junior year and mentor Dr. Carol Albrecht were the deciding factors for her future career as a Sociology professors.
In the fall of 2012, Farris left Texas for the first time and began her first academic job as an Assistant Professor for The University of West Alabama. She is a member of the Service Learning Committee and is the Chapter Secretary for Phi Kappa Phi.
UWA 101- Freshman Seminar
SY100- Principles of Sociology
SY200- Foundations of Sociological Inquiry
SY312- Minority Relations
SY326- Sociology of Gender
SY336- Marriage and Family
SY/PY370- Statistics for the Social Sciences
“I honestly love everything. I wake up every day excited to go to work. I love my colleagues and the people I work with, I love seeing students have that ‘a ha’ moment when I teach them about Sociology, and I love when students change their major to Sociology because of something they learned in my class,” Farris says. “I also love when students tell me that thinking Sociologically has ruined television, movies and radio for them forever- because Sociology is everywhere!”
“Dr. Farris is a wonderful, energetic and enthusiastic teacher whose drive and passion inspires all of her students,” states student Rustin Smith.
Besides teaching, Dr. Farris is involved with multiple research projects all across the world. She has recently finished editing a Women’s and Gender Studies Book and will soon release another edited piece of work called The Family and Social Change in Chinese Societies. Along with Dr. Heather McDonald, she has submitted a grant to the National Science foundation which was related to Female Under representation in the stem field. She also does research on gender and sexuality and overseas. Farris has recently had a paper accepted to the International Sociological Association’s Conference for the summer all the way in Japan.
In ten years, Farris would like to see herself still teaching, achieve more publications, continue to be active in research, and become a tenured Full Professor.
Dr. Farris has given this University nothing less than her all and the students see that in the classroom every day. Thank you, Dr. Farris, for the heart and excitement you put into every lecture and for making Sociology enjoyable.