Michelle Napierski-Prancl, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology;
Director of the Helen M. Upton Center for Women's Studies
M.A., Ph.D., University at Albany
B.A. Siena College
Dr. Napierski-Prancl, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of The Helen M. Upton Center for Women's Studies joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice in 2000. In addition to teaching core sociology courses such as Introduction to Sociology and Research for the Professions, she teaches Women and Work, Women and Health, Senior Seminar, Sociology of the Family, and Sociology of Media, many of which are cross-listed as Women's Studies courses. Dr. Napierski-Prancl has also taught Russell Sage College's senior capstone course, Women Changing the World.
Dr. Napierski-Prancl earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University at Albany, State University of New York in 1998 (http://www.albany.edu/) where she specialized in areas of Gender and Work. Her dissertation From Domestic Servant to Service Firm Employee: Power and Control in the Restructuring of the Job of Maid is a qualitative examination of the work experiences of women in the residential cleaning business. Dr. Napierski-Prancl worked as a housekeeper for an international cleaning service during which time she was able to interview workers and members of management while also gaining an understanding of the physical exertion required to be an effective housecleaner.
As a professor, Dr. Napierski-Prancl believes in the implementation of various teaching techniques and methods of evaluation beyond examination. One of her most innovative teaching strategies has been implemented in SOC 339: Understanding and Treatment of Eating Disorders. In this class, students are given the task of developing and executing an eating disorders awareness week on campus. Students vote on and name their week. In the past, "Bodies in Balance" and "Embrace Your Body Week" have been selected as themes. As members of teams, students create several activities surrounding the topic of eating disorders. One group developed a creative critique of Barbie by having real women stand next to an unattainable life size drawing of the doll. Students were then asked to wear pins on their clothing that revealed truths about Barbie. Another group had students, faculty and staff sign a pledge to not diet for an entire day. This led to a campus wide "No Diet Day." Each presentation provides those who visit with critiques of social institutions such as the media as well as informational pamphlets on such topics as healthy eating and exercising tips, the food pyramid and where to go to for help with an eating disorder. This teaching technique allows students to teach other students and educate the Russell Sage Community on eating disorders in a non-threatening manner.
Dr. Napierski-Prancl is an active member of the Russell Sage College student community. She participates each year as a judge for Rally Week, has been a Faculty Mentor for the First Year Mentor Program, and advises both The Social Justice Club and the college chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the International Sociology Honor Society. (http://www.alpha-kappa-delta.org/)
Dr. Napierski-Prancl's personal and professional interests also include environmental issues and animal welfare. She has participated as an Earthwatch volunteer (http://www.earthwatch.org/) where she assisted in data collection of Wild Dolphin Societies for research sponsored by Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. She plans another Earthwatch expedition in the near future.
- 2003. Role Traps in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, in Fisher, Jerilyn and Ellen Silber (editors), Women in Literature: Reading Through The Lens of Gender. Greenwood Press.
- 2003. The Symbolic Annihilation of Women in Jack London's The Call of the Wild, in Fisher, Jerilyn and Ellen Silber (editors), Women in Literature: Reading Through The Lens of Gender. Greenwood Press.
- 2001. Tayolorism, Encyclopedia of American Studies, NY: Groiler Publishing, Inc.
- 1998. Administrative Satisfaction and the Regulatory Climate at Public Universities, with Volkwein, J. F., S. M Malik in Research in Higher Education. (February) 39 (1): 43-63.
- 1998. Factors Associated with Student Loan Default Among Different Racial and Ethnic Groups, with Volkwein, J. F., A. F. Cabrera, B. P. Szelest. The Journal of Higher Education. (March/April) 69 (2): 205-237.
Presentations and Professional Meetings
- 2001. Teaching Eating Disorders from a Sociological Perspective, Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA., March. (www.essnet.org)
- 1999. Scientific Management Versus Working Knowledge: How Marginal Workers maintain Control Over the Labor Process." American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, Illinois. August. (www.asanet.org)
- 1999. Surmounting the Obstacles of Employment Uncertainty at a Cleaning Service. Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting. Boston, MA. March.
- 1998. On Hands and Knees: A Method of Management Control or Cleaning Method to Take Pride in? Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, PA. March.
- 1997. One of the Maids: A Participant Observation Research Study of a Residential Cleaning Service Firm. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. August.
- 1997. Gender at Work and at Play. Participant Research Roundtable Sociologists for Women in Society Annual Meeting. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. August. (www.sws.org)
- 1997. Advertising Control Over the Internet: A Sociological Analysis of Service Firms' Web Pages. Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting. Baltimore, MD. April.
- 1996. Domestic Service and the Issue of Control. Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting. Boston, MA. March.
- 1997. Volkwein, J. F., S. M. Malik, and M. Napierski-Prancl. Administrative Satisfaction and the Regulatory Climate at Public Universities. Association Institutional Research. Orlando. FL. May. (www.airweb.org)
- 1995. Volkwein, J.F., A.F. Cabrera, B. P. Szelest and M. R. Napierski. Characteristics of Student Loan Defaulters Among Different Racial and Ethnic Groups. Association for Institutional Research Annual Meeting. Boston, MA. May.
- 1994. Factors Associated with Student Loan Default Among Different Racial and Ethnic Groups. Northeastern Association for Institutional Research Annual Meeting. Baltimore, MD. November.