Gwen Sharp, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology

Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Phone: (702) 992-2645

Raised on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma, Dr. Gwen Sharp attended the University of Oklahoma for her undergraduate degree, receiving her B.A. in Sociology in 1997. She then entered the Sociology and Rural Sociology graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving her Ph.D. in 2005. She teaches the sociology curriculum at NSC, including Principles of Sociology, Gender and Society, Racial and Ethnic Conflict, Social Stratification, Sex and Social Relations, and Popular Culture. Dr. Sharp won the 2012 iTeach award for Teaching Excellent at NSC. She serves as the Chair of the Department of Social Sciences and Business Administration.

Dr. Sharp’s research interests include food systems (particularly the U.S. beef industry), racial minorities in rural areas, media portrayals of gender, and research safety during fieldwork. Dr. Sharp is co-author of a chapter on images of sex and violence in advertisements in the edited book Images that Injure, 3rd edition, published in 2011. She has published articles in the journals Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, Sociological Methodology, and Social Science Computing Review. For fun, she enjoys riding horses, having dinner parties, playing with her two cats, two chickens, and one dog, and fulfilling her role as the campus baker.

She co-authors the website Sociological Images: Seeing Is Believing, a site that provides commentary on images to help illustrate sociological concepts and foster a public sociological imagination. The site provides compelling visuals that span the breadth of sociological inquiry. It receives over 500,000 visits per month, is followed additionally by over 20,000 individuals subscribed by RSS feeds, over 18,000 individuals via Facebook, over 8,000 on Twitter, and more than 10,000 on Pinterest. Sociological Images is partially syndicated at Jezebel, Ms., and Racialicious. Dr. Sharp’s posts have been featured in stories by media outlets and websites including the American Prospect, Psychology Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Globe and Mail, and Adweek; she also appeared on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition program.

As a result of her work on Sociological Images, Dr. Sharp and her co-author, Dr. Lisa Wade, were awarded the 2012 Public Sociology award from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Sociology as well as the American Sociological Association section on Communications and Information Technology (CITASA) 2012 award for Public Sociology.