Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty
Academic Affairs / Academic Affairs
- Caruth Administration 104
Ph.D., University of Texas
M.A., Yale University
B.A., Trinity University
I came “home” to Austin College in the fall of 2018 drawn by the rich diversity of the student body and the college’s holistic student-centered liberal arts education that combines the breadth of the liberal arts and sciences perspectives with skills-based development and experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom. As an administrator, my passion is for carving-out pockets of mutual resourcefulness and creating opportunities for student-centered interdisciplinary experiential learning opportunities. I like to create spaces and opportunities where people can collaborate in dreaming, playing, and taking risks in response to a future that we cannot even imagine. My own experience indicates that a liberal arts education can fuel lives of purpose and creativity, empowering students to excel in a rapidly changing world, by fostering civic and social engagement, and personal growth. In an economy fueled by innovation, the capabilities developed through a liberal education have become our most valuable societal asset. I believe that an Austin College liberal arts education is the answer to a world that is demanding more.
My course offerings have included disciplinary, interdisciplinary, experiential, travel, and research-based experiences: Foundations of Sociology and Anthropology; Population, Poverty and the Environment; Remembering the Holocaust: Past, Present and Future (Travel Course: Germany, Poland, Czech Republic); Human Rights in the Global Village (Travel Course: El Salvador, Guatemala); Social Research Methods; Health, Healing and Illness; Health, Healing and Gender (Travel Course: Ghana, Africa); Death and Dying; Aging and the Life Course; Social Movements; Military Sociology; Sociological Theory; Field Research; Senior Projects
My passions as a faculty member and researcher focus on issues surrounding death and dying, the family, human rights, mindfulness and social justice, and pragmatism all of which examine the effects of the organizational context upon an individual’s existence. More specifically, I conduct comparative studies between existing bureaucratic organizations and explore effective alternatives to problems facing individuals embedded within these organizations. My current work is directed toward the development of a sociological model of hope based on contemplative practices that is designed to accommodate agency, organizations, and diversity while encouraging and propagating positive alternatives within structured bureaucratic environments.
- Elizabeth Gill. 2016. “Theory,” in David L. Brunsma, Keri E. Iyall Smith, and Brian K. Gran (Eds.) Expanding the Human in Human Rights: Toward a Sociology and Human Rights. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
- Elizabeth Gill. 2013.” A Sociology of Human Rights,” in Brunsma, Smith and Mann eds. Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights. St. Paul, MN: Paradigm Publishing.
- Elizabeth Gill. 2008. “Hope and the Social Construction of the Future.” International Journal of the Humanities, 6(3): 9-14.
- Elizabeth Gill. 2008. “Between Organizations, Family, and Death: Hospice Workers within the Hospice Organization.” Ed. Asa Kasher. Dying and Death: Inter-Disciplinary Perspective (At the Interface/Probing the Boundaries). 37: 187-202.
- Elizabeth Gill. 2006. “Complementary Alternative Medicine, Palliative Care, and the Hospice Alternative.” International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, 6(5): 109–116.
- Gideon Sjoberg, Elizabeth Gill and Norma Williams. 2005. “La sociologia de los derechos humanos” in Analyisis Y Perspectivas De La Globalizacion” (Sociology and Human Rights: Problems and Possibilities). Eds. Ana Maria Aragones, Aida Villaobos and Maria Teresa Correa. 1(2): 49-84.
- Elizabeth Gill. 2005. “Human Agency and Social Organizations: Caring Creatively within Health Care Organizations.” 5th Annual International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organizations Proceedings, Rhodes, Greece.
- Elizabeth Gill. 2004. “Between Organizations, Family and Death: Caring Creatively Within the Hospice Organization.” Pp. 153-161 in the Probing the Boundaries series entitled Making Sense Of: Dying and Death, Ed. Laura Cruz. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
- Gideon Sjoberg, Elizabeth Gill, and Leonard D. Cain. 2003. “Countersystem Analysis and the Construction of Alternative Futures.” Sociological Theory, 21(3): 210-233.
- Gideon Sjoberg, Elizabeth Gill, and Joo Ean Tan. 2003. “Social Organization.” Pp. 411-432 in Handbook for the Study of Symbolic Interactionism. Ed. Larry Reynolds and Nancy J. Herman-Kinney. New York: Altamira Press.
In my personal life, I enjoying hiking, traveling to new places, learning to play the guitar and violin, and spending time with my dog, Frodo Waggins. I am also working on obtaining my doula certificate that will enable me to further my volunteer work with individuals in palliative and hospice care.