Faculty Spotlight

by: Morgan Stolpa

Carol Glasser, an assistant professor of Sociology within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, creates opportunities on-campus.      

Glasser, who likes to run and tries to do at least one half-marathon every year, said her two favorite things are teaching and research.

“My favorite part of this job is when I get to do research with students. I get to do this in lots of ways here—in the classroom setting, advising master’s students on their thesis projects, and working with undergraduates on independent studies,” she said.

Glasser came to Minnesota State University, Mankato, because “the sociology program is so cool.” There are two things she gets to do here that many Universities would not support. First, she specializes in applied and public sociology, meaning that she is committed to doing research driven by social justice and this can directly benefit the community.

In addition to applied and public sociology Glasser also studies animals. Many sociology programs don’t offer any classes on this, but when Glasser interviewed here she was encouraged to create an Animals and Society course. She has now been teaching this course for three years, and even started a Human-Animal Studies minor.

Besides the classroom, Glasser is the Director of Kessel Peace Institute at MNSU. This organization is dedicated to advancing the understanding and the existence of peace at all levels, from the individual to the global community. Tune in next week to hear her opinion on Holocaust awareness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Y4_6PD0Z4


12 Questions with Carol Glasser.

What is your spirit animal?

“I can’t pick just one spirit animal. As someone who studies the human-animal relationship and is committed to social justice, the plight of all animals, human and nonhuman, moves me. I also think there is something inspirational and worth emulating in every species. But if you asked people who know me well what my spirit animal is, they would guess a rabbit.”

What word describes you best? 


What three items would you want if you were stranded on an island? 

“Vegetable seeds, a book on how to grow vegetables, and a very long book.”

Do you know any other languages other than English? 

“Unfortunately, no.”

Favorite band or type of music? 

“I don’t actually listen to much music but I enjoy almost anything live.”

What’s your favorite animal and the animal you are most scared of? 

“I am not sure I can answer this, as you can see in Question #1 I have a hard time answering animal-related questions simply!”

Who inspires you to be better? 

“My dad’s approach to life inspires me to be better. He wakes up each day and approaches the daily routines of life (like working out, going to work, doing chores) with excitement and appreciation. He also gets a lot of joy from small things, like a walk, or talking on the phone to a friend. I am always striving to be more content in my daily life like he is, which often means pushing myself to be a better person so that I am happy with how I live my life. He also inspires me to be better because he is a dad and does awesome dad things to motivate me—like cheering me on at the finish line when I run a race or telling me he is proud when I accomplish new goals.”

What is your favorite movie series? 

“I honestly do not have one. I prefer to binge watch TV series over watching movies. As for favorite TV series, I could watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Fireflyare at the top.”

Favorite holiday? 

“My birthday. (Is that a holiday?)”

If you could make on rule that everyone had to follow, what would you make?

“I am very committed to animal rights as well as peace and anti-war activism. One rule that would help end animal abuse and war would be: Do not kill anyone (No matter what their species is).”

What would be your first move after winning the Minnesota lottery? 

“I would drive straight to the state office to turn in the ticket and call my financial adviser on the way.”

What’s your favorite course to teach? 

“Sociology in Action is my favorite course to teach. This is a course for sociology majors in applied and public sociology that I teach every spring. Each semester the class works on a different social justice issue; students design and conduct research projects that directly help organizations deal with that issue. Last year our class researched the issue of food insecurity and hunger on the Minnesota State Mankato campus so we could help the university find better ways to help students access healthy and affordable food.”



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