Social Inquiry

Social Inquiry Department

UW-Superior’s Department of Social Inquiry includes academic programs in Anthropology, History/Social Studies Education, Gender Studies, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, Gender Studies and Public Leadership and Changemaking. These programs form the basis of a sound university education, prepare students for careers, and help students better understand themselves, their society and their world.

Faculty are well connected and regularly bring in guest lecturers, alumni and community leaders to share real-world experiences and diverse perspectives. Instructors champion their students’ success and offer opportunities often only found at larger universities.

Public Leadership and Changemaking

Unique to the region, the Public Leadership and Changemaking (PLC) Program is the Social Inquiry Department’s newest addition. PLC is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to engage diverse constituencies to develop solutions to current and anticipated complex issues within local, regional, national, and global communities. Graduates of the program are highly sought by nonprofits, planning agencies, civic and public agencies, tribal government entities and many more.

If I could define Public Leadership and Changemaking in a few words, I would say “life-changing” and “eye-opening.” This major is more than a typical bachelor’s degree. It is a compilation of the social sciences that care for human beings, their rights, and the development of society, while taking into account all races, minorities, religions, and backgrounds. If you want to make a positive change in society, this is the major for you!
Daniela Castiblanco Diaz,
Public Leadership and Changemaking

The Social Inquiry Department helped me find a voice I didn’t know I had prior to becoming a student at UWS. The professors and their coursework have taught me how to make sound cases, in both written and verbal formats. The faculty in this department have helped me to feel prepared to become a teacher of social studies at the secondary level.

Dillion Krisik,
History/Social Studies Education
Public Leadership and Changemaking is a very nice major which could influence the whole entire world and which could make a huge impact on people’s life.
Kidest Mitiku,
Public Leadership and Changemaking

The Social Inquiry Department’s history and philosophy programs have absolutely changed my life! I’ve been given so many wonderful and unique opportunities to grow my academic and professional skills. Through that and the encouragement of everyone in the department, I’ve gained so much more confidence in myself, in and out of the classroom.

Lauren Steltz,
History, Philosophy

As a Public Leadership and Changemaking major at UWS, I have moved from being a lost non-traditional student trying to find their place in the world to someone with a focus on how they can be of service to it. I’ve gained a partner, lifelong friendships and a path forward in life.

John Cano,
Public Leadership and Changemaking

I had reservations about going back to school after several years, about fitting in, but my experience at UWS has been wonderful. I’ve had nothing but support from my instructors and have really felt challenged by the work. The small class sizes give me opportunity to interact with my fellow students and not to feel so much like an outsider.

Catherine Taylor,

Involvement Opportunities

Social Inquiry programs challenge and inspire students to explore new perspectives, experiences and opportunities through research, discussion, Academic Service-Learning, experiential learning activities and internships. Examples include an interactive refugee exhibit in which students teach community and university members. Students also have opportunities to be involved in student clubs, voter engagement initiatives, the Summer Undergraduate Research Program and many other educational enrichment activities.


The Social Inquiry Department is located in Swenson Hall, which is one of the newest and most updated buildings on campus. Classrooms and labs feature the latest technology. The building also includes study spaces with beautiful views of campus, a computer lab, and offices for Student Support Services that provide a wide array of resources and support.

Any Questions

Meet the Department

John Green
Senior Lecturer
Deborah Augsburger
Christina Matzen
Teaching Assistant Professor – History
Beth Hebert
Administrative Assistant III
Cheong Soon Gan
Associate Professor
Joel Sipress
Alisa Von Hagel
Khalil (Haji) Dokhanchi
Professor & Dept. Chair
Daniela Mansbach
Mollie Greenberg
Teaching Assistant Professor