Joan Gettert Gilbreth, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Joan Gettert Gilbreth, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
Sociology and Anthropology
Office hours

Call 402.465.2197 for further assistance.

Some favorite quotes might sum it up best:

The years teach us much the days never knew.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers.
Richard David Bach

We learn by teaching.


As the non-traditional student all of my life, and coming from a small-town, rural state, working class background, I strongly urge you to read the book listed below. I did not contribute to the writing of this book but see myself and many others I know represented in it.

"This Fine Place So Far From Home: Voices of Academics from the Working Class" edited by C. L. Barney Dews and Carolyn Leste Law in 1995; Temple University Press, Philadelphia PA.


PhD 2000 University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Sociology
Dissertation: Family Structure and Interparental Conflict: The Effects on Adolescent Drinking

M.S. 1994 University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Human Resources & Family Science
Masters Thesis: Demographic Variables Affecting Financial Satisfaction

B.S. 1985 Texas State University (formerly Southwest Texas State University);
Home Economics (Consumer Science/Major, Business/Minor)

Courses taught


Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
Race Relations and Minority Groups
Sociology of the Family
Seminar in Racial-Ethnic Relations
Sociology of Gender
Social Stratification
Social Change and Social Movements
Crime and Society
Women and Crime


Social Statistics
Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative Research Methods
Sociological Theory


IDS 001: Liberal Arts Seminar (1st Year Seminar)
--"What It Takes to Be a Man - Exploring Masculinity"


Co-Reader on Forensic Science Masters’ Thesis
Co-Reader on Global Studies Undergraduate Thesis

NWU Graduate, Adult, Transfer Course Module Development
Criminal Justice-Crime and Society
Criminal Justice-Research Methods
Criminal Justice-Capstone (co-developer)

Research and academic interests

Exploratory study of individual reactions to changes in immigration patterns: comparing experiences in Ireland and Midwestern U.S.

Principal Investigator, "Community Substance Abuse Monitoring Project" Data Collection; Lincoln Nebraska. Funded through Community Health Endowment grant - Fall 2008 to Spring 2011.

White, Lynn and Joan G. Gilbreth. 2001. "When Children Have Two Fathers: Effects of Relationships with Stepfathers and Noncustodial Fathers on Adolescent Outcomes." Journal of Marriage and Family, 63:155-167.

Amato, Paul R. & Joan G. Gilbreth. 1999. "Nonresident Fathers and Children's Well-Being: A Meta-Analysis." Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61:557-573.

Davis, Elizabeth P. & Joan G. Gilbreth. 1995. "Life Course Variables and Financial Satisfaction." Sherman Hanna (Ed.) Family Economics and Resource Management Biennial, 161-162. Family Economics Resource Management Division of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Davis, Elizabeth P. and Joan G. Gilbreth (Eds.). 1993. "Diversity Among Economically Vulnerable Households." Proceedings of the 1993 Family Economics-Home Management Pre-Conference. Washington, D.C.: American Home Economics Assn.


Discussant, Family Sociology Session. Midwest Sociological Society. Chicago. March 2016.

Co-Presenter (with student, Austin Jones), "Alcohol and Drug Use/Abuse: What About Age, Incarceration, and ...?" Midwest Sociological Society. March 2015.

Co-Organizer and Presenter, Session Title: "Revealing the 'Left Behind': Creative Projects in Sociology"; Presentation Topic: "Gender Non-Conformity, Racism, and Incarcerated Populations: Developing, Applying, and Creating Sociological Impact beyond the Classroom." Midwest Sociological Society. Omaha NE. March 2014.

Faculty Co-Sponsor, Nebraska Undergraduate Sociology Symposium, "Conducting Qualitative Research-Student Poster Session and Panel Discussion." Midland University, Fremont, NE. November 2013.

Conference Co-Organizer, Nebraska Undergraduate Sociology Symposium. Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln NE. November 2012.

Organizer, Presider, Presenter. Balancing Work and Family Session; Midwest Sociological Society, Minneapolis, March 2005.

Conference Organizer, Nebraska Undergraduate Sociology Symposium. Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln NE. November 2004.

Presider, Presenter. Teaching Family Sociology Session. Midwest Sociological Society, Kansas City, March 2003.

Wortmann, Sue and Joan Gilbreth. Investigating Immigrant and Refugee Type II Diabetes Experiences

Social Construction of Gender and Race
Working Class Women, Women of Color, and Connections with Feminism
Social Inequality and Family Outcomes


NIH Certificate of Training for Protection of Human Subjects

Service interests


Women and Crime. Students volunteering with a variety of local agencies who serve women and children who are at-risk of homelessness, and/or have experience incarceration.

Social Problems. Solving social problems; students volunteering at a variety of local agencies that are working to solve issues of social concern: environmental, racial/ethnic inequality, gender/sexual orientation inequality, family troubles, poverty, etc.

Race Relations and Minority Groups. Students volunteering at a variety of local agencies where racial/ethnic issues of inequality are being addressed.

Sociology of Gender. Gendered interactions in community agencies.

Fall 2008 to Spring, 2011. CrimJustice 296. Special Projects. Community Substance Abuse Monitoring Project (Structured personal interviews in County Jail Booking Unit and Cornhusker Place Civil Protective Custody Unit). This was a three year project funded by a Community Health Endowment Grant. Data collection conducted each spring and fall; involved approximately eight to ten students each semester. 26 different students over the course of the project. Data now being used by local agencies to seek funding, development of, and implementation of substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.

Spring, 2007. Soc 237: Research Methods II (Qualitative Methods). Homeless Coalition Qualitative Interviewing Project and Fresh Start Focus Groups.

Fall, 2006. Soc 216: Race Seminar: Racial and Ethnic Experiences. Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture Weekend Immersion Trip.


Apr 2016-Aug 2018: Chair, NWU Institutional Review Board

Aug 2015 to Aug 2018: NWU Institutional Review Board Member

Fall 2016-Sp[ring 2017. Social Science Division rep, Academic Standards Committee
Spring 16-Present, Chair, Institutional Review Board
Fall 06-Spring 16. Department Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Fall 13-Spring 15. Chair, Social Science Division.
Fall 13-Spring 15.. Member, Curriculum Committee
Fall 13-Spring 15.. Member, Executive Committee
Fall 12-Spring 13. Social Science Division rep, Academic Standards Committee.
Fall 09-Spr 11. Social Science Division representative, Academic Standards Committee.
Fall 07-Spr 09. Vice President of Faculty Affairs Committee
Fall 02-Spr 07. Social Science Division representative, Faculty Affairs Committee
Fall 06-Spr 11. CLAS representative, Graduate, Adult, Transfer Research Review Board
Fall 03–Spr 06. President’s Commission on Women’s Issues; Chair in 05-06
Fall 04 to present. Pregnancy and Childcare Advocacy Team member
Fall 03 to present. Students with Disabilities Resource Person
Fall 08 to Spr 10. 2016. First-year faculty member mentee


Fall 2013. Volunteer for Released and Restored, a non-profit supporting incarcerated individuals preparing for reentry.

Fall 08-Spr 11. Member, Board of Advisors, Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture.

2002-2007. Midwest Sociological Society “Women in the Profession” Committee

1999-2000. Lincoln Public Schools Special Education Parent Advisory Board, Lincoln NE

Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards


American Sociological Society
Midwest Sociological Society

Nebraska Undergraduate Sociology Society
Alpha Kappa Delta, International Honorary Society


2022 Recipient of Faculty Advisor of the Year Award; Nebraska Wesleyan University.

2009 Nominee for Margaret J. Prouty Faculty Teaching Award; Nebraska Wesleyan University.

2000. Reuben Hill Award from the National Council on Family Relations for the best article published in 1999 to combine research and theory on the family.

2014. Co-Recipient of NWU Provost Development Funds-Sociology Course-specific Revision.

2013. Co-Recipient of Provost Development Funds-Sociology/Anthropology Curriculum Revision 2013. 2013. Co-Recipient of Provost Development Funds-Development of Criminal Justice in Society major.

2011 NWU Ameritas Faculty Development Grant and Wolf Fund Internationalization Grant. Language Acquisition and Cultural Immersion Experience, Alicante, Spain.

2008-2011 Principal Investigator on Community Health Endowment Grant awarded to Cornhusker Place Civil Protective Custody for semi-annual data gathering on community substance abuse.

2005 Ameritas Faculty Development Grant as member of four person Teaching & Learning Circle to explore enhanced teaching processes and peer support efforts. Nebraska Wesleyan University.