Faculty and staff members standing and clapping together outside.
Susan Wortmann, Ph.D.

Susan Wortmann, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology
Theory, Qualitative Methods
Sociology and Anthropology
Office location

Smith-Curtis 140F

swortman [at] nebrwesleyan.edu

Susan L. Wortmann (Ph.D. University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is a sociology and gender studies professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU). Her scholarly interests include classical sociological theory, gender, religion, and health. 

She is the author of Society: A User’s Guide, a collection of introductory sociology readings, and a co-author with Daina Eglitis of Discover Sociology, an introduction to sociology textbook. She has published articles on meaning and religious participation, sociological theory, and project evaluation, and has contributed to Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Sociology and the Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture. Dr. Wortmann practices applied sociology in her community to address social issues. She enlists sociological methods, theories, and concepts in her collaboration with community partners. She has helped address campus sexual assault, diabetes and mental health access for refugees and immigrants, and services for at-risk youth. She is a recipient of teaching, community, and scholarship awards and honors. When she is not teaching, Dr. Wortmann is an avid fiction reader and traveler. Her favorite travels have involved mutual discovery with students: how face-to-face contact fostered mutual understanding in a rural village in Izmir Province, Turkey, the reality of resilience beyond struggle on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, and the importance of instructor-student trust while exploring abandoned underground tunnels in Havana, Cuba.


2003 Ph.D., Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
1999 M.A., Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
1996 B.S., English, Summa Cum Laude, Wayne State College.

Courses taught

Introduction to Sociology
Qualitative Research Methods
Grant Writing
Medical Sociology
Sociology of Religion
Social Theory
Social Inequality

Women and Crime

Senior Seminar and Internships

Service interests

 I am interested in using my skills to enrich our local, regional, and national scholarly and public communities. I have served on local and regional boards including the NWU Board of Governors (2020-2022).  I have advised NWU's Sociology/Anthropology Club and Global Service Learning.  I have served as a coordinator for the former NWU Gender Advocacy Place (now Intersectionality Center).  I am a member of the American Evaluation Association and have served as an evaluator for community agencies and programs.  I have worked with community agencies to write a number of grants centering around refugee and immigrant services, domestic violence, homelessness, and sexual assault. 


Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards

Professional Affiliations
American Sociological Association
Midwest Sociological Society

American Evaluation Association
Alpha Kappa Delta
Pi Gamma Mu

Scholarship Awards

2022.  NWU Faculty Scholarship award

Community Awards

2017. Alice Paul Lifetime Achievement Award. Women’s Commission of Lancaster County and Mayor’s Commission on Women.

2018. Nebraska Wesleyan Action Committee for Diversity and Inclusion  Advocate for Diversity Award. 

Teaching Awards

2015. Nebraska Wesleyan University Methodist Church Exemplary Teaching Award.  

2009. UNL Parents Association Teaching Council Certification of Recognition for Contribution to Students.
2009. Nebraska Association of Graduate Students Faculty Mentoring Award.