Robin G Isserles
I am the third generation in my family to be a part of the CUNY system.??A My maternal grandmother, while a single mother raising two young children, took classes at City College Downtown (what later became Baruch) to become a teacher, both my parents graduated from Queens College, and I graduated from the Graduate Center and teach here at BMCC.
I started teaching at BMCC as a part-time instructor back in 1993. I became a member of the full-time faculty in Spring of 2000. I teach Introduction to Sociology, Urban Sociology, Sociology of the Family, and the Sociology Capstone coure. I teach face to face and on line classes.??A
- B.A. Union College, Schenectady, New York, Political Science,1990
- Ph.D. Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Sociology,2002
- This course studies the social world and how it has evolved over time, as well as how individuals are influenced and structured by social interactions in small groups and by larger social forces. The course covers major sociological theories and research methods, and key concepts such as culture, socialization, social class, race/ethnicity, gender, technology, social inequality, and social change.
- This course involves a sociological analysis of the modern city and the urban way of life. Among the topics discussed are: the growth and decline of urban neighborhoods; social forces responsible for the modern urban community; urban ecology; urban blight and shifts in the residential distribution of racial, ethnic, and income groups; plans and policies for urban development; and the future of the central city. Prerequisite: SOC 100
- This course examines the basic functions of the family in contemporary society. The social processes involved in courtship, marriage, parenthood, alternative family models, the roles of family members, and the relationship between the various models and the community will be examined. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or ANT 100
Research and Projects
- CUNY Research Project on Academic Momentum
From 2011-2013, Professor Isserles served as Project Director for the CUNY Research Project on Academic Momentum. This project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, sought to test Clifford Adelman’s theory of Early Academic Momentum in the Community College setting. We conducted Randomized Control Trial Experiments looking at the effects of three different types of academic interventions on first year community college students in CUNY. While we are tracking these students we have also conducted in-depth interviews with 30 project students. We are currently writing up our findings.
- The Dialectics of Care in Everyday Life
Professor Isserles is writing on the Ethic of Care and how it contradictorily intersects with our everyday experiences– as workers, as consumers, in our school curricula and our political culture.
- In the forthcoming book, Learning from Each Other (edited by Jeffrey Chin and Michele Kozimer-Kim), University of California Press (2018), Robin has a chapter, ?Cultivating Engagement and Deepening Understanding While Leaving the Textbook Behind?, outlining her decision to teach a Writing Intensive Introduction to Sociology course without a textbook, replacing it with a solid piece of sociological research. She analyzes student work to demonstrate how she successfully meets three important learning objectives and how the experience is deepening her students’ engagement with the material during and after the class is over.
- Battery Park City User Study
Along with colleague, Michele Ronda (Sociology, Coordinator of BMCC’s Criminal Justice Program), we are conducting a user study of Battery Park City Parks. We are working with 26 current and former BMCC students who have been trained in conducting systematic counting and survey interviews. We will also be training students to code and analyze the data, as well as write up ethnographic observations. This project is currently underway.
- “Re-imagining ‘Progress’: Motherwork, Human Flourishing and the Political Culture of Care”,Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering. Volume 10, No. 1.
- “Microcredit: the Rhetoric of Empowerment , the Reality of Development ‘as Usual’”,Women’s Studies Quarterly. Volume XXXI, Numbers 3&4
- “Cultural Capital as Rules and Resistance: Bringing it Home in the Introductory Classroom”, co-authored with Heather Dalmage.,Teaching Sociology. Volume 28, Number 2
- “Community in the Classroom: Students Learning from One Another”,in Before the Class: A Handbook for the Novice Instructor, Edited by Philip Alexander, Ivette Estrada, Barbara Heller and Pamela Trotman Reid.
- “The Glorification of Production in Marxism and Liberalism: Some Aristotelian and Feminist Reflections”,Humanity and Society. Volume 19, No.4
- “Birth and Death, Love and Loss, Joy and Pain”,Journal of the Motherhood Initiative, Volume 1.2 – Mothering, Bereavement, Loss and Grief
- Teaching Contemporary Theory in Introductory Sociology for Sociology Now: The Essentials, 2/E ,Pearson
- Money and Empowerment: A Review of Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development, by Ananya Roy,Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, Volume 22, Issue 3
- “Creating Community at the Graduate Center” in Women on the Role of Public Higher Education: Personal Reflections from CUNY’s Graduate Center (Rose Kim and Deborah Gambs, eds). ,Palgrave Macmillan
- Book Review: Care Between Work and Welfare in European Societies edited by Birgit Pfau-Effinger and Tine Rostgaard. Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan 2011. Vol. 42, 2: pp. 266-268. ,Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews
- “Challenges Facing Community Colleges”, Re-Imagining Community Colleges: Reflective Essays. (co-authored with Paul Attewell). ,CUNY Publication
- Fostering Student Engagement: Creating a Culture of Learning Online,Constructivists Online: Reimagining Progressive Practice, Bank Street Occasional Paper Series, Issue #34
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
- 2014 PSC-CUNY Grant
Awarded a PSC-CUNY Grant to continue working on CUNY Academic Momentum Project