“The small class sizes at Transylvania make it possible to develop a community of learners that offers opportunities for meaningful exchanges with faculty and fellow students.”
Sociology professor Ashley Rondini believes in uncovering hidden truths—in hearing voices often unheard by society. She passes this passion on to her students by challenging them to think about the ways in which broader social forces inform micro-level social phenomena, and vice versa.
"Education and knowledge are the most critical elements of pursuing social justice and social change," she says. "I encourage students to think about how they might use their sociological insights in making their own contributions to the social world."
Rondini has practiced what she preaches. Earning degrees in sociology, women's studies, and social policy (among others), Rondini channeled her knowledge of marginalized groups and championed their causes, bringing their stories to the surface. Her published works illuminate the conditions of often ignored societal groups, including low-income first generation college students, homosexuals, and racial minorities.
Rondini encourages her students to take a closer look at the world around them.
"My teaching philosophy is centered on assisting students in critically and reflexively engaging with their social and political environments," she explains. "I strive to facilitate the development of meaningful, lasting relationships between the students and the course content." It is Rondini's hope that her students will develop "multidimensional understandings" of the complex issues of society and find a way to apply those understandings beyond the walls of the classroom.
Sociology is everywhere, according to Rondini. Untold stories and unheard voices constantly surround students, and the liberal arts education offered by Transylvania provides the opportunity to synthesize multiple perspectives. Such understandings are critical in working toward social change and social justice.
Rondini knows the value of this understanding first hand. She's spent much of her adult life critically observing the world around her with that heightened sense of sight and empathy. Her next contribution to society will include providing more eyes that are willing to see, passing her passion for the hidden perspective of life to her students.
- American Sociological Association (Sections on Racial and Ethnic Minorities; Race, Gender, and Class; Sex and Gender; Sociology of Education; Teaching and learning;and Inequality, Poverty and Mobility)
- Society for the Study of Social Problems (Divisions on Racial and Ethnic Minorities; Poverty, Class, and Inequality; Teaching Social Problems)
- Eastern Sociological Society
- American Association for University Women
Areas of specialization
- Ph.D., Brandeis University, 2010
- M.A., Brandeis University, 2006
- M.A., University of Sussex, England, 1999
- B.A., Clark University, 1997
Areas of research/specialization
- Assets, social stratification and educational mobility
- Social policy and social justice
- Race and ethnicity
- Gender and sexuality
- Qualitative research methodology
- Health, identity, and the body
Courses taught at Transylvania
- Sociology of Gender
- Social Problems
- Introduction to Sociology
- Identity, Power, and Social Justice
- Race, Gender, Class, and American Identity
- Race and Ethnicity
- Research Methods
- Rondini, Ashley.2012. "'I thought I was so dumb...: Low-Income First Generation College Students, Inequities in Academic Preparation, and Reference Group Theory", in Research Studies in Higher Education: Educating Multicultural College Students, edited by Terrence Hicks and Abul Pitre, University of America Press.
- Rondini, Ashley. 2011. "Protection from Rape as a Civil Right:The Evolution of Policy Concerning. Sexual Assault on College Campuses", in Footnotes (American Sociological Association) Washington DC.
- Rondini, Ashley. 2011. "For-profit Institutions and Underserved Populations: Expanding Access or Exploiting Aspirations?", in Footnotes (American Sociological Association), Washington, D.C.
- Rondini, Ashley. 2010. "The Necessity and Insufficiency of Policy -Based Responses: 'Bullying' and Anti-Gay Bigotry", in Footnotes (American Sociological Association), Washington D.C.
- Conrad, Peter and Rondini, Ashley.2010. "The Internet and Medicalization: Reshaping the Global Body and Illness", in Culture, Bodies, and the Sociology of Health, edited by Elizabeth Ettore, Ashgate Press.
- American Sociological Association Sydney S. Spivack Applied Social Research and Social Policy Congressional Fellow, 2010.
- Brandeis Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Nominee for American Council of Learned Society's New Faculty Fellowship, 2010
- Outstanding Teaching Commendation, Brandeis University Department of Sociology, 2004
- Phi Beta Kappa, 1997
- Magna Cum Laude, 1997