BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

Dean: Dr. Dale Fryxell
Faculty: Dr. Richard Bordner and Dr. Bryan Man


We live in a time of change. Social networks, organizations, corporations all appear to change constantly. Societies and groups find themselves trying to both hold onto traditional values and norms while adapting to the changing world around them. The Behavioral Sciences Program is centered on the examination of societies, ethnic groups and organizations.

Exposing students to the disciplines of anthropology, geography and sociology gives them the intellectual tools to understand the dynamics of social change and how to effectively implement social policy. Subject matter ranging from cross-cultural interaction, social and individual identity, diasporic ethnic groups, issues of gender, age, and socio-cultural status are all included in the major. The program emphasizes flexibility and encourages students to bring in course material from other institutions to individually tailor their program to fit their intellectual and career goals.

Integration with the Marianist Mission
The primary goal of the Behavioral Sciences Program is to provide students with the tools they need to provide leadership roles and the ability to become agents of social policy in a complex diverse world. This explicitly ties into the Marianist mission by educating students from a point of view which celebrates diversity and the openness of mind, which is critical to making a difference in the modern world and developing the true servant-leader as an agent of social change.

The Program works toward this goal by two specific techniques:

  1. The material covered in anthropology, geography, psychology and sociology, both in readings and discussions, explicitly reflects the Marianist and Chaminade University goal of building collaborative learning communities from students of diverse backgrounds since the material is by definition cross-cultural and focuses on the diversity of human societies.

  2. By virtue of being a multi-disciplinary program and thus explicitly incorporating the viewpoints and perspectives of varying disciplines, we provide an intellectual model of cross-discipline understanding and synthesis for our students to follow, based on our role as mentors and role models in praxis both within and outside the classroom (in service-learning, community service projects and faculty research projects for example).

Consistent with the Marianist education goal to foster community-based relationships and the application of service, the Behavioral Sciences Program requires a senior research project. For many of our majors this consists of a structured internship project (frequently within social services agencies and schools). This achieves the following several goals simultaneously:

  1. It sensitizes our students to the reality that the culturally diverse world outside the university is the real basis and goal of their education, and forces them to relate and apply the course material in the design and implementation of social policy.

  2. The senior research is based explicitly on student-generated research, based on their personal interests and career goals. It requires that they develop the research questions (hypothesis), collect the field data and analyze the results within the intellectual framework of their research questions. This exposes them to real-world issues of self- discipline, data collection, ethics, and focusing on goals;

  3. The Behavioral Sciences faculty provide a role model for our students with our involvement in community activities and social policy that take advantage of our training and expertise. This models for the students the importance of praxis, of professional involvement in service, and the relationship of academic professionals and the larger community within the context of servant-leadership.