Social Science Department

Department Chair: Jennifer DeFrance 860-215-9421 Email

The Social Science Department at TRCC educates students to understand the social sciences and apply them in their daily lives, and it promotes awareness of educational and career opportunities in related fields. The social sciences represent the ways in which we attempt to understand human beings and their behavior using the methods of scientific observation and empirical research. The academic disciplines in the social sciences are as follows:

  • Sociology explains the origins and workings of society, as well as the way society shapes individual attitudes and behaviors.
  • Anthropology derives its name from the Greek anthropos, meaning “human”, and logia, meaning “study”. It is the holistic inquiry of our entire existence as a species; from our prehistoric origins to our contemporary expressions of cultural identity.
  • Psychology examines how the functioning of the mind and the brain affects social behavior and social dynamics, and it relates individual personality and behavior to their social and cultural context.
  • Economics studies the allocation of scarce resources under different social systems.
  • Political Science focuses on the process of governing both nationally and internationally, including systems of government, political behavior, and the formation and effectiveness of public policy.
  • Geography explores the earth and its physical features, and how people and social phenomena affect and are affected by the physical areas they occupy.
  • Finally, History describes, interprets, and explains the past actions and experiences of individuals, groups, and societies to help better understand the present.

These disciplines should not be perceived as completely distinct or separate endeavors. All overlap and interweave in their common pursuit of human understanding.

The Social Science Department also includes several programs which build on and apply social science knowledge in training students for jobs in particular fields. The applied social sciences promote workforce development through academic exploration germane to specific transfer and/or professional opportunities. These applied social science fields are:

  • Criminal Justice
    It is the study of the criminal justice system and its impact on society. Utilizing each of the traditional social sciences, the natural sciences, economics and organizational theory, students examine the historical, philosophical, scientific and organizational development of the American Criminal Justice system. Particular emphasis is placed on examining the balance between constitutional protections and maintaining social order in a heterogeneous, democratic society. In additional students study the increasingly complex global interrelationships among and between societies as issues of divergent legal and cultural systems impact on American society.
  • Human Services
  • Early Childhood Education (click for program webpage)
    The ECE program is designed to provide education and experiences as a basis for employment in the field of early childhood working with children ages 0-8 and/or as a two-year educational foundation for students wishing to transfer to a four/five-year teaching certification program. This program prepares students to work in early care and education settings including child care, school readiness, public schools, special needs settings and in related human service agencies. Our courses also address the needs of individuals already employed in the area of early education to enhance their professional competence and depth of knowledge. The goal of the ECE program is to create an "accessible pathway for career mobility for early childhood educators."
  • Library Technology
    The certificate in Library Technology is designed to provide education and experience for those seeking a career in libraries. Nationally accredited by the American Library Association, our program prepares students to work in public, K-12 school, and academic libraries. Many of the skills learned in our courses in the areas of research, technology, communications, management, children's literature, media, and public services can also be applied to other fields of study. For example, those who take our reference course will learn how to conduct advanced research using both online and print sources that will be very helpful in any college career. The goal of the Library Technology program is to prepare students to work in a library setting using technology, books, media, and other resources to help others with their research, personal, and recreational information needs.
  • Pathways to Teaching Careers Program
    This program is designed to provide education and experiences which will allow students to transfer to Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) meeting the requirements to be accepted into a teacher training program. The field of education is a growing profession. The National Center for Education Statistics predicts increases in the annual numbers of new school teacher hires, both in public and private schools. The foundation of this program includes a wide range of courses in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students will examine the impact history and society has on learning, and more importantly, the role of an educator. This program promotes a respect for others, coupled with an understanding of ethical behavior and civic responsibility.

Social Sciences Department Faculty

Pamela Carroll, Professor of Psychology; B.A., Merrimack College; M.Ed., Harvard University
Office: C-116 Phone: 860-215-9412 Email:

Jeffrey Crouch, Professor of Criminal Justice; A.S., Mohegan Community College; A.A.S., Community College of the Air Force; B.S., Western Connecticut State University;
M.P.A., Ph.D., University of Idaho
Office: D-209 Phone: 860-215-9418 Email:

Jennifer DeFrance, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education; B.S., Rhode Island College; RI Certified K - 3; M.A. Rhode Island College; Ed.D., Johnson and Wales University
Office: C-110 Phone: 860-215-9421 Email:

Dov Kugelmass, Full-Time Professor of Psychology; B.A., University of Connecticut; M.A., Southern Connecticut State University
Office: C-164 Phone: 860-215-9446 Email:

Joyce D. Martin, Professor of Human Services; B.A., North Carolina Central University; M.S.W., University of Connecticut School of Social Work; Ph.D., Fordham University
Office: C-204 Phone: 860-215-9451 Email:

Philip Mayer, Jr., Professor of Economics and Political Science; B.S., Villanova University; M.A., Kansas State University; M.L.S., Fort Hays State University
Office: C-208 Phone: 860-215-9453 Email:

Steven Neufeld, Full-Time Professor of Sociology and International Studies; B.A., Brown University; M.A., Ph.D., Northwestern University
Office: C-142 Phone: 860-215-9457 Email:

Patricia Sauter, Professor of Criminal Justice; B.A. Rosemont College; M.S. University of New Haven; Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies, Johnson & Wales University
Office: C-240 Phone: 860-215-9468 Email:

Sheila Skahan, Professor of Early Childhood Education; B.S., Lesley University; M.S., Wheelock College
Office: C-250 Phone: 860-215-9475 Email: