Kimya Dennis

Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Studies; Coordinator of Criminal Studies
Main Hall 305



Dr. Kimya Dennis comes from Richmond, VA. She chose to teach at Salem because it provides excellent opportunities to work closely with students through positive teaching and mentoring relationships. At Salem, there is a strong community that values learning and is open to different approaches to learning.  

She believes that women’s colleges never lose their purpose and strength. They further the cause for gender equality and provide a much-needed voice. One of the ways that women’s colleges are able to meet the diverse needs of the student body is through a small faculty-to-student ratio in which faculty are able to form teaching and mentoring relationships with students.

Professor Dennis has several research interests. Her criminological research interests include interdisciplinary approaches to suicidology and other self-harming behaviors; and the correlates of race, class, and gender in crime and deviance. Her sociological research interests include the history and present-day significance of social inequalities, particularly race, class, and gender; and the persistence of the social psychological and structural dynamics which perpetuate such inequalities.

Students who choose to major in sociology will expand their understanding of the social world and their ability to think critically on a number of topics. In using their “sociological imagination” they will be intellectually stimulated through knowledge of theory, research, and policy. Classrooms are engaging environments where course material is designed based on a range of student needs and interests. The Department of Sociology prides itself in the ability to shape the overall learning experiences of students, as well as prepare students for a range of education goals.   

The benefits of choosing a major in the Department of Sociology are furthered with the addition of the criminal studies major and minor. Criminal studies is a combination of criminology and criminal justice that sociologically examines crime, deviance, and social control. Students will learn the skills necessary to evaluate and critique theory, research, and policy, which will lay the foundation for potential opportunities in a variety of academic or career paths including graduate school and Corrections. 

She would encourage students who are interested in entering sociology to be excited to learn and discuss what you are learning. Be excited to use your “sociological imagination.” Be excited to challenge some assumptions of the social world.

Favorite book:

Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism (1981) by author, feminist, and social activist bell hooks.

  • BA, University of Richmond; MS, Virginia Commonwealth University; PhD, North Carolina State University