Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice

Discover Social Sciences at UM-Flint

Students who choose to major in one of the social sciences tend to have at least one trait in common: curiosity. Whether they are researching the origins of life, comparing our justice system to those in other countries, or proposing solutions to our society's social problems, our students have an insatiable appetite for knowledge and most have the desire to use what they learn to positively influence our modern world.

Three majors, endless possibilities.

Students majoring in anthropology and sociology are introduced to alternative perspectives of their world. Whether through a reexamination of their own society or other cultures throughout the world, our students will develop their abilities for critical and analytical thinking.

Students majoring in the criminal justice program will learn how to apply critical thinking, social justice, and civic responsibility to their decision-making process as they pursue professional careers and encounter life situations. In addition to developing valuable skills, students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of the structure and operation of the American criminal justice system and how it relates to other social institutions.


Dr. Wilfred G. Marston Civic Engagement Award

Dr. Wilfred G. Marston (1936-2008) was professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan-Flint. He came to the University in 1970 with the mandate to establish a new Department of Sociology and served several terms as its chair. During his 29-years at UM-Flint, Dr. Marston established a distinguished career as a stellar scholar, outstanding teacher and mentor, and visionary leader. As a scholar of urban studies and residential segregation, he was a dedicated champion and booster of the City of Flint. Through his vibrant lectures, experiential learning techniques, and field trips to major cities, he taught students to be actively engaged in improving the community.

This $1000 award is made possible through the generosity of Rebecca and David Pettengill. It is available to a student who exemplifies Dr. Marston’s spirit and undertakes a civic engagement project that will help the City of Flint “Move Forward” by improving conditions for those who live, work, learn, play or rely on the services that are available here.

The award is open to UM-Flint full-time students at all levels (any major) in good academic standing. The selection/evaluation committee will be comprised of faculty from the department of Sociology/Anthropology/Criminal Justice.

To apply, submit a cover sheet, project outline, and budget (Downloadable forms) no later than April 1, 2015 to Ms. Lynne McTiernan, 522 French Hall.

Proposals should answer the following questions:

  • Briefly, what do you propose to do?
  • What methods/tools/skills/supplies will you need to complete the project?
  • Do you need support/approval of a community organization (social service agency, charity, government agency, etc) to carry out your project? If yes, will you be able to obtain the needed support/approval? Explain.
  • Will others be involved in the project? If yes, who will contribute and how?
  • What are your estimated start and completion dates?
  • What is the project budget and timeline?
  • How you will keep your faculty advisor informed about your progress? How will the community benefit from your project?


Projects must be completed within a year. At the end of the award period, the student will have an opportunity to publicly present the results.

Please direct questions and comments to: Ms. Lynne McTiernan (762-3340)


On April 16, 2015, the Regents of the University of Michigan adopted the following memorial statement for Ananthakrishnan Aiyer, Ph.D.

The Regents of the University of Michigan acknowledge with profound sadness the death of Ananthakrishnan Aiyer, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology, program director, and chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice in the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Michigan-Flint. Professor Aiyer died on March 20, 2015.

Professor Aiyer received his B.A. degree from St. Xavier’s College in 1989, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Temple University in 1993 and 2004, respectively. He joined the University of Michigan-Flint faculty as a lecturer in 2000, and was promoted to assistant professor in 2004, and associate professor in 2008.

An inspiring and accomplished teacher, Professor Aiyer researched the international political economy; Latin America; South Asia; crime, corruption, and capitalism; resources and environmental politics; and cultural studies. He edited, with his undergraduate students, the notable book Telling Our Stories: Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement in Flint published in 2007. Professor Aiyer authored a number of influential journal articles in the leading scholarly publications and was a frequent invited speaker at national and international symposia. He was a valued student advisor, respected leader in his department, and served many years a chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice and director of the International and Global Studies Program. Professor Aiyer expanded course offerings in the anthropology program, developed interdisciplinary learning opportunities, and attracted new student majors. He designed and taught numerous courses including Cultures of South Asia, Third World Cultures Through Film, Terror and Violence, and Seminar on Contemporary Global Issues.

As we mourn the loss of our beloved colleague, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Jennifer and his many loving relatives and friends.

A fund has been established in Dr. Aiyer's memory. Please contact the deaprtment office for more information.