Bessie N. Rigakos, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Associate Professor of Sociology

(317) 955-6143
Marian Hall, Room 307A
Bessie Rigakos


Bessie N. Rigakos, Ph.D., is an associate professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Rigakos received her Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from Wayne State University and a B.A. degree in sociology with a certificate in criminology from the University of Windsor, Canada.

Her current research explores students’ conceptions about the scientific process where student created flowcharts revealed a more nuanced understanding of the scientific process, especially in the areas of society and communication within the scientific community. Also, in the article "Exploring the Personal Biographies of African and African American Female Students and their Influence on the Attainment of Higher Education" she explores familial, religious, and social factors that affect the success of Black females in higher education. Dr. Rigakos also conducts research on attitudes towards women’s beauty ideals and the body.

She enjoys teaching introduction to sociology, statistics, and courses on intersecting inequalities (race, gender, sexuality, and class), and criminal justice. In addition to her responsibilities in sociology, Dr. Rigakos is also the chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences.

Research interests

  • Body/Embodiment
  • Race/Class/Gender/Sexuality
  • Women and Health
  • Medical Sociology
  • Assessment of the Scientific Process
  • Criminal Justice

Courses taught

  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 205 Social Science Statistics
  • SOC 320 Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOC 377 Global Health Issues and Interventions
  • SOC 451 Social Psychology 
  • SOC 100 Experiential Learning: Community Service
  • SOC 360 Experiential Learning: Social Justice in Action
  • SOC 460 Internship in Sociology
  • CRJ 270 Introduction to Criminal Justice

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