Behavioral & Social Sciences Department


PLEASE NOTE: Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page.

If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

 Dolezal, Gary Memorial Scholarship


High school seniors to college seniors. Must have been involved in scouting program and attained rank of First Class Scout; must be a graduate of a Western Slope high school. Gunnison High School graduates who meet the criteria will be given first preference.

Provided by:

Family to perpetuate the memory of Gary Dolezal, who was an example of scouting, citizenship and scholarship.


Award depends on funds available


Please complete and submit Western's Common Scholarships Application



Matt Aronson, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Sociology
B.A., University of Montana, Native American Studies and Sociology (emphasis in Rural & Environmental Change), 2000, M.A., Colorado State University, Sociology, 2004, Ph. D., Colorado State University, Sociology, 2015
Phone: 970.943.7126
Office Location: Kelley Hall 220
Brian Bernhardt, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Politics & Government
B.A., James Madison University, Political Science and Philosophy, 2005, M.A., University of Colorado Boulder, Political Science, 2010, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder, Political Science, 2014
Phone: 970.943.3025
Office Location: Kelley Hall 205
Kate Clark, Ph.D.  headshot
Director of Undergraduate Environment & Sustainability Program; Graduate Faculty in Master in Environmental Management programs, Environment & Sustainability and Sociology programs
B.A., James Madison University, M.S., University of Colorado Boulder, Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder, Environmental Studies
Office Location: Kelley Hall 146
Scott I. Cohn, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.A., Lafayette College, Psychology, M.A., American University, Psychology, Ph.D., American University, Psychology
Phone: 970.943.3022
Office Location: Kelley Hall 212
Kari   Commerford, M.A. headshot
Lecturer in Psychology
B.A., Western Colorado University, M.A., Colorado School of Professional Psychology
Phone: 970.943.3018
Office Location: Kelley Hall 210
Susan Coykendall, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Psychology
B.A., Kalamazoo College, M.A., Counseling Psychology, The Ohio State University, 1990, Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, The Ohio State University, 1993
Phone: 970.943.2645
Office Location: Kelley Hall 209
Philip L. Crossley, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Geography
B.A., Trinity Western University, Music, 1986, M.A., University of Texas at Austin, Latin American Studies, 1990, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, Geography, 1999
Phone: 970.943.2800
Office Location: Kelley Hall 217
Lindsey C. Fast, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Professor of Psychology
B.S., Texas State University, Psychology, 2006, M.S., Colorado State University, Psychology, 2008, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Psychology, 2012
Phone: 970.943.2057
Office Location: Kelley Hall 224
Jacqulyn Gabriel, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Sociology
B.A., University of Iowa, Sociology, 1997, M.A., University of Nebraska at Omaha, Sociology, 2004 , Ph.D., Colorado State University, Sociology & Certificate of International Political Economy, 2016
Phone: 970.943.2289
Office Location: Kelley Hall 221
Greg Haase, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Sociology, Department Chair of Behavioral & Social Sciences Department
B.A., Louisiana State University, Sociology, 1977, M.A., Louisiana State University, Sociology, 1979, PhD., Colorado State University, Sociology, 1987
Phone: 970.943.2070
Office Location: Kelley Hall 218
Michael King, J.D. headshot
Instructor in Behavioral & Social Sciences Department
J.D., University of Oregon, 1996
Phone: 970.943.2041
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208B
Salif P. Mahamane, M.S. headshot
Assistant Professor of Psychology; Graduate Faculty, MEM
B.A., Baylor University, M.S., New Mexico Highlands University, Doctoral Candidate, Utah State University
Phone: 970.943.7037
Office Location: Kelley Hall 240
Kyle Robinson, Ph.D. headshot
Lecturer in History
B.A., Anderson University, M.A., Villanova University, Ph.D., University of Rochester
Phone: 970.943.2250
Office Location: Kelley Hall 223
Shannon Sprott headshot
Lecturer in Geography
Phone: 970.943.3021
Office Location: Kelley Hall 211
Maria Boikova Struble, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Politics & Government
B.A., Louisiana State University, English Literature and Political Science, 2002, M.A., Arizona State University, International Relations, 2004, Ph.D., Lancaster University, International Relations, 2009
Phone: 970.943.3024
Office Location: Kelley Hall 204
Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of History; Director of Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization
B.A., University of Saskatchewan, International Studies, 1987, M.A., Flinders University of South Australia, History, 1992, Ph.D., Tulane University, History, 2002
Phone: 970.943.7128
Office Location: Kelley Hall 225
Duane Vandenbusche, Ed.D. headshot
Professor of History; State Historian's Council, History Colorado
B.A., Northern Michigan University, 1959, M.A., Oklahoma State University, 1960, Ed.D., Oklahoma State University, 1964
Phone: 970.943.2068
Office Location: Kelley Hall 227
Cindy Whitney, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor of Sociology
B.A., Adams State University, Sociology/Psychology with emphases in Criminology and Social Welfare, M.S., Mankato State University at Mankato, Sociology and Higher Education, Ph.D., Kansas State University, Criminology and Gender
Phone: 970.943.2059
Office Location: Kelley Hall 213

The Behavioral & Social Sciences examine and quantify the essence of what it is to be human and how we organize our lives alone, together and within our environments. The various disciplines of the field look at the environmental, social and historical contexts in which human behavior occurs.

Areas of Study Include: 

Western graduate poses in front of Taylor Hall in Colorado Parks and Wildlife uniform

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice, Sociology, Criminal Justice Major
Western Geography Program

Geography & Geospatial Analysis

GEOG, Geography, Maps, Human Geography, GIS, Geospatial, Remote Sensing
Students attend model UN.

Global Studies

politics, global studies, global, world, global politics, politics and government, government
Students meet in history professors office


Secondary Licensure
HIST, History, Hitory Majors, World History, Political History, THE PAST
Professor teaches community about Latin American tradition

Latin American Studies

LAS, Latin American Studies, Latin American Studies Minor
Professor struble teaches politics class

Politics & Government

POLS, Politics and Government, Politics Club, Law School Preparation
Students in mock trial.


Law School, Pre-Law, LSAT
Rorschach inkblot tests on a table


PSY, Psychology Program, Western Psychology Program, Human Behavior, Animal Behavior
Students sitting in a sociology class


SOC, Sociology, Western Sociology, Human Behavior
Politics image

Politics & Government (3+2)

3+2 western, 3 + 2 western, 3 plus 2, three plus two, 3+2 grad program, master's in environmental management, master's degree, master's bachelor's combination
Students ask questions in class

Sociology (3+2)

3+2, 3 plus 2, three plus two, 3+2 grad program, Sociology 3+2, sociology master's, master's degree in environmental management