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Arts and Sciences

Social Sciences

Social sciences are the academic disciplines concerned with understanding society, and include the disciplines of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, and Women’s Studies. Social sciences use multiple methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative methods and scientific and historical approaches.

The Social Sciences Department at Aims Community College offers a wide range of instructional opportunities. Students who are already interested in careers in teaching, the law, government/public service, politics, the economics community, and countless others will find our courses pave the way to that employment. If you choose to earn a liberal arts degree with designation in a social science subject area, your courses will transfer to any participating public four-year university in Colorado.

If you are unsure of your major or career choices, you may find that social sciences can help you hone in on educational and career options that you may not have considered. These courses help you meet required Aims associate degree courses, and they serve as electives within nearly any program.

For more information on these programs, call (970) 339-6296 or stop by the Social Sciences Administrative Office in Westview 247.


Anthropology studies the biological and cultural variations among and between humans, our ancestors and our primate relatives. It also seeks to explain the social characteristics, customs and beliefs of past and present peoples. The main subfields of American anthropology include cultural anthropology (the study of living human cultures), linguistic anthropology (the study of language and communication), archaeology (the study of past human societies) and physical/biological anthropology (the study of our evolutionary ancestors, our primate relatives and modern biological diversity).

Faculty and Staff

Anthropology classes are learner-centered and culturally responsive. The Anthropology Department strives to give voice and academic wings to students by consistently updating classes in response to the reflective thoughts of both students and instructors. As an anthropology student, you will hone your critical thinking skills and deepen your awareness of global diversity.

Cerisa Reynolds Headshot

Cerisa Reynolds

Professor, Anthropology
Eden Welker

Eden Welker

Adjunct Faculty, Anthropology and Ethnic Studies
Headshot of Aims Social Sciences Instructor Meredith Wismer

Meredith Wismer

Adjunct Faculty, Anthropology
Headshot of Aims anthropology adjunct instructor Jill Scott

Jill Scott

Adjunct Faculty, Anthropology


Jobs, unemployment, inflation, interest rates, exchange rates, productivity, cost of production and price elasticity are all terms seen and heard in the media.

The discipline of economics seeks to understand and analyze the relationships between these dynamics. In simple terms, economics examines how a country’s resources are used to meet the needs of its citizens, and is concerned with the production and consumption of goods and services. Macroeconomics deals with the economy as a whole, while microeconomics focuses on the behavior of individual economic agents.

  • Banking
  • Business
  • Consulting
  • Finance
  • Teaching

Faculty & Staff

Portrait of Moumita Roy

Moumita Roy

Instructor of Economics


You might think geography is only about memorizing places such as states and capitals, rivers, mountains and countries. However, geography is about more than rote memorization of place names. Geography looks at the relationship between people and their physical environment (planet Earth) and helps explain human behavior, especially in relation to any movement on the Earth’s surface.

Geographers are highly skilled and experienced professionals. Careers that combine geography and technology such as GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are especially in demand.

  • Business
  • Government
  • Planning
  • Teaching

Faculty & Staff

Portrait of Mark Moody

Mark Moody

Professor, Geography


History analyzes records to describe and explain past peoples and their civilizations. Considered part of the humanities by many, history relies heavily on both the creative and scientific methods of understanding the past and informing the future.

We offer a variety of history courses, many of which will transfer to any four-year college in Colorado. If you'd like to earn a bachelor's degree in history, you can get started at Aims and earn a liberal arts associate degree with designation in history, where most courses will transfer to any four-year public school in Colorado.

  • Researcher
  • Journalist, Editor or Public Relations Specialist
  • Archivist
  • Lobbyist
  • Legal Assistant
  • Teacher

Why Study History

History teaches us first and foremost how the world was before we got here, and why it is the way it is today. Students of history learn how to write and reason, research and analyze.

Here is what some experts add about why we should study history:

A Selection of Essays
  • Peter N. Stearns, professor of history, George Mason University
  • William McNeillAuthor of "Plagues and People" and "Rise of the West"
  • Steven Kreis, Author of  "The History Guide: A Student's Guide to the Study of History"

Research Resources

Professional Associations

Many professional associations offer special low-cost membership to students, as well as opportunities for students to present before their peers and mingle with some of the best in the field.

  • American Historical Association The granddaddy of them all and sponsor of the American Historical Review
  • Organization of American Historians. A good organization for those interested in teaching as well as scholarship, sponsor of the Journal of American History
  • World History Association. Conferences and publications focus on teaching world history. This organization is especially welcoming to students and community college instructors
  • Community College Humanities Association Most of the world outside Colorado considers history a humanities and not a social science. This organization sponsors stipends for trips abroad, seminars on historical subjects and conferences where students are welcome.

Faculty & Staff

Portrait of Michael Booker

Michael Booker

Professor, History
Portrait of Merle Funk

Merle Funk

Professor, History
Portrait of Clint Heiner

Clint Heiner

Department Chair - Social Sciences
Professor, History

Political Science

Political Science studies the theory and practice of the government, political systems and political behavior. It examines ethics, political theory and philosophy, and touches on several other related fields like the law, international relations and more.

  • Federal, State and Local Governments
  • Law
  • Business
  • International Organizations
  • Campaign Management
  • Journalism
  • Teaching


Sociology is the study of human social life and the interdependent social institutions (culture, the economy, religion and education) that influence people. It is guided by the understanding that our lives are affected by our “social location” (class position, race/ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation), as well as individual experiences in the world.

The study of sociology is vast, from the research of family unit relationships to the disconnect that gender, class, race and ethnicity may cause to the exploration of remote cultures. Specialties within sociology include criminal justice, cultural sociology, family studies, race/ethnic relations, education and popular culture.  

  • International Relations
  • Social Work
  • Law
  • Business Administration
  • Education

Faculty & Staff

Headshot of Aims Community College psychology professor Dr. ShawnaLee Washam

ShawnaLee Washam

Department Chair, WEBSA
Professor, Psychology
HEadshot of Cathy Beighey

Cathy Beighey

Professor, Sociology
Margaret Lambeth

Margaret Lambeth

Part-Time: Coaching, Mentoring, Trainings, Behavioral Sciences
Elizabeth Osborn headshot

Elizabeth Osborn

Part-time Instructor: Women & Gender Studies
Aims Community College sociology instructor Jami Ryba

Jami Ryba

Part-Time: Substitute, Early College
Karen Scarpella headshot

Karen Scarpella

Adjunct Instructor: Psychology, Sociology and Women & Gender Studies
Mark Shuey

Mark Shuey

Part-Time: Faculty, Social Science

Ryan Tauber

Part-Time: Instructor, Concurrent Enrollment