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Department of Sociology

Joanna Gregson

Acting Associate President and Academic Counsel

Acting Associate President and Academic Counsel Joanna Gregson
Not Teaching
  • Professional
  • Personal

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Professor of Sociology


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1998
  • B.A., Sociology, Western Washington University, 1993

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Research Methods
  • Deviance / Criminology
  • Sex and Gender
  • Family


  • Culture of Teenage Mothers, (State University of New York Press, 2010) : View Book


As Acting Associate President and Academic Counsel, Dr. Joanna Gregson collaborates with, supports, and advises Acting President Allan Belton on strategic planning for the academic division, including advising on new academic initiatives, faculty affairs, and advancing the academic mission and intellectual positioning of PLU.  Given their respective areas of expertise, Allan and Joanna divide some of the tasks typically associated with the president and contribute equally to others.

Dr. Gregson joined the Department of Sociology at PLU in 1998. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Washington University, and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was promoted to the rank of Professor in 2012.

As a faculty member, Dr. Gregson has taught and conducted research in the areas of deviance, gender, and qualitative research methods. Over the span of her career, she has published on such topics as teenage mothers, incarcerated mothers, and divorced women. Since 2010 she has been conducting participant observation research with the authors of romance novels, examining the gendered aspects of the career and how women experience writing what has been described as the most popular, least respected literary genre.

At PLU, Dr. Gregson has a long record of faculty governance and leadership experience. She has served on and chaired the Campus Life Committee, the Rank and Tenure Committee, and the Governance Committee, and has served as Chair of the Faculty, Vice Chair of the Faculty, and Faculty Secretary. Her service record also includes chairing the Department of Sociology and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Dr. Gregson was honored with the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2011, and the PLU Mortar Board Society “Top Prof” award in 2017.