New Barton sociology instructor touts degree’s flexibility and diverse applications

November 8, 2017
Story and portrait by Brandon Steinert

Academics Month 2017: This story is the first of four in a series focused on some of Barton’s popular traditional academic offerings. The series was inspired by the inaugural Barton Academics Month through November. A new story will be released each week.

Kurt Konda is halfway through his first semester as the new sociology instructor at Barton Community College, and he said it’s everything he expected.

Konda said he thinks of sociology as the mother science, as it pulls from psychology, economics, political science, anthropology and other sciences.

He said the broad spectrum of topics covered makes a degree in sociology adaptable to an individual’s interests and goals, including academia, government, data analysis, counseling, teaching, human resources, marketing and more.

“You name it and sociology can be a useful degree for you and give you a good background,” he said.

Konda’s own background reflects the adaptability of the degree. He earned his first bachelor’s degree in history in 2001, then later earned a master’s in sociology in 2005.

“I chose sociology as a discipline because it spoke to me,” he said. “I always had a strong background in history which gave me a firm understanding of ‘what’ happened, but sociology with its holistic approach that encompasses all of the other social sciences did such a good job of explaining ‘why’ that I found it very appealing.”

He spent time working in the Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita (KUSM-Wichita), focusing on things like pandemic preparedness, epilepsy and stigma, health disparities, the built environment and worksite wellness until the summer of 2017 when he accepted the full time teaching position at Barton.

“My work (at KUSM-Wichita) was very much applied sociology with a strong emphasis on research,” he said. “During that time, I also worked as an adjunct, at places like Friends University, Hutchinson Community College, Upper Iowa University and Southwestern College before leaving for the full-time position here.”

The advantage of attending Barton, Konda added, includes diversity of the student population, variety of classes and small class sizes for enhanced one-on-one attention and social interaction.

“It’s a great place to be,” he said. “People can stop in any time or email me. I’m happy to talk about sociology.”

Konda is available at kondak@bartonccc.edu.

Portrait of Kurt Konda.
Kurt Konda, Sociology Instructor