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Amy Orr George A. Westcott III Distinguished Professor of Sociology; Co-Coordinator, Gender Studies

Amy J. Orr

George A. Westcott III Distinguished Professor of Sociology; Co-Coordinator, Gender Studies


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Notre Dame; M.A., Sociology, University of Notre Dame; B.S., Sociology-Anthropology; Psychology, Nebraska Wesleyan University

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Primary Courses: SOCL 101: Fundamentals of Sociology; SOAN/GENS 205: Gender & Society; SOAN 265: Race & Ethnicity; SOAN 280: Families in Comparative Perspective; SOAN 307: Social Research Methods; SOCL 335: Sociology of Education; SOAN 470: Society, State, and Social Policy

Courses Previously Taught: SOAN 210: Sports and Society; SOAN 465: Self and Society;  IQST (INQS) 125: Great Social Policy Debates of Our Time; IDST 090: Global Issues Forum

Courses Supervised: SOAN 040: Community Service; SOAN 085: Exploring Sociology & Anthropology; SOAN 439: Peer Instruction; SOAN 480: Independent Study; SOAN 487: Internship; SOAN 490: Research/Thesis; GENS 487: Internship; IDST 007: Colloquium 

Courses Abroad: SOAN 398: How Children Learn: Scandinavian Schools, Society, and Culture (2010); SOAN 298: Confronting 21st-Century Challenges: Social Problems and Policy in Austria (2021)



Professor Orr’s research focuses on a number of issues related to education. Her primary research focus is educational inequality, with a specific emphasis on racial/ethnic and gender differences in academic achievement. Her work has been published in journals such as Sociology of Education and Sex Roles. While she focuses primarily on the U.S., she has also examined issues surrounding immigration and education in Scandinavia and educational inequality in Ghana. In addition, Orr has published several manuscripts that address issues in undergraduate research, including two that have focused specifically on engaging students in undergraduate research while studying abroad. Her current research examines threats to academic freedom in higher education.


Professor Orr regularly engages in collaborative research projects with students. Topics explored have included: gender and political framing, media framing of the “boy crisis” in education, determinants of Hispanic academic achievement, educational inequality in Ghana, and the history/current status of select hate groups.


Professor Orr has been actively engaged in a number of professional organizations, including the Pacific Sociological Association, Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society, and AAUP-Oregon. She served as a member of the Alpha Kappa Delta national council from 2012-2019, and as the President of the Pacific Sociological Association from 2017-2018. Orr has also served on the editorial board of Sociology of Education (a journal of the American Sociological Association), and as an Advisory Editor for Sociological Perspectives.


Professor Orr currently serves as the faculty representative for the Linfield College chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society, the faculty mentor for SAGE (Students Advocating for Gender Equality), and a faculty supervisor for the Peer Body Project.