Dan Peterson, sociology professor and chair of
the department of social sciences;
- Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska
at Lincoln in 1970, business administration
- Master’s degree from SDSU in 1972, social
- Doctorate in sociology, SDSU in 1987, sociology
- Taught high school economics and sociology, 74-77
- Joined the BHSU faculty in 1977
Dr. Dan Peterson, who began teaching economics and
social science classes at BHSU in 1977, is described by a colleague as a
“Dan is patient, non-judgmental and a friend,” says
longtime colleague Dr. George Earley, who shared an office with Peterson
for many years. “When describing Dan as a free spirit, I mean someone
who is easy-going, slow to anger, and more concerned about content than
Earley says that Peterson worked hard to make the
sociology major one of the best majors at the university and deserves
credit for his effort.
The sociology professor is actively involved in many
professional organizations and encourages students to present at
national and regional meetings. He served as president of the Midwestern
Society of Sociologists.
During his tenure at BHSU, Peterson received a
Fulbright Scholarship to study in India, received two governor’s awards
for course redevelopment and participated in a global conditions and
world hunger institute in 1994.
Peterson says he “doesn’t have a clue” what he’ll do
when he retires; however, a brief discussion with him reveals a variety
of interests and it’s easy to see that he’ll rely on his “free spirit
personality” to keep life interesting. Dan is a world-wide traveler who
has been around the globe before and is ready to go again.
“I figure 28 years is enough. I decided it was time to
give someone else an opportunity to teach these classes,” Peterson says.
Peterson started teaching as a part-time economist and
part-time sociologist. Through the years, his teaching load has evolved
into teaching sociology courses full time. Peterson has a list of 22
different classes that he has taught in the nearly three decades he has
spent at BHSU. He says he especially enjoyed teaching the social theory
and social stratification classes.
Peterson has seen many changes at BHSU and notes that
he has seen the campus evolve through the years. He says that facility
additions have transformed the campus into “much more of a university
According to Peterson, the highlight for him as a
professor is hearing from students after they have graduated and are
working in the field.
“We have some really fine people who have come through
this institution,” Peterson says. “Many have gone on to earn Ph.D.s and
are working in interesting and demanding jobs. We should be very proud
of our students. It’s heartening to know that they are out there doing
Peterson’s wife, Barb, is an elementary school
counselor and their daughter is currently completing a bachelor’s degree
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