Elizabeth Bittel

Teaching and Mentorship

Click for Teaching Philosophy

"There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the 'practice of freedom', the means by which men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”  
- Richard Shaull, drawing on Paulo Freire

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, State University of New York College at Cortland (Fall 2019 - onward)

Department of Sociology and Department of Continuing Education, University of Colorado at Boulder (2011 - 2019)

  • Environment and Society (face-to-face and online)

  • Sociology of Hazards and Disasters

  • Field Methods

  • Introduction to Sociology (Lead Teaching Assistant, face-to-face and online)

  • Deviance in U.S. Society (Lead Teaching Assistant)

Please email me to request a copy of my Teaching Philosophy and/or Teaching Portfolio.

SUNY Cortland students with questions about current and upcoming courses should contact me via email.

Courses and Syllabi

SOCY 2077_1.jpg

Environment and Society

This elective course examines the relationship between human societies and the natural world. A key component of understanding and addressing environmental problems lies in our ability to look closely at the values we hold as individuals and as a society. In understanding how these values manifest in the environmental problems we now face, we can begin to address the "root of the problem" and work more effectively for long-term change in this area.

SOCY 4037_1.jpg

sociology of hazards and disasters

This upper level elective course course is an introduction to the sociological analysis of contemporary disasters. This course explores the societal dimensions of hazards and disasters, and questions how our lifestyle, traditions, and institutions create the ways in which we interact with the natural and built environment.

SOCY 3041_1.jpg

Field methods

Field methods for Sociology students. This is an upper level, project-based course that guides students through the process of developing a research question, conducting field research, and analyzing primary data.


BATTI_LS_school mural of tsunami.JPG

Teaching Module created for the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies

This two-part curriculum module created for the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies introduces learners to theories of disaster recovery and social capital by invoking case studies of Sri Lankan communities in the context of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the ethnic conflict (1983-2009).

teaching 2.JPG

As part of my work with the Natural Hazards Center, I developed and implemented an on-campus research-oriented internship program for undergraduate students. Interns work with staff and graduate-student researchers on active research grants and publications. Since piloting our internship program in summer 2017, we have hosted students from Sociology, Environmental Studies, Geography, Anthropology, Engineering, Information Sciences, and Journalism.

Undergraduate students interested in internships and research assistantships for summer 2019 onward should contact Katie Murphy with any questions and to request an application: Katherine.Murphy-1 (at) Colorado.EDU.