Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Robert McConnell

Robert McConnell


7030-D Haley Center


  • Bachelor of Arts (2000) Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Master of Arts (2002) Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Office Hours

  • By appointment

About Robert McConnell

Dr. Robert Day McConnell grew up in the hills, fields, and woods of rural western Pennsylvania.  He remembers well his first encounter with sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (BA ’00, MA ’02), which he proudly claims as his alma mater.  His first sociology course in his first semester of college broadened his view of the world and gave him the experience of a deeper understanding of it.  Dr. McConnell’s main objective in teaching sociology has been to impart the same to his students by showing them the insights of the sociological perspective.  Dr. McConnell has taught across a range of places and settings over the course of thirteen years, including The University of Virginia, where he completed his Ph.D. in 2010.  Some of his most rewarding teaching was when he taught principles of sociology and social problems at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in a satellite program of Piedmont Virginia Community College. 

Dr. Robert McConnell’s major areas of interest are sociological theory, criminology, criminal justice, sociology of religion, and prison sociology.  While in the Master of Arts program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, McConnell studied the newly emerging rational-choice theory of religion and wrote his master’s thesis on this.  For his dissertation at The University of Virginia, McConnell combined his interests in religion and incarceration in a qualitative study of religion in prison.  He observed incarcerated men in religious services and interviewed 80 of them about their religious lives in prison.  McConnell hopes to continue this kind of research in prison sociology and to further develop qualitative and theoretical understanding of crime and criminal justice.

Last Updated: October 01, 2020