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FACULTY SPOTLIGHTS - Go back to spotlights

David Wissmann, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology and Chair of Law
and Justice Studies



Wissmann, Professor of Sociology and Chair of Law and Justice Studies, spends his time balancing his career and family. Teaching statistics and research methods at Avila, and completing research in organ transplantation donation behavior, has earned Wissmann many accolades. He has received a variety of honors with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, including being selected as one of the 10 members of the Higher Learning Commission’s advisory team for training and education.

“I have also received the Avila Medal of Honor and the Avila Professor of the Year awards,” Wissmann said. “The two honors are very nice, however, what keeps me going are the comments and successes of Avila’s students. I want them to walk away from class with the skills to both read and create scholarly work.”

One of Wissmann’s favorite courses is an interdisciplinary look at the culture, animals and plants of a tropical setting – taught in a tropical setting. Past years have included taking a group of 25-30 students to Hawaii or the Bahamas. Wissmann teams up with fellow Avila professor Dr. Robert Powell to teach the course every other year.

“The course represents one part of balance for me, the teaching of an Avila course,” Wissmann said. “The other balance for me is my family. The most exciting part of this past year for me has been the transitions of my two children.”

Wissmann’s daughter, Sarah, is a veterinary student at the Iowa State University School of Veterinary Medicine and son, Michael, is an undergraduate student at Baker University.

“For the first time Jeanne and I are empty nesters,” Wissmann said. “It’s new, so I’m not sure about the impact, but we definitely have more time for dates.”

Wissmann said that the key to happiness in his life is keeping everything balanced.

“Balance is what makes it work,” Wissman said. “My years at Avila are all about balance, the balance between my professional life and my personal life.”

Although Wissmann keeps busy balancing career and family, he still finds time for hobbies too.

“The hobby some know about is golf. My son has a goal of playing in all 50 states,” Wissmann said. “The hobby virtually no ones knows is the reading of British mysteries.”
Wissmann suggests reading the police procedural mysteries of Elizabeth George and Ruth Rendell.

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