Mary Laska, PhD
Mary Laska, PhD, is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in the School of General Education at Kaplan University. She joined Kaplan University as an adjunct professor in the fall of 2008 and was hired full time in 2009. She currently teaches career development strategy courses and a survey course, Exploring the 1960s—An Interdisciplinary Approach for Social Sciences. Dr. Laska is very well liked by her students and they remark in end of term evaluations that she is “an outstanding educator,” “inspirational and motivated me to do my best,” “encourages divergent viewpoints,” extremely helpful,” and “very attentive.”
Dr. Laska received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1995 and her PhD in Medical Sociology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2001. She has taught extensively in the Huntsville area including an appointment as a visiting professor at UA Huntsville. She has also been involved in local research and program evaluation, working as a Research Assistant at the National Children’s Advocacy Center. Dr. Laska has developed and taught many courses including Deviant Behavior, Research Methods, and a graduate-level social work course for a local institution.
Dr. Laska has broad research interests ranging from mental illness to the use of technology in the classroom and plagiarism. She began her career furthering research on mental health and focusing on the health of families dealing with the crisis of child sexual abuse. She also was involved in a project providing intervention services to schools to reduce the impact of poverty on school achievement. After beginning at Kaplan University, Dr. Laska became interested in the pedagogy of online teaching and began to see her classroom as an experiment in creating the best classroom environment for student success, including technology, curriculum choice and teacher-student interaction.
Mary lives in Huntsville, Alabama, with her husband and four children. When not being a sociologist, Mary loves to find time to sew and be creative.