NPC Welcomes Kruzel

Amanda Kruzel head shot in front of greenery.National Park College (NPC) welcomed Amanda Kruzel to the Social Sciences Division faculty this semester. Kruzel is an assistant professor of Sociology. She holds a Master of Arts in Sociology and Social Anthropology from Central European University, a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Cultures and Politics, and a Bachelor of Arts in History. She is originally from Michigan, but has spent the past five years living and teaching abroad in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Hungary and Austria.

Kruzel said her interest in NPC started with the connection to Hot Springs National Park and her love for the location and the natural environment of the campus. She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming. She described the College as a supportive community that is welcoming and student centered. “One of the things I am learning now more that I am here is the support of the local community in terms of social issues, which as a sociologist is very interesting and important to me too.”

Kruzel said she is excited to make connections and share experiences with her students, especially during this unique time in history. “What better time is there to study Sociology? There is so much going on and one of the best things about this field is that everybody can relate and make connections to their own lives, the good, the bad and the ugly.” She hopes students who leave her classroom will be able to connect their own personal experiences to broader social phenomena.

Helping her students to develop a critical mindset and creating community in the classroom are the two most important motivators for Kruzel. “We really dig deep into problems like inequality and social issues, because there are so many going on around us, especially right now. So many people are out of work, people are sick, people are disconnected. We think about innovative ways to solve these issues. Everybody says Sociology is such a depressing subject, which in some ways it is, but it can also give you the tools to alleviate problems and it can be really fun too. It can teach you to think about your own society from a totally different perspective and really shift your thinking 180 degrees.”

Social Sciences Division Chair, Dr. Charles Argo said, "Amanda has such tremendous enthusiasm for teaching and does a wonderful job engaging students in the classroom. We are very lucky to have her at NPC."