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I was born in Lynn, Massachusetts of working class parents. My father escaped Lithuania in 1939, just before World War II. His entire family was killed there by German Einsatzgruppen who followed the Nazi troops. I was the first born child after that family trauma. It is for this reason that I have dedicated my life to remembering and speaking for the disenfranchised and marginalized members of society.

I was the class actress when I graduated high school in 1962. I then attended Northeastern University in Boston, where I majored in Sociology with a minor in Psychology.

I then went to Wurzweiler School of Social Work of Yeshiva University where I received an MSW in 1969. In 1975 I obtained a Masters in Public Health from University of California at Berkeley and a PhD from Cornell University in 1985.

I love to write books, and I have also written articles on globalization, radical women's history, treatment of child abuse perpetrators, domestic violence perpetrators and spirituality. For more information about this, see my expertise page.

From 1977-2001 I taught Sociology at Ithaca College, where I also coordinated the Social Work Minor. Now I am the Dean of Social Science at Sonoma State University and a professor of Sociology.

Mark Mathabane and me at IC, November 2000. Photo: Eskil Sivertsen

A partial list of my courses include Introduction to Sociology, Social Change, Family Violence, American Jewish Life, Sociological Theory, The Holocaust: The Sociology of Genocide, Treatment and Prevention of Family Violence and Social Policy.

I love to teach and I truly enjoy engaging in growthful dialogues with young people.I know that Sociology is a "terrible and magnificent lesson" and I want students to be challenged by those lessons. Now as a dean I hope to impact change at the university level but most of all I want to help students make sense of a changing society and to help them influence it.

Elaine, 3/31/04

Last updated 03/31/04. Copyright 2000 by Elaine Leeder and US2 Design. All rights reserved.