Sarah Jirek, Ph. D.

Associate Professor of Sociology & Department Chair
(805) 565-6278

Office Location

Deane Hall 209

Office Available

Wednesday 3:15-5:00 PM and Friday 9:15-10:25 AM and you may email her for an appointment. 


Human Services, Sociological Practice, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Violence, Trauma Recovery.

Research Interests
  • Gendered violence

  • Trauma recovery and posttraumatic growth

  • How organizations, institutions, and helping professionals can play a more effective role in facilitating positive life change


Professor Jirek, a former Westmont valedictorian, returned to her alma mater as a faculty member in 2014. Her current research project explores the sociological factors—related to social context, intersectional identities, structural systems of privilege and oppression, and cumulative adversity—that impact trauma recovery and the development of posttraumatic growth. Dr. Jirek’s other teaching and research interests include gender, social inequalities, identity, violence, deviance, prison re-entry, meaning-making, narrative, and resilience. When not teaching, researching, or training for her next marathon, she enjoys hiking, reading, chocolate, and spending time with her family and friends.