Professor Spotlight: Debra Wetcher-Hendricks

Dr. Debra Wetcher-Hendricks

Dr. Debra Wetcher-Hendricks

Dr. Debra Wetcher-Hendricks is the department chair and professor of sociology at Moravian College. She received her B.A. from Glassboro State College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Lehigh University. Her areas of research include research design and analysis, research ethics, interpersonal and mass communication, popular culture, and gender issues. Besides her scholarly work, she is also listed in the 2008 and 2009 editions of Marquis Who’s Who in America and serves on the executive board of the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium.

What inspired you to go into your field of study? 

I actually found my field of study, social research methodology and data analysis, by accident. Students in my master’s program in social relations were encouraged to enroll in a statistics course. I did and realized that I really, really liked the process of organizing and evaluating quantitative data.

What research are you currently working on? 

 I’m currently involved in a few projects. One that I recently presented at a regional conference addresses differences in spending habits among those in various generations. Mostly, though, I focus my research on the use and development of statistical procedures for providing the most accurate analysis of data possible.

What do you think is the most recent important development in your field of study?  

In sociology and social research, there are constantly new developments. I suppose, though, that increased understanding of the impact that inequality (economic, racial, ethnic, gender-based, etc.) has upon our culture is always at the forefront of sociological thought. 

What job would you have if you couldn’t be a professor, regardless of salary and job outcome? Why?

My original goal was to enter the media industry. But, I probably wouldn’t have been happy doing that. A job that would make me happy would probably involve something that allowed me to be creative but didn’t necessarily require artistic skills (I have none). Something like architecture would have been a possibility because it would simply require drawing lines and angles (which I can manage) to document my visions of structures I’d design.

What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were in college? 

Things that seem as though they’re big deals in college generally aren’t big deals in the long run.

What is your biggest student pet peeve? 

I have SO MANY! A pet peeve that I can’t escape, though, is people using poor grammar.

What was the last streaming show that you binge-watched or the last good book that you read? 

Unfortunately, I don’t have time for binge watching or pleasure reading.

What’s your spirit animal and why?

It would probably be a cat. Besides the fact that I’ve always liked cats, I am in awe of their nonchalance and assumption that everything will fall into place for them.

What is your favorite activity to do during the COVID-19 quarantine? 

Honestly, I’ve been so busy with my classes (trying to keep the students involved and content is a nonstop effort) that I haven’t really done much else. The most I can say is that I try to get outside every day and have found a new game to play on my iPad when I’m waiting for people to respond to emails.