Dr. Duane Matcha is the director of the Health Studies major and coordinator of the Health Policy track. He also serves as coordinator of the minor in Health Studies as well as department chair in sociology. He started at Siena College in 1991 and developed the program and curriculum of the Health Studies major, which was approved through the NYS Board of Regents and Office of Profession in 2016.
While much of Dr. Matcha’s research as of late has examined the baby boom generation, it is directly related to health policy because of the growing population of older Americans and the need to address health policy concerns. The graying of America is not unique, as it is also an issue in all developed countries. They all have older age populations that are a greater percentage of the population than in the United States.
Ph.D., Sociology, Pursue University
M.A., Social Science (Sociology), North Dakota State University
B.A., Social Science, Minot State College
Favorite Courses to Teach
It’s hard to identify one class and say this is my favorite. I enjoy all of my classes for different reasons. For example, Global Social Problems is enjoyable because it introduces students to issues they are somewhat aware of, but do not generally view in a global context or understand that solutions exist, but are not implemented for a variety of reasons.
Health and Illness is an enjoyable class because students come to understand that health (at the individual and societal level) is more the result of societal forces than individual behavior.
Aging in a Global Environment is enjoyable because students are engaged in a topic in which they have limited knowledge beyond their grandparents.
Why I Chose Siena
Siena offered me the best of both worlds. On the one hand, Siena’s emphasis on teaching allows me the opportunity to explore, with students, the complex social world in which we live. At the same time, Siena expects me to engage in research that will enrich my teaching. Over the years the school has given me the ability to do my research and to engage in academic writing.
Professor of Sociology, Siena College, 2005 - Now
Associate Professor of Sociology, Siena College, 1997 - 2005
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Siena College, 1991 – 1997
Assistant Professor of Social Science, University of Findlay, 1986 - 1991
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Butler University, 1986 - 1986
Part-Time Instructor, DePauw University, 1985 - 1985
Associate Faculty Member, Indiana University-Purdue, 1982 - 1986
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Purdue University, 1979 – 1982
Research Assistant, North Dakota Department of Health, 1978 - 1979
Graduate Assistant, North Dakota State University, 1977 - 1979
Social Worker II, Cavalier County Social Services, 1976 - 1977
Outreach Worker, Minot Commission on Aging, 1974 - 1976
My Teaching Philosophy
My philosophy of teaching is to engage students to better understand the social world in which they live.. I believe that this is accomplished through lecture, discussion, group projects, and writing. I also believe it is important for students to understand not only the problems that exist within our society as well as others, but also the solutions that have been implemented to correct the inequities that permeate our social world. This is accomplished through a critical analysis of the structure of society as well as of those we hold accountable for such inequity. Essentially, I am a pessimist. By examining what’s wrong, and if we can find how to make it right, we have a sense of accomplishment.