Nijole V. Benokraitis, professor emerita of sociology at the University of Baltimore, taught the marriage and family course for almost 25 years. It was her favorite class but her courses in racial and ethnic relations and gender roles ran a close second. Professor Benokraitis received a B.A. in sociology and English from Emmanuel College in Boston, an M.A. in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. She was a strong proponent of applied sociology and required her students to enhance their knowledge through interviews, direct observation, and other hands-on learning methods. She also enlisted her students in community service activities such as tutoring and mentoring inner-city high school students, writing to government officials and other decision makers about specific social problems, and volunteering research services to nonprofit organizations. Professor Benokraitis immigrated to the United States from Lithuania with her family after World War II as a political refugee when she was five years old. She is bilingual and bicultural and is very empathetic of students who must balance the demands of several cultural worlds. She has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited ten books, including Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology, Contemporary Ethnic Families in the United States: Characteristics, Variations, and Dynamics; Feuds about Families: Conservative, Centrist, Liberal, and Feminist Perspectives; and Modern Sexism: and Blatant, Subtle, and Covert Discrimination. Dr. Benokraitis has published numerous articles and book chapters on topics such as institutional racism, discrimination against women in government and higher education, fathers in two-earner families, displaced homemakers, and family policy. She has received grants and fellowships from many institutions, including the National Institute of Mental Health, the Ford Foundation, the American Educational Research Association, the Administration on Aging, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has also served as a consultant in the areas of sex and race discrimination to women's commissions, business groups, colleges and universities, federal government programs, and the American Association of University Women's International Fellowships Program. Dr. Benokraitis has made several appearances on radio and television shows on gender communication differences and single-sex educational institutions. She currently serves on the editorial board of Women & Criminal Justice and reviews manuscripts for several academic journals. Professor Benokraitis lives in Maryland with her husband, Dr. Vitalius Benokraitis, a vice president at a technology assessment company. They have two adult children, Gema and Andrius. The author looks forward (and always responds) to comments on the 7th edition of Marriages and Families: Changes, Choices, and Constraints. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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