• A.B., Kenyon College 1981
  • M.A., Northwestern University 1983
  • Ph.D. Northwestern University 1988


Areas of Interest
  • Rural Poverty and Welfare
  • Gender Roles
  • Childcare
  • Children and Family
  • Women and Work

Professor Fitz Gibbon published research focuses on definitions of motherhood within the welfare system and on child care systems. She has also been an active community based researcher, evaluating anti-poverty and family literacy community programs. She is currently conducting research on the nature and characteristics of poverty in micropolitan regions.

Courses Taught
  • SOCI 204: Self and Society
  • SOCI 206: Urban Sociology
  • SOCI 207: Sociology of Gender
  • SOAN 340: Ethnographic Research
  • SOCI 350: Classical Social Theory
  • SOCI 351: Contemporary Social Theory

She teaches Urban Sociology, Sociology of Gender, Introduction to Sociology, Urban Studies, and Self and Society.


2018. Fitz Gibbon, Heather; Ketcham, Caroline; Hall, Eric; Walkington, Helen. “Co-Mentoring in Undergraduate Research: A Faculty Development Perspective” in Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research. Council for Undergraduate Research.

2017. Nicholson, Brittany; Michelle Bata; Evan Bradley, Heather Fitz Gibbon, Caroline Ketcham, and Meagen Pollock. “Beyond the Mentor-Mentee Model: A Case for MultiMentoring in Undergraduate Research” in Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring, Special Issue: Co-mentoring, Mentoring Networks, and Mentoring Models.

2017. Bradley, Evan; Brittany Nicholson*, Michelle Bata, Evan Bradley, Heather Fitz Gibbon, Caroline Ketcham, and Meagen Pollock. “The structure of mentoring in undergraduate research: Multi-mentor models” in SPUR: Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research. Winter 2017

2016. Fitz Gibbon, Heather; Hurst, Chuck and Nurse, Anne, Social Inequality: Forms, Causes, and Consequences. 9th ed. Routledge Press, 2016.

2010. “Learning to Mother: The Definition of Motherhood by Participants in a Welfare Reform Parenting Class.” The International Journal of Sociology of the Family. Vol. 36, no. 1, Spring, 2010.

2002. “Child Care Across Sectors: A Comparison of the Work of Child Care in Three Settings” in Child Care and Inequality: Re-Thinking Carework for Children and Youth, edited by Francesca Cancian, Demie Kurz, Andrew london, Rebecca Reviere, and Mary Tuominen. Routledge Press. 2002.

Professional Affiliations
  • American Sociological Association
  • Urban Affairs Association
  • Named “Friend of Young Children” by the Wayne County Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Named to Who’s Who in American Teachers