Unlike her husband, who did not know his father well and never had a stable home life, Michelle Robinson was raised in a loving, two-parent family on Chicago's South Side. Her childhood home, a one-bedroom apartment inside a brick bungalow, isn't far from the $ million house where the Obamas now live. Her mother, Marian, was a doting presence, a stay-at-home mom who often made lunch for her daughter and friends and listened patiently to all the school gossip. But the family's home life was dominated by her quiet but formidable father, Fraser. Once a gifted athlete, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in his 20s. Despite his physical limitations, he woke early each morning and went to work at the municipal water department. A lifelong Democrat, he was a precinct captain.
Both Michelle and Barack Obama have stated that their personal priority is their two daughters, Malia and Sasha. The parents realized that the move from Chicago to Washington . would be a major adjustment for any family. Residing in the White House, having Secret Service protection and always being in the wake of their parents' public obligations has dramatically transformed their lives. Both parents try to make their daughters' world as "normal" as possible, with set times for studying, going to bed and getting up. "My first priority will always be to make sure that our girls are healthy and grounded," Michelle said. "Then I want to help other families get the support they need, not just to survive, but to thrive."
Students will have the knowledge and ability to use sociological concepts creatively in analyzing and critically thinking about social phenomena. Graduates in sociology will have acquired an appreciation of the need for evidence, not only for public policy decisions, but for life decisions. Graduates will also have acquired sensitivity to people from various ethnic, religious, racial, economic backgrounds, and sexual identities, and will see how prejudice and discrimination are socially created attitudes and behaviors. They will be able to critically analyze the news of the day as well as changes in the global economy and other major social institutions.