Dr. David Kirschner


Dr. David Kirschner

Associate Professor of Sociology, Human Services and Cultural Studies Department Chair

Office W-3273
Office phone
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Dr. David Kirschner is a micro-sociologist trained in the symbolic interactionist tradition. His research focuses on the intersection of micro-sociology, human-computer interaction and game-based learning. He earned his PhD in sociology in 2014 from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where he studied how videogame players are socialized into virtual worlds, including how they learn game rules and social norms through interaction with human and non-human others. Kirschner has since explored topics such as virtual reality sickness, gamification and health activism, gender representation in videogame advertisements, the dynamics of multi-player online gaming, sociological perspectives on role-playing games, and both self-directed and social-emotional learning in videogames. Current research projects include exploring communities of practice among artificial intelligences in single-player videogames and assessing student satisfaction of videogame-based learning in the classroom. His research has been published in various outlets in sociology, game studies and education, including the journals Symbolic Interaction, Simulation & Gaming and Computers & Education.

Kirschner came to GGC in 2015 and was promoted to associate professor of sociology in 2021. Before becoming the chair of the Human Services and Cultural Studies Department (2022-present), he served as the chair of studies for human development and aging services (2019-2022) and as coordinator for the sociology discipline (2017-2019). He has taught numerous courses in sociology and human services, such as Games, Learning, and Society, Death, Grief, and Dying, Environmental Sociology, Social Theory, Sociology of Disability, Writing in the Social Sciences, and Human Services Senior Capstone.

In his free time, he enjoys playing videogames (obviously), reading, hiking / camping / backpacking, cooking, watching horror movies and listening to death metal music with his grumpy old cat named Baby.


  • Doctorate – sociology – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Master’s – social science education with emphasis in history – University of Georgia
  • Bachelor’s – sociology – University of Georgia

Training and Certifications

  • 2024, January 10-11, Department Chair Leadership Institute, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Washington, D.C.
  • 2023, December 31, QM Rubric Update Seventh Edition
  • 2023, July 17-18, New Deans and Chairs Workshop, University System of Georgia, Middle Georgia State College
  • 2023, June 9-23, Strategic Leadership Program, Chronicle of Higher Education, virtual
  • 2023, May 9-30, Peer Reviewer Course, Quality Matters
  • 2022, May 10-24, Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR), Quality Matters

Academic Interests

  • Human-computer interaction
  • Gaming
  • Media and society
  • Socialization
  • Qualitative research methods


Selected Publications


  • 2022-2023, recipient, GGC Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award
  • 2022-2023, recipient, Career Services Career Development Integration Award
  • 2021-2022, recipient, Career Development and Advising Center’s Career Development Integration Award
  • 2021-2022, nominee, GGC Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, Outstanding Faculty Service Award and Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award
  • 2019-2020, nominee, GGC Outstanding Student Engagement Award
  • 2018-2019, nominee, GGC Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award
  • 2016-2017, nominee, GGC Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award