Sociology

Brittany Coombs ‘10 SOCY-BrittanyCoombs 8)
F09-S10 D-plan: R-R-R
Sociology modified with “Media Studies”

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

My absolute favorite thing about the Sociology department is how flexible it is—no matter what profession or field of study strikes your fancy, everything around us is Sociology, because everything is social. Our lives revolve around other human beings and the trends we as a species (and as subgroups) either follow or break. Sociology asks us to think about who we are and why we do the things we do: it’s a humanities-based science that relies on hard numbers, history, moral laws, federal laws, and common sense. I love that every “–ology” ultimately comes back to Sociology.

Important info for potential majors:

Sociology isn’t for purists—no academic field is more squarely in the middle of humanities and science. If you do not like dealing with facts and figures, a more humanities-based major is likely better for you. If you do not like subjectively interpreting empirical data, you should think about pursuing a harder science. Sociology wants statistics to have meaning.

Talk to me if:

Talk to me if you’re most interested in the communications or media side of Sociology, especially if you’re thinking about modifying and trying to plan out the next few years.

Most valuable academic info learned:

Whether on papers or in person, most times there is no such thing as a right or wrong argument. The essential thing is to argue with sound logic and conviction… Also, know that if you modify a major with more than two other subjects, you can’t say “Blank modified with X, Y and Z.” Two is the limit for naming modifications. After that it’s just “Modified Blank”—which sounds so much less brainy!

Favorite class and professor:

Writing With Media ( WRIT 8 ) with Karen Gocsik. Karen, as she likes students to call her, is smart, creative, and supportive of her students’ ambitions. In her class a friend and I made a video interview with “Digital Humanities” professor Aden Evens for the Institute of Writing and Rhetoric’s website that explored technology’s impact on social communication. Oh—and a blog I created about American Idol per an assignment became a small hit on BeanRocket!

Major classes taken:

ENGL 8, 16; HIST 95; SOCY 10, 15, 29, 39; WRIT 8

Major journey:

Since I’ve always loved writing, I came to Dartmouth wanting to be a Communications or Journalism major. I almost settled for English when I learned we have neither, but my faculty advisor had for years campaigned for such classes. At her prompting I thus found a major broad enough for my interests (Sociology) and modified it with four classes (two English, one History, and one Writing) all thematically related to studying old and new media.

Major-specific activities:

The Dartmouth Independent—Copy Editor; The Dartmouth—Assistant Editor, Staff Writer, Columnist; International Students Association—Contributing Editor; Alpha Theta—Secretary

Other activities:

Dartmouth Film Society; Arts Ambassadors; DDS

Internship experience:

For Summer 2006, I interned with The Woodlawn Villager, a community Baltimore newspaper, as a freelance writer. From Fall 2009 to Spring 2010 I will be interning with Dartmouth’s Office of Alumni Relations in a Communications capacity, reporting on alumni events, interviewing alumni, writing short news stories and feature articles, fact-checking, and doing text and photo research in collaboration with a Web director.

slider

Stephany Acosta    ’11 SOCI-StephanyAcosta
F09-S10 D-plan: R-L-R
Sociology

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

The Sociology professors are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the material; they are also very helpful outside of the classroom. The professors also teach a wide array of classes covering different topics ranging from markets and management to race and education which allows majors to explore different topics within the field of Sociology. However, because the Sociology department is small, some classes are not offered in consecutive years so majors might have to wait a year before they can take a particular class.

Important info for potential majors:

You should take classes in Sociology that are outside of your interest areas, it will give you the chance to explore other topics and broaden your intellectual horizons. Also, because the Sociology department is small, some classes are not offered every year so plan your major carefully.

Get to know Anne Ivey, the department administrator, she is very nice and knowledgeable about the major and can be of great help throughout your academic career.

Talk to me if:

you’re interested in economic sociology and issues around immigration. Also talk to me if you’re interested in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship as I am a fellow.

Most valuable academic info learned:

You do not necessarily have to be an education major if you want to be a teacher/ professor, a government major if you want to go to law school, an economics major if you want to go to business school, etc. Major in something you love that challenges you intellectually and the rest will fall into place. Also, I highly recommend meeting with professors during office hours, professors are often very excited to speak with students and office hours gives you the chance to get to know your professor better.

Favorite class and professor:

Markets and Management, John Campbell

Major classes taken:

Socy 10,16,32,33,66

Major journey:

I originally came to Dartmouth with the intention of majoring in Economics but soon realized that I was not as interested in the subject as I thought. I began looking into other departments and found that many of the topics that I was interested in were covered in the Sociology department. The winter of my first year, I began working at the Sociology department as a research assistant and got the chance to meet the Socy professors who were very nice and helpful regarding the Socy major. After seeing how enthusiastic and passionate the Sociology professors were about the major, I was convinced that Sociology was the way to go.

Major-specific activities:

Research Assistant for the Sociology Department.

Thesis status:

I will be writing a thesis my senior year.

Other activities:

La Alianza Latina, Green Key Society; Dartmouth Latino Business Society; Quisqueyanos @ Dartmouth; Latino/a Advisor Search Committee

Internship experience:

Phreesia, Inc. in NYC. Summer, 2008- Marketing Intern.

sliderKristin Dewey ‘10 SOCY-KristinDewey
F09-S10 D-plan: R-R-R
Sociology Major, Geography minor

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

My favorite aspect of the sociology department is the range of opportunities I have access to and the willingness of the professors to go above and beyond the call of duty to help students achieve their academic goals.  Sociology is a field that can be applied to almost all other areas of study, and there are few limitations to what you can do.  I only wish the department was more visible on campus—I feel that the department gets neglected due to the way that the fundamentals of sociology are used by people everyday, in every job.

Important info for potential majors:

If you aren’t sure about a particular focus you’d like to have within the department, take an introductory class!  Unlike my experiences with other departments, introductory classes in sociology are just as engaging as many of the upper level courses.  Additionally, if you are thinking about doing a thesis or independent study, be sure to take a methods (sociology 10 or 11) early, before senior year.

Talk to me if:

You are interested in the way that social factors like race, socioeconomic status and educational access influence the inequalities that individuals face in larger society… or, if you are interested in identity development of people who are adopted.

Most valuable academic info learned:

Talk to your professors about your interests and questions.  They are an invaluable resource and can be really helpful and insightful as they have likely been in similar situations to you.

Favorite class and professor:

My favorite class was Sociology 2, Introduction to Social Problems.  For me, this class exemplified how critical a sociological perspective is in understanding the deeper way that society works the way it does.  This class made me passionate about studying the nature of injustice and fixing it for the good of future generations.  It was the first taste of sociology I ever had, and I was instantly sold.

Major classes taken:

Socy 2, 16, 29, 47, 57

Major journey:

I had a lot of trouble choosing my major.  I liked different aspects of many of the academic departments, but just couldn’t decide which to pursue.  One day during sophomore winter I was looking at which distributive requirements I still needed to fill, and a friend pointed out to me that nearly of my classes filled social analysis distributives.  It was then that I finally realized it was the human aspects of all these courses that I was most interested in.  Next term I made sure to take a sociology class, and I knew that this is what I wanted to do.

Other activities:

Cross country ski team, “Thetford Buddies” mentoring program, Kappa Delta Epsilon

slider

Reyna Ramirez ‘10 reyna ramirez picture
F09-S10 D-plan: R-R-R
Sociology and a German Minor
Pre-Law

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

My favorite things about the Sociology department are the variety of classes and the small community. Sociology covers such a wide range of topics. For example, in one class you can be talking about deviant behavior, and in another analyzing Marx’s theory, and find a way to relate them somewhere along the way, which for me is very exciting. The small community means that professors get to know you quickly, and once you establish those kinds of relationships, your classes become more fulfilling. My least favorite thing is that because it is a small community, interesting courses are often offered during the same term or time, which makes it hard to choose your classes.

Important info for potential majors:

Start early so that you can get past the introduction courses that are more general, and find the classes and subjects that you’re really passionate about. Also, after Sociology 1 and 2, the class sizes get significantly smaller, which is something to look forward to. Take your theory course early, because it comes in handy in the lower and upper division courses.

Talk to me if:

You’re interested in class mobility issues.

Most valuable academic info learned:

Learning a language here is different than anywhere else-in a good way. You should take advantage of it and not opt out. Learning a new language is very useful, and can allow you to travel and see places and have experiences that you may have not been able to otherwise. Don’t forget that there’s always afternoon drill!

Favorite class and professor:

Sociology 15 (Sociological Classics) with Marc Dixon. I can’t express strongly enough the importance of knowing the foundations of theory in Sociology. Professor Dixon made really dense work interesting, and we did fulfilling project at the end of the term that allowed us to get to know other theorists in the different schools of Sociological thought. It definitely is impressive to be able to correctly summarize the works of Marx, Weber and Durkheim.

Major classes taken:

Sociology 2, Sociology 15, Sociology 25, Sociology 28, Sociology 30, Sociology 50

Major journey:

I started as an economics major, but felt that within all the numbers, calculations and graphs, that the people who lived through good and bad economic times and their stories were lost. I took Sociology 28, a class about healthcare in this country, and it really made me passionate about a class in a way that I had never experienced, which led me to take more sociology classes, all of which have been very fulfilling.

Thesis status:

I am writing my thesis with Professor Marc Dixon about class mobility issues, specifically at Dartmouth. I’ll be doing an ethnographic study on first generation Dartmouth students.

Other activities:

Alpha Theta-Academic Chair, Social Chair; Co-Ed Council-President (Year Long), Vice President (Interim); Women’s Club Volleyball; Let’s Get Ready SAT Prep Volunteer; The Haven Homework Club Volunteer

Off-campus program:

German FSP in Berlin 08F

Internship experience:

In the fall of 2007, I worked for a gynecologist in Stamford, CT as a Billing Manager. I got to see first hand how flawed our healthcare system is, the high costs and risks of health care and how necessary it is that a measure such as universal healthcare be instituted in this country. I also was able to experience all of this from a provider’s viewpoint, which really opened up my eyes on the issue.

sliderRobert Polanco ‘11 socy-rob
F09-S10 D-plan: R-L-R
Sociology

Favorite and least favorite things about your department:

My favorite thing about the department is the professor and student relations once a rapport and familiarity has been established. It is nice to know professors on a personal level and not just a student teacher basis. I also enjoy the resources provided to Sociology majors by the department whether it is leadership, internship, or research opportunities there is a large list to choose from with the help of the department. One of my least favorite things about the department (and Dartmouth in general) is the course timetable. Sometimes courses are offered that conflict with other classes in different departments and it is difficult to format ones d-plan around courses that won’t be offered again for a year or two.

Important info for potential majors:

A theory or intro course should be taken prior to taking upper level sociology courses. I say this because as with any other field, sociology has a language that is specific to the field. Sometimes one can be lost or confused in upper level courses if they are not familiar with basic sociological terms and theories. It is essential to form some kind of back ground so existing theories can be correlated to the basic concepts.

Talk to me if:

Talk to me if you are having difficulties analyzing causal frameworks, and also if you are having trouble digesting text on racial and socioeconomic disparities within society.

Most valuable academic info learned:

Being able to view history, anthropology, and sociology as fields that are intertwined is valuable to me in regards to my major. In general, understanding that quantitative research is just as powerful as qualitative and when used in combination they are very substantial. Sociology has forced me to go beyond the qualitative aspect of research. Analyzing causal frameworks has been essential to my experience with sociology.

Favorite class and professor:

Hands down, Sociology 16 “Constructing Social Theory” with Prof. Campbell. Prof. Campbell is also my favorite professor without a doubt. I took two courses with him Fall 08. He is a charismatic, funny and a down to earth professor who can lecture you out of a room (In the best of ways). His classes and advising are the reasons I decided to become a sociology major.

Major classes taken:

SOCY 01, 16, 32, 47.

Major journey:

I was highly engaged in sociology through Prof. Campbell. The theoretical concepts, framing, and logic of the field appealed to me. The fact that sociology delves into social inequalities, as well as political and economic institutions caused me to fall in love with it. I felt that learning how to perform quantitative studies was important to my academic progress. Sociology helps me put a framework around other fields of study such as anthro and history.

Other activities:

Past: La Alianza Latina- DALA Liaison, M.E.Ch.A- Secretary, Q.U.A.D- VP
Present: M.E.Ch.A- VP, Q.U.A.D- Treasurer, LLLC- Delegate

Internship experience:

I was a Winter 07 and Summer 08 intern for Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif (LYSR) LLP. The law office is in Los Angeles, California and I served as an apprentice to Halil Hasik an associate lawyer at the firm during that time.