Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Major: Sociology BA

Campus Organizations: Michigan Pursuing Our Dreams (M-POD)

Let's get to know Justin...

What inspired you to major in Sociology?

What inspired me to major in Sociology is a longing to understand societies and how/why they function they way they do. I believe that when we understand each other is when we are able to truly help those who are in need, to live peacefully and in harmony with each other, and to fully love one another. Sociology is the conduit in which I can gain that understanding.

Have you participated in an internship or research experience?

I served in an internship through Sociology 489: Community Organizing by helping run a campaign office for the 2016 election cycle. It was in this internship where I saw the power of organization. I was in this internship that I knew that I had to study sociology so that I can understand people and their actions better.

What do you hope to do after graduating from Michigan?

I hope to attend graduate school to attain a master's degree in higher education administration. I am passionate about higher education. I hope that my experience as a student at Michigan, being a husband and father, and being a construction worker for 17 years will help me to gain access into higher education so that I can help other non-traditional students such as myself attain their educational aspirations at elite institutions such as the University of Michigan.

What advice would you give to students considering a major in Sociology at UM?

The advice I would give to students considering majoring in Sociology at U-M is to find what you are passionate about and study that. The world has so many problems and issues that sociologists need to study and address and what ever issue or problem you are passionate about is worth pursuing and studying. Your perspective and knowledge in your area of study is desperately needed and is so worthy of study and investigation. Run towards your passion and embrace it with everything you have.

What class have you most enjoyed? Why?

I have enjoyed every one of the classes that I have taken here at Michigan. But if I had to narrow it down to a few, I would have to say that I have most enjoyed Sociology 379: Sports, Politics, and Society. Dr. Markovits taught in such a way that I was able to understand the importance of sports and the crucial role they have played in both politics and society. Dr. Markovits facilitated an environment in which we could ask questions and he treated every idea or response from the class with respect and valued our contributions to the course. I also enjoyed immensely Sociology 489: Community Organizing with Dr. Ian Robinson because he helped me to understand the power of organizing and how every voice can and should be heard. Dr. Robinson showed that justice, no matter how dire the circumstances, can be obtained through organization. Finally, in my first semester at Michigan I took History 375: History of Witchcraft with Dr. Valerie Kivelson. Dr. Kivelson elucidated how important beliefs and actions are and how these two elements of society can have long lasting effects on humanity throughout history; especially when it comes to how society views and treats women. Dr. Kivelson's course helped me to see that I am a part of and am actively contributing to history, therefore I left this course questioning and holding myself accountable to all my beliefs and actions.

Where is the best place in Ann Arbor to get late-night study food?

The best place in Ann Arbor to get late night study food is my kitchen. Being around my wife and children when I am studying helps me to remember that I am doing all this hard work for something greater than myself. I'm doing this for my family and my family means everything to me.