Let's get to know Kathy...


Hometown: Carrollton, Texas

Major/Minor: Double major in Organizational Studies and Sociology — Law, Justice, and Social Change


What inspired you to major in Sociology?

As a first-year student, I was clueless as to what I wanted to study at Michigan. However, I remember thinking how formative Professor Robert Jansen’s Intro to Sociology class was in discovering who I am, especially the unit on identity and inequality. The class alongside my experience as a first-gen student from an immigrant family, alongside the race and ethnicity research I did on Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) students all came together to form my fascination in organizations that perpetuate social inequality. Not only did I find sociology to be interesting, I found it immensely liberating to draw connections between my personal experience and social structures. After SOC 100, I was set on majoring in sociology at Michigan.


What classes have you most enjoyed?

I've loved taking SOC 397 and SOC 398 with Matt Sullivan, where I got to think intentionally about my identity as a first generation college student from a sociological lens! Another favorite of mine is SOC 100 with Professor Robert Jansen!


What do you hope to do after graduating from Michigan?

After I graduate in May, I'll be furthering my education at the School of Social Work here in Ann Arbor to get my MSW. I'm undecided on what type of job I want in Social Work, but I'm considering pursuing work in the prison system to work with incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals.


Have you participated in an internship or research experience?

I have participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) doing race and ethnicity research on Middle Eastern and North African students as a first-year student. Currently, I do research for Kim Hess in SOC 394 (SURO) to understand minority representation in K-12 United States Social Studies Standards! Outside of research, I was a Development Intern at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Leslie Science and Nature Center. And this summer, I will be a Human Resources Intern at Cisco Systems in San Jose, California.


How has Sociology helped you to understand pandemics the U.S. is currently facing: COVID-19 and/or systemic racism?

The pandemics that the U.S. is currently facing both are rooted in inequality: the notion of who is what and consequently, who gets what. COVID-19 and systemic racism are disproportionately affecting historically minoritized and oppressed groups.


Do you have advice for prospective Soc majors in this moment?

My piece of advice for prospective sociology majors is to not be afraid to reach out, whether it is for help or to pick someone's brain! The faculty in the department are all so welcoming, friendly, and genuinely want to help you.