Let's get to know Cate...


Hometown: South Haven, Michigan

Major/Minor: Double Major in Sociology; Sociology of Health and Medicine sub-major, and Biology, Health, and Society


What inspired you to major in Sociology?

During my first semester at Michigan, I took a freshman sociology seminar taught by Arland Thornton. This class introduced me to perspectives and methods of thinking that challenged my everyday understanding of the world. The “newness” of these concepts really excited me, and I realized that my time at Michigan would be well-spent studying within the sociology field.


What classes have you most enjoyed?

SOC 105: Globalization, Culture, and Social Change with Arland Thornton
SOC 102: Topics: Health and Medicine with Andrea Kelley
SOC 344: Sociology of the Family with Karin Martin


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

Though these pandemics are considered large-scale structural issues, sociology has helped me understand that these issues also persist due to everyday small scale interactions among individuals and small groups. Community-level organizing should not be neglected when addressing COVID-19 and systemic racism.


Have you participated in undergraduate research, fieldwork, or an internship experience?

I was a research assistant for Arland Thornton and Linda Young-Demarco in their "Social Change Among Native Americans" group beginning in WInter 2020 until Summer 2021. I also completed a research fellowship this past summer at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. This was a clinical project that relied on medical sociology research techniques.


What do you hope to do after graduating from Michigan?

As of now, I plan to attend medical school. I hope to become a research physician who relies on sociological research methods.


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

Sociology is a field that allows you to have a lot of flexibility in your area(s) of study! If there is a topic or social issue you are invested in, there is a good chance you will be able to integrate this interest into your work as a sociology student here. A big part of my sociology experience has been outside of the classroom. Don’t be afraid to reach out to graduate students or professors doing work that interests you!