Hometown: Benton Harbor, Michigan

Major: Sociology (Sub-Plan: Health and Medicine)

Campus Organizations: Barger Leadership Institute Capstone, Concussion Research at UM Hospital, UM Chapter NAACP, Gates Millennium Scholars of Michigan, SIBS Mentor, SOUL Mentor, Student Advisory Team at LSA Opportunity Hub

Let's get to know Carlos...

What inspired you to major in Sociology?

Sociology inspires growth. Sociology grants you the privilege to view the world as the deeply intricate and massive living organism that it is. Sociology asks all the tough questions and provides culturally sound answers. I craved a major where I was truly a student of the world and I feel this way in every sociology classroom.

What classes have you most enjoyed? Why?

The classes I have most enjoyed I have been SOC 495 and SOC 303. SOC 495 is a class I took with Dr. Matthew Sullivan where a small cohort and myself studied the first gen identity and its place within a society, fundamental social theory, and basic professional and life development. I cannot explain how important this class was in learning about myself and positioning me to explore my favorite sociological concepts today. SOC 303 was the first class I took at this university where racialization was made simple but taught in a way that was thorough in equipping students with the necessary insights to navigate this racially charged climate today with historical context in mind.

Have you participated in an internship or research experience?

Upon declaration of sociology as my major during junior year, I was grateful to participate in a research assistantship in the SOUL (Sociological Opportunities for Undergraduate Leadership) program under professor Matthew Sullivan where I was charged with the responsibility to interview first gen students and parents, then transcribe and code interview transcripts. The formidable goal of this research is to identify needs of first-generation college students and design solutions. From this research, me and a partner by the name of Lance Bitner-Laird, whom I met in the SOUL program, have started a fully funded podcast through the Barger Leadership Institute where we speak with students and faculty alike about the first-gen identity.

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

If you are considering studying this amazing discipline, DO IT. The faculty and peers you meet in these classes will blow your world up for the better if you allow them to. The amount of tangible information you obtain will reside in your mind and heart forever. You will have no choice but to be a change agent in some capacity regardless of your career interests. Take it from someone who eventually wants to attend medical school!

What do you hope to do after graduating from Michigan?

After graduating from the University of Michigan this coming May, I hope to participate in Teach for America as a corps member for two years. Upon finishing this honor of teaching and leading at-risk youth who looks like me, I plan to enroll in graduate school and obtain a doctorate degree in Health Behavior and Education to continue the work in combating health inequality.

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

Piada Italian Street Food is amazing before 10 p.m. and Good Time Charley’s is a must after 10 p.m. if you are craving grease and fun for a study break!