Hometown: Holland, Michigan

Major: Sociology (Sub-Plan: Law, Justice, and Social Change); Business minor

Campus Organizations: Over the summer a few students and I created a non-profit organization called The Five North Project. The goal of the organization is to provide technology, education resources, and hygiene kits to vulnerable international primary and secondary schools. In August of 2019, myself and other involved students will be traveling to Ghana to distribute our first shipment of over 500 computers! I'm also taking Swahili classes here at U of M, and have recently started offering offering language support to some Swahili-speaking students in the local area.

Let's get to know Heather...

What inspired you to major in Sociology?

When I came to U of M, I had no idea what to study. I took SOC 100 and thought all the topics were very interesting, and I enjoyed analyzing the world through a sociological lens. I realized that sociology is a discipline that can be applied to nearly every area of life, and I simply wanted to know more.

What classes have you most enjoyed? Why?

I enjoyed taking SOC 225, Project Community because I was able to see sociology in practice! I volunteered at the homeless shelter in Ann Arbor, the Delonis Center, and had many fascinating conversations with people I met there. Right now I am taking SOC 345, Law and Society with Sandra Levitsky and am enjoying learning about the intersection law and sociology. As someone who is considering going to law school, I feel that this class will prepare me to be more aware of how social factors impact the mobilization of rights.

Have you participated in an internship or research experience?

Last summer I interned at Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates, a non-profit immigration law office in Holland, Michigan. I learned a ton about the immigration law system and its failures. I was lucky to learn about immigration and advocacy from some wonderful attorneys and community organizers.

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

I would encourage students considering studying Sociology to take a class and see if you like it! There are so many interesting classes offered whether about gender, health, law, international topics, and more; there's a class for everyone! I'd also suggest setting up an appointment with a professor in the Sociology department to discuss how studying Sociology can propel you towards your goals.

What do you hope to do after graduating from Michigan?

After graduating, I'd like to take a year or two off of school before going back for law school. I'm considering looking for jobs abroad so I can continue to learn Swahili, and I'm also interested in working for a non-profit of some kind. My plans aren't set in stone yet so I'm open to options!

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

I'm a big fan of the Fleetwood Diner for late night food. They're giant pancakes can't be beat.