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Sociology Opportunities for Undergraduate Leaders (SOUL)

SOUL is the first department-level leadership program for first-generation college students at the University of Michigan. In Sociology, we recognize that first-generation college students at the University of Michigan face social, academic, and financial challenges. We also find that such students possess a unique set of qualifications and capabilities: curiosity, conscientiousness, persistence, risk-taking – in a word, grit. These are the characteristics of leaders. The Department of Sociology has created a program designed to cultivate and support our first-generation leaders in Sociology.

Members of the next SOUL cohort will receive the following opportunities:

  •  A position as a Research Assistant for the Barger Leadership Institute (BLI) and Department of Sociology ($15/hr). Conduct research on the needs of our first-generation majors—and help design solutions that respond to those needs.
  • Paid attendance at the BLI’s seven-week Leadership Lab (a hands-on, interactive workshop specially designed to help students interested in developing leadership skills) and all BLI special events. 
  • Access to BLI’s Capstone Experience - $10,000 plus alumni advice in developing and implementing a fresh idea.
  • Access to funding for summer opportunities, such as internships and summer abroad experiences.
  • A 2-credit Sociology class open only to SOUL participants designed to discuss issues of class stratification and social mobility, as well as hone professionalization skills.
  • Up to two hours a week of personalized tutoring for any required Sociology class.
  • A peer mentor (a first-generation graduate student) who can help navigate the challenges of balancing university and family life.