BA, Gender and Women’s Studies, Indiana University, 2007
MA, Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2010
World experience led to further education
After finishing her associate’s degree at the age of 19, Alison got married, traveled the country following some bands, and worked in a family business. She realized that she did not find her work fulfilling and decided to return to school at Indiana University South Bend. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies. During her time at IU South Bend, she took a class on the sociology of gender and knew that she had found the discipline for her. This passion grew and she continued on to UIC, where she received her master’s degree in Sociology.
The power of sociology
Alison believes there is great benefit for those who study sociology, as it helps students to understand not only society but themselves as well. For Alison, a queer woman of color, sociology was empowering, as it helped her to understand the social structures that have made accomplishing some of her goals more difficult. Because of sociology, Alison understands the structural and institutional forces that have negatively impacted her life.
Advice for students
Alison encourages students of sociology to pursue a range of careers without even needing to pursue graduate degrees. For instance, Alison believes that those with a sociology degree would be an asset to the medical field, because they interact with diverse populations. She says the ability to collect and analyze data is a valuable skill that employers will appreciate. She also suggests that sociology prepares students to be successful in marketing and business because these industries require professionals to administer surveys and conduct interviews. Because it is a diverse area of study, Alison believes that students of sociology have a broad selection of job opportunities.
Alison discovered that her passion is in teaching. Her dream position is to be a faculty member at Indiana University South Bend, so that she can teach students who have not been exposed to diverse people and situations about the reality of society.