BA, Sociology, UIC, 2001
MA, Social Work, UIC, 2009
MA, Master of Divinity in Islamic Studies, American Islamic College, expected 2017
Health Communications Manager at National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago
How Eman found sociology
Eman studied business and education before finding sociology through the Social Problems course in the department. Professor Steve Warner taught the class, and his instruction and guidance inspired her to take more classes and eventually to major in sociology. Combined with her passion for youth, Eman’s background in sociology prepared her to successfully complete a Master’s in social work.
Sociology: Bridging the personal and the public
Sociology is personally relevant for Emam, with regard to the political climate and immigration policies affecting the Muslim community in the United States. Eman believes that sociology offers an ecological model for examining society and the groups that comprise it at a macro level. This is particularly helpful for her, as she is deeply involved in grassroots efforts in the Muslim community here in the Chicago area, while understanding the connections between the experiences of the local community and the issues facing that community nationally.
Using her sociology degree at NORC
She says her sociology degree was a platform for her career in communications, marketing, and as a digital strategist. At NORC, Eman conducts social research, using media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, which provide rich data about human behavior. As the Health Communications Manager, her work ranges from digital marketing research, to presenting findings and consulting, so each day is different!
A range of careers
Eman has leveraged sociology to connect social media, the Muslim community, and health, and she believes that students of sociology are being prepared for a range of careers, including human resources, project management, public health, and non-masters level social work. Eman’s example demonstrates the adaptability of a BA in sociology.
Fun facts about Eman
• Eman just read and enjoyed Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes…she would recommend it!
• She has also recently learned to knit and make soap. She says she applies her research skills to hobbies, learning all she can about them.
• Eman also spoke at the Women’s March in Chicago in 2017. Check out her speech here.
Eman Aly at the Women’s March. Photo credit: Eman Aly
Interviewed by Myia Scott