Student Profiles

Meet Shauna Davis, a senior Sociology major with a minor in political science and a concentration in criminology and corrections. She loves Sociology because it broadens her thinking and provides opportunities for a variety of career paths. Shauna encourages freshmen to keep an open mind and explore possibilities. She has encountered numerous interesting experiences at BGSU including: serving as a mentee of a Judge who instructed her first year criminal justice course and is currently helping her find internships and craft her resume; as a Kappa Kappa Gamma, shauna learned more about her philanthropical nature; and last semester, she was recognized by multicultural affairs for academic excellence and a high GPA. Shauna graduates in August and will take a year off, and she is currently applying for an internship at the White House. If she does not earn that position, she will intern at both a prosecutor's office and defense attorney's office before applying to law school. Shauna is considering criminal, environmental, and health care law. Although she takes her courses seriously, she has recently accepted a demanding job to cover her bills and she helps care for her ill mother. Namaste, Shauna.

Meet Julio Santana, a Sociology major, who will graduate in August 2014. Upon graduation, he will reconnect with his family on the East Coast, as he prepares his options -- Law School or Graduate School -- but knows that he has an interest in civil and human rights law. Short term, Julio wants to pursue a business opportunity with his sister. While attending BGSU, he spent 2 1/2 years as an RA and recently volunteered with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Challenge -- you may remember seeing him in the photo with our faculty and students who volunteered. Julio is motivated to understand the working of sexism and racism in our society and chose Sociology because he enjoys learning about the intricacies of people's lives and how society and culture shape human interactions. Julio recommends Sociology to anyone who wants to undo their preconceived notions and prejudices. He also encourages everyone to visit the five fabulous boroughs of New York -- Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn.

Meet Autumn Kunkel, a Junior Sociology major with a minor in American Culture Studies. She is a feminist who studies ACS along with sociology because she has a deep interest in LGBTQ communities. Autumn's sociological imagination also led her to a strong interest in American education, the declining middle class, and class relations and class inequality. In her Freshman year, she took a sociology course and was outraged by the social injustices she confronted. The Social Problems course she attended with Dr. Kelly Balistreri made her appreciate that these inequalities, especially around gender issues, were on a global scale.

Autumn feels that sociology awakens you -- she had become desensitized to inequity and realizes that much of our daily societal life purposefully normalizes inequality. She loves sociology because it "lifts the veil" and helps her see prejudice in society. In the future, she hopes to use her writing talent, which she currently uses in the BG News, to write position pieces for the New York Times for a Women's Studies-oriented Think Tank. Her advice to those in sociology or considering sociology: "Keep ties with faculty members and use them as resources to learn and grow."

Meet Maddi Georgoff, a Junior Sociology major also minoring in American Culture Studies. The most important academic experience she's had at BGSU thus far occurred during Dr. Karen Benajmin-Guzzo's Introduction to Sociology course when she realized that social factors contribute to the "horrors, miracles, and progress" people have encountered and created throughout time.

Maddi is interested in studying childhood poverty and changing the stigma attached to it. Her service work involves direct and indirect service through a scholarship program. She is part of the Office of Service Learning through the Civic Action Leader Program. For the past two years, Maddi has helped plan the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service challenge, consulted with groups and individuals seeking service opportunities, and is the founding president of BG Alternative Breaks (bGAB). This transformative Service-Learning experience will send 28 students across the country to learn about social issues through direct service and community interaction during spring 2014. Maddi said, "I serve because there is good to be done in the world, and I am studying sociology so that I am equipped with the knowledge necessary to make positive change within my community." After graduation, she hopes to work with an AmeriCorps program or non-profit organization that addresses childhood poverty. Maddi eventually wants to go to graduate school to earn a degree in either social work or organizational leadership.

Maddi's advice to current or potential sociology majors? "Get to know the sociology faculty, take advantage of every opportunity, and keep an open mind." She continues, I have received so much support and advice from my sociology professors and advisors, and I'm thankful to call many of them my personal mentors. There are so many opportunities to apply what we are learning by getting involved on campus and in the community, and studying sociology encourages students to appreciate several perspectives. Sociology has taught me to question my preconceived ideas and challenge myself to consider other perspectives. The thought processes and realizations I've made within my sociological studies have helped me grow not only intellectually but personally.

Meet Bryce Benjamin, a Sociology/Psychology double major who will graduate May 2014. Benjamin feels rewarded by his sociological research experiences and hopes to continue his studies on deviance and mental disorder in graduate school after taking a year off. His poster on the power of fear in shaping facial expressions won the Student Choice Award during the 2013 BGSU Undergraduate Research Symposium. Benjamin conducted this research for a psychophysiology class, refining his interests in researching the social psychology of neuroses and deviance. He will soon move to Columbus, Ohio to pursue employment opportunities, research internships, and prepare for his graduate school applications. He is a researcher at heart and made the Dean's List in the 2012-2013 school year when he joined our Sociology program.

Meet Casey Shipley, a Sociology major who is graduating May 2014 and applying for our BGSU Sociology graduate program. His main research interests lie in criminology, and he looks forward to studying crime rates and trends and how criminological issues shape our society.  Shipley is passionate about human rights and follows current global events through constant reference to United Nations and other data base resources. He especially follows current social justice issues around LGBT rights. Shipley had planned to major in Education, however, he switched to Sociology because of his interests in social policy and crime rates in urban areas. As an undergraduate, he has had some unique research experiences, including learning laboratory techniques for assessing air quality, which he presented at a symposium for the Department of Education. During his presentation, Shipley demonstrated that the smaller and less ventilated the room, the worse the working conditions for those more susceptible to greater exposures of chemicals and toxins. Additionally, he has worked as a customer rep at Kroger's for 8 years. Shipley looks forward to the graduate school application process.