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Where Are Our Students Now?

Ryan Beck

Ryan Beck
BS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Verizon Wireless

Benefits of Sociology Degree:  The biggest benefit of my sociology degree is that it taught me to be flexible and adaptable.  The world, people, environment in which we live, is constantly evolving.  My sociology degree has allowed me to be cognizant of these changes, thus, allowing me to stay ahead others who may not have this awareness.

What I liked about the department:  The entire department and professors were, personally, invested in our success.  Interestingly, I am where I am today because of the network formed through obtaining my degree and participating in the internship program.  You are allowed to be who you are, truly invaluable. 

Current Job Title:  Manager – Government Sales, manage a team of individuals across the state of Texas from Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley.  We work within the public sector, supporting state agencies and educational institutions, enabling organizations to operate more safely and efficiently.

Raul Casarez

Raul Casarez
Master of Arts in Sociology

Doctoral Student at Rice University

My research interests lie at the nexus of criminology, critical race theory, and sociology of law.  The courses offered in our program, especially because of the faculty who lead them, were vital in preparing for my pursuit of a PhD in sociology at Rice University.  Sound instruction in research methods, quantitative and qualitative, have set me up well for a career as a mixed methods sociologist.  I loved my time in UAC and the support and camaraderie from the other students and professors alike.  Can I come back?

Courtney Caviness

Courtney Caviness
Master of Arts in Sociology

Doctoral Student at University of California-Davis

The sociology program at Texas State could not have more adequately prepared me for my continued studies and the pursuit of a doctoral degree. The faculty members are experts in their respective fields, and they provide an academic environment that promotes critical discussion as well a space in which all viewpoints are worthy of interrogation. I left the program with a strong foundation in sociological theory and methods, but also with a broad understanding of the various forms of social inequalities that exist both at the macro and micro levels within societies. The faculty consistently went above and beyond to challenge me academically and professionally, and numerous resources were available to me to pursue research and training opportunities that will benefit me for the duration of my academic career.

Kellie Cochran

Kellie Cochran
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: PC Helps, LLC, Doctoral Student at Northeastern University

The faculty and staff in the Sociology Department at Texas State University are extremely supportive and helpful. They create an environment where students feel comfortable exploring ideas and can always find someone willing to assist and encourage them. I appreciate the time I spent among them and continue to hold their opinions and advice in high regard.

Jessica Cohen

Jessica Cohen
MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Network of Behavioral Health Providers (NBHP)

As the Evaluation Specialist with the Network of Behavioral Health Providers (NBHP) I am responsible for the internal evaluation of the Greater Houston Behavioral Health Affordable Care Act (BHACA) Initiative. It is a vital part of my position to evaluate and analyze the impact and changes our initiative has in the community of behavioral health providers in the Greater Houston region. The skills I acquired from the MS program courses in impact analysis, quantitative and qualitative research methods, demography and data analysis, all play a major role in my day-to-day responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include: creating evaluation surveys, conducting interviews, analyzing response data, conducting a process evaluation, and finalizing evaluation reports. I owe a lot to the Sociology department for helping me gain all of the knowledge and skills that I have today that allow me to conduct my position as is required.

Maria Cortez

Maria Cortez
BS with a Major in Applied Sociology, MA in International Relations

Employer: General Electric

I work in the GE Oil and Gas artificial lift group. We develop, manufacture and sell equipment for the energy industry. I spend the week meeting with customers and digging into their upcoming plans. I gather information on the market and bring it back to our teams so that our product development is in line with our customers' needs. In the sales world, first impressions are lasting impressions and building rapport and trust is key. I love GE because of the emphasis placed on promoting diversity. My second job at GE is as a Diversity Ambassador for the Hispanic Forum. The group promotes Hispanics within GE and ensures they are represented at every level. There are several different affinity groups and networks in the company. At GE, it's all about the "mix." Diversity ensures we have the right mix of people thinking about problems. It's definitely my favorite part of the job and a way to give back to the community.

Lessye DeMoss

Lessye DeMoss
BS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Doctoral Student at University of Alabama

Lessye DeMoss has completed her MA work in Anthropology at the University of Alabama, and has been accepted into the PhD program in Biocultural Medical Anthropology. She plans to do her fieldwork in Alabama, studying cultural models of life goals and how they are to be achieved, and the effect on health when people are unable to manifest evidence of achieving widely shared goals (for example, not being able to buy a home, or to have nice clothes). She will be comparing Euro-American and African-American populations of similar socioeconomic status, with respect to any differences in cultural models and especially any difference in the obstacles encountered while trying to effect a satisfactory presentation of self. In preparation for this proposal, she re-read Dr. Barbara Trepagnier’s book, Silent Racism.

Lessye says that the instruction and mentorship she received at Texas State has continued to sustain her through the tribulations of graduate school. She is grateful, too, that some of her faculty friends from Texas State have kindly extended support and advice from afar. In addition, she continues to rely on her notes from sociology classes, since cultural anthropology draws on many of the same theorists, such as Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Goffman, and Bourdieu, and of course the statistics and SPSS skills she learned have been invaluable.

Rachael Druckhammer

Rachael Druckhammer
MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Council of State Governments Justice Center

I am a Senior Research Associate at the Council of State Governments Justice Center, working primarily in Justice Reinvestment, a data-driven approach to reduce corrections spending and reinvest savings in strategies that can decrease recidivism and increase public safety. I work with local and state governments to analyze their justice system data for trends and make recommendations for policies to reduce the impact of crime.

My experience in the Applied Sociology program for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees was invaluable in helping me get to where I am today. One of my biggest struggles as a student was loving sociology but being unsure of how to translate that into a career. The internships that I did through this program showed me what kind of jobs I should be thinking about and gave me some real-world experience that helped me get a full-time research job once I graduated. I really felt like the Sociology department faculty and staff cared about me as a person and wanted me to succeed, for which I will always be grateful.

Michelle L. Edwards, Ph.D.

Michelle L. Edwards, Ph.D.
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: Texas Christian University

The graduate program at Texas State University provided me with an enormous amount of support and guidance, which enabled me to excel in a Ph.D. program at Washington State University. The mentorship I received while at Texas State has also shaped how I now interact with students as a tenure track assistant professor at Texas Christian University. I hope to inspire students in the same ways my former professors inspired me! Even though it has been years since I have been a part of Texas State, I continue to enjoy seeing both former faculty and former graduate student colleagues at academic conferences. I am so grateful to have been a part of this graduate program!

Nicole Farris

Nicole Farris
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: University of West Alabama

My time at Texas State was invaluable in preparing me for my PhD program at Texas A&M and for my future position as a faculty member. In Texas State Sociology Department, I was able to further develop my Sociology knowledge and skills under the instruction of some of the most memorable and helpful professors I have experienced in my education. Additionally, the Sociology faculty at Texas State set an important example of how to be a good colleague and a good mentor to students.

Dorian Galindo

Dorian Galindo
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: North East Independent School District

I will treasure the invaluable skills and knowledge that the Sociology Graduate Program at Texas State provided me with. My academic and professional success has been a result of the mentor-ships by my professors, my dedication, persistence, and perseverance to continue learning, unlearning, and relearning about research methods, the social world, and social paradigms. For that, I feel that I have obtained the social lens of capacity and skills to objectively and scientifically understand human behavior.

Erin Glaze

Erin Glaze
Master of Arts in Sociology

Doctoral Student at Washington State University

I will be attending Washington State University to pursue my doctorate degree in Sociology. I would like to thank everyone in the Texas State Sociology Department for their support and contribution to  my academic career.

Francisco Gonzalez

Francisco Gonzalez
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: Center for Health Statistics in Austin

Currently a research specialist with the Center for Health Statistics in Austin.  He is in in the Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies running and analyzing nursing data.  They provide basic demographic data as well as look at supply and demand of Texas nurses.

Lindsey Halligan

Lindsey Halligan
MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Due to the dedication of the sociology department at Texas State University, I acquired the desired skills and knowledge needed to obtain a career in research.  Currently, I am employed by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as a research specialist.  In my position, I analyze data related to regulatory findings, identify disparities and trends, and recommend changes to rules and regulations to foster better treatment of vulnerable Texas populations.  Although earning a master’s of science with a major in applied sociology was a difficult and challenging journey, I feel deeply rewarded and successful after graduating.  Not only did completion of the program aid my career but it also cultivated a better comprehension of myself and the society I live in, which has proven to be invaluable.

Jeremy Holland

Jeremy Holland
Master of Arts in Sociology

Doctoral Student at Lancaster University (UK)

The graduate program in sociology at Texas State exceeded all my expectations. I found the classes academically challenging, the students sensitive and open minded, and the teaching staff dedicated to individual success.

The theoretical foundation I received at Texas State enabled me to write my thesis in the symbolic interactionist tradition, and, consequently, has opened doors for me to work with socio-linguistic theorists at Lancaster University (UK).

The relationship I developed with my thesis advisor, Dr. Price, was (and continues to be) one of the most intellectually stimulating and rewarding experiences of my lifetime. His door was always open to discuss politics, social movements, philosophical ideals, methodology or even just to be a listening ear and personal support.

I am very grateful for my time in the sociology graduate program. And to think, I almost went into the school of political science!

April Hudson

April Hudson
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: Seton Heart Specialty Care and Transplant Center, Cardiac Program Data Specialist

I compile all the program's data to ensure all guidelines, policies, and protocols are being followed and observed. I also validate and enforce that the program is working toward continuous performance improvement.  

I re-entered the workforce with many advantages from this master’s program: sharpened critical thinking, superior writing skills, and a valuable knowledge of statistics and data analysis.  I am well-equipped for continued success, both in the workforce and academically.  The Department of Sociology stands above and beyond mere academia, and because of the professors’  support and encouragement, I have the confidence to continue into a Ph.D. program. I start the doctoral program in Sociology at Texas A & M in fall 2015.

Shannon Jacobs

Shannon Jacobs
MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Escoffier Culinary Institute Austin

I am currently teaching "World History and Culture from the  Culinary Perspective" at Escoffier Culinary Institute Austin. Teaching, a career I honestly never considered, is surprisingly fulfilling. The connection I have made with my students is amazing and I am so happy to be at this place teaching these amazing students!

My practicum program at Texas State University prepared me for the hands on approach to teaching needed to engage future chefs. By allowing me to craft my own course of study, the program let me follow my interest in the sociology of food, work and happiness and it has paid off! 

The network of cohorts who are now my friends and colleagues has proved invaluable. I have my present position because a colleague posted the job opening on the graduate Facebook page. I cannot express the importance of those connections made during my graduate experience at Texas State.

Nicole Keim

Nicole Keim
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: New Caney High School

I will always be grateful to the faculty and the graduate program.  The faculty is extremely accessible and supportive; they created an intellectually challenging and encouraging environment.   My experience as a graduate assistant provided me with hands-on training in things like grading papers and interacting with students.  As a graduate assistant I was also fortunate enough to work with and observe two amazing and engaging faculty members for three semesters.  I currently teach sociology at New Caney High School.

Lindy Knowles

Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: Texas State University

As a Career Advisor within Texas State University’s Career Services office, I am responsible for being a resource for students and alumni during their job search process and career development along with serving as the Career Services liaison to the College of Liberal Arts. This position allows me to use many of the skills and knowledge that I gained during my time as a student in the Sociology Department. After completing my BS in Applied Sociology I became an Academic Advisor for the College of Liberal Arts and continued to work there while pursuing my MA in Sociology. Courses from my graduate program such as Sociology of Work & Occupations and my independent study with Dr. Patti Giuffre, Sociology of Higher Education, were major contributors to my interest in continuing a career within Higher Ed and gave me valuable insight into the problems and inequalities within Higher Ed which I feel are essential to understand and be aware of when pursuing a career in Higher Education. 

I am incredibly thankful for the friends I made while pursuing my graduate degree and the faculty that became mentors and who have provided so much guidance and support. The Sociology Department has such a strong community and I am so happy that I have the opportunity to still work with many of the Sociology students and faculty in my current role at Career Services.

Kevin Kromenacker

MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Texas Legislative Budget Board

I work as an analyst on the School Performance Review team at the Texas Legislative Budget Board. We're a state agency that works directly with the Legislature on all things related to the Texas budget, including drafting an appropriations bill, doing performance reviews of Texas schools and other state agencies, and identifying  opportunities for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of state operations. The School Performance Review team in particular conducts comprehensive and targeted performance reviews of Texas school districts, to identify inefficiencies or potential areas for improvement, and publishes reports with recommendations.  Conducting these reviews draws from many different areas of the Applied Sociology program, including impact analysis and qualitative and quantitative data methods. Our reports incorporate many sources of data, from financial records to surveys to staff interviews. As a graduate of the Applied Sociology Master's program at Texas State, I felt comfortable with qualitative and quantitative data from day one, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of different methods, how to use them, and how to interpret and summarize results. I also believe that the foundation in sociological theory, although more abstract, is also indispensable from an ethical standpoint for anyone with the honor of working in public service. In my experience my degree was the perfect program for the work I'm doing, and I have the Texas State University Sociology Department to thank for where I am today.

Rickey Lowe

Rickey Lowe
MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: United States Department of Agriculture

I work as a Statistician with the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. At NASS, I conduct statistical research and data analysis pertaining to various agricultural commodities throughout Oklahoma and Texas. Moreover, I work with a team of statisticians to produce quality estimates of the presence and marketing of these commodities in our assigned regions.  The MS in Applied Sociology degree is a solid career-oriented program. The various research skills I acquired here made me eligible for numerous employment opportunities-not to mention the remarkable support of the faculty and my fellow students, which strengthened my ability to work effectively in groups. Any student unafraid of challenges and eager to capitalize off opportunities will find this degree efficient, and with proper initiative, their value will be easily recognizable in both the academic and professional arena.

Jennifer McCleary

Jennifer McCleary
MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Travis County District Attorney

The Department of Sociology is an invaluable asset to Texas State University. The faculty and staff made it their goal to prepare me for success and they were efficacious in that endeavor. I owe a great debt of gratitude for their knowledge and unwavering support.

Daniel Nyachuba

Daniel Nyachuba
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: Bastyr University, Seattle, WA

As an Analyst in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Bastyr University, Seattle, WA,  I make use of the excellent data analysis and writing skills I acquired at Texas State University. I collaborate with members of faculty and staff at the University to complete reports for governmental and accrediting agencies, third party players, University reports and publications. A Master of Arts program with a major in Sociology prepared me very well for my current job. I could not have chosen a better program.

Staci Osterkamp

Staci Osterkamp
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: University of Texas at San Antonio

I received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Sociology from Southwest Texas State University (2003) and a Master of Arts in Sociology from Texas State University (2007).  For my bachelor degree, I was actually the last graduating class as “Southwest Texas State University.”  My favorite part of the undergraduate sociology program was the internship.  I believe this program is invaluable in gaining real-world experience and practical knowledge.  The graduate program at Texas State really helped me grow academically.  The small classes and discussion format of the graduate classes were intellectually stimulating and challenging.  Getting to know the faculty better and working as a graduate assistant during graduate school served to confirm my plans to pursue teaching at the university level.

My research interests include gender, medicalization, and the symbolic interactionist perspective, as well as the emerging millennial generation.  I regularly teach Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, and Individual and Society at University of Texas at San Antonio.  In 2014, I developed UTSA’s sociology department’s first exclusively online course (SOC 1013: Introduction to Sociology).  In addition to teaching, I enjoy time with my family, volunteering at church, and serving in the community.

Jasmine Prince

Jasmine Prince
BS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Gameday Boots

My degree in Applied Sociology prepared me for the workforce tremendously. With the knowledge I gained from mock interviews, resume writing, and a 300-hour internship (during my final semester), I was able to transition easily from a college setting to a workplace environment. I work in the social media marketing field, so the sociology courses I took while attending Texas State directly apply to my job today. My qualitative methods class taught me how to research and develop the content I use for social media, and the quantitative class taught me how to gather and analyze data about my target audience. I am truly grateful for my time at Texas State and the wonderful professors who made it all possible.

Kami Rutherford

Master of Arts in Sociology

Doctoral Student at Louisiana State University

As of Fall of 2016 I am attending Louisiana State University's PhD program where my research interests will be further explored, my knowledge of methods, theory, and statistics expanded, and my perseverance tested. I am both excited and nervous about this new program, but I know that both our department and my professors have prepared me for the challenge. I am thankful that, although I was encouraged to explore my interests in qualitative methods, I was also pushed to learn more about quantitative methods. Through our faculty, I learned that I not only have a knack for statistics, I just happen to love it, too. Because of the time and devotion it takes to prepare and write a thesis, I have a much better grasp on the theoretical perspectives relevant to my research interests. I know that having a good foundation in both forms of method, theory, and statistics most certainly helped me to gain entrance into the program at LSU, and I know that these foundations will aid in my future success there.Looking back on the work that I have completed throughout my time at Texas State, I realize just how much my critical thinking has improved and my personal ideology has shifted. This is what I like most about our department, the person I have developed into.

Chris Scales

Chris Scales
MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: Texas Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services

Chris works for the Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services as a Claims Examiner II  (Disability Specialist). He adjudicates Social Security Administration adult and childhood Initial disability cases.

Jesse Simmons

Jesse Simmons
MS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Employer: St. David's Foundation

Not only was my time in the Sociology Graduate Program the most rewarding experience of my academic career but the mentoring relationship fostered by the faculty and the opportunities available through research projects led directly to my current position."

Jesse is currently working as an Operations Manager at the St. David's Foundation Dental Program where he manages program evaluation, internal and external reports, logistical projections, and assisting in the management of operations staff.

Bricio Vasquez

Bricio Vasquez
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: P16Plus, Doctoral Student at University of Texas at San Antonio

Bricio is currently employed as the Data Director for P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County (P16Plus). He is also pursuing a Ph.D. in applied demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Alexandra Warner

Alexandra Warner
BS with a Major in Applied Sociology

Doctoral Student at Central Florida University

The Sociology Department at Texas State provided me with all of the necessary skills for success in graduate school, including dexterity in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, aptitude in statistics, and a strong theoretical knowledge base. The wide range of advanced electives the department offers also allowed me to test out various areas of the discipline and discover my true passion. The department stands apart thanks to the unwavering support and wisdom of the experienced faculty.

Maria Wasley

Maria Wasley
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: Texas State University

As a research associate of prospect research with the Vice President of University Advancement Office (VPUA), I am responsible for using electronic and print media to assist in the research, analysis, and dissemination of prospect research information for the Unversity Advancement Office. I conduct systematic and strategic prospect research by collecting and evaluating data on prospective donors and translating this information into profiles in support of the fundraising activities of Texas State University. I assist in providing a full range of prospect research services including file organization and management, alumni/donor database exploration and manipulation, research through various media, development of profiles on individuals, corporations, foundations and organization.

Honesty Witmer

Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: Texas State University

I am currently working as an Academic Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts at Texas State University. The graduate program in Sociology helped prepare me for my career in higher education by creating awareness in me of the micro- and macro-based social inequalities that college students face daily. This awareness has influenced my professional philosophy, which strives to break down some of those inequalities and to not reinforce the social and structural privilege and inequalities. I also serve on the Texas State Academic Advising Assessment Team. I am thankful that my graduate program instilled a strong understanding of statistics, and qualitative and quantitative research methodology that I can directly apply to these real-world research scenarios. 

Jamila Zakari

Jamila Zakari
Master of Arts in Sociology

Employer: Austin Fire Department

As a Research Analyst Senior for the Austin Fire Department, I use my SPSS skills and research knowledge on a daily basis. With my Master of Arts degree in Sociology, I have learned invaluable skills to conduct rigorous social research that has the potential to impact lives.