I chose the College of Charleston because of a previous interest in astrophysics. The College of Charleston is one of a select few colleges that offers a major in astrophysics rather than a minor. After visiting a couple of schools in the southeast, I decided on the College of Charleston because of its liberal arts focus, the majors it offered, and of course the beautiful weather!
What made you decide to be a sociology major?
After my first year as an astrophysics major I realized that I wanted to make more of a difference in our community instead of studying distant objects in our universe. As an astrophysics major, I felt disconnected and without a purpose. Sociology allows me to study groups of people and then, hopefully, help as many people as I can.
How does sociology fit into your life plan?
Sociology, along with my double minor in international studies and women’s and gender studies, provides me with the ultimate combination for my desired career. For the past four years I have been dedicated to survivors of sexual assault. I intend to continue to work with sexual assault survivors after college, especially internationally.
What was your favorite sociology class?
SOCY 272: Making Sense of Social Data, specifically taught by Dr. Dave Morris, was my favorite sociology class. I have always loved numbers. This class was extremely fun for me because I got to learn how to analyze data using SPSS. This class was also essential because it has helped me during my Independent Study that I am currently working on. In the future, I hope to use these skills to benefit the study of sexual assault cases. Dr. Morris made this class fun and it was well structured which was helpful during difficult statistics problems.
Who is your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor at the College of Charleston is Dr. Von Bakanic. Dr. Bakanic has been on the board for People Against Rape, our local rape crisis center, for many years and has devoted her career to the care of sexual assault survivors. She is an exceptional mentor and has guided me through a full research project for an Independent Study course this semester. Not only is she my favorite professor, but she is a wonderful role model! I could only hope to be as intelligent and caring as her one day.
Do volunteer anywhere?
I have volunteered with People Against Rape since 2012. As a sexual assault advocate, I accompany survivors to the emergency room at the Medical University of South Carolina, provide support over the phone, and give referrals based on the needs of the survivor. My volunteer work eventually progressed to an internship, event coordinating for Take Back the Night and my current independent study with Dr. Bakanic
What are your plans for after graduation?
I plan on staying in Charleston until this coming July and then I plan to move to Asheville, North Carolina to work with a rape crisis organization. After a year of extra experience and obtaining residency in North Carolina, I will be applying for graduate school at the University of North Carolina for a MSW.
What is your most challenging event or greatest accomplishment at the College of Charleston?
The greatest challenge for me at the College of Charleston was switching from astrophysics to sociology. There was a lot of pressure to stay in my previous major from peers and my family. However, after making the switch I could safely and enthusiastically say that I have never made a better decision. The passion I have for working with sexual assault victims is enormous and making that switch has greatly increased my overall happiness and desire to pursue higher education in this field.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Currently, I would love to live in Asheville, North Carolina and I am making progress to work there this coming August. I would also love to travel to India to experience the culture and perhaps do some future work in my field.