Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Year expecting to graduate: MA in Sociology, June 2014
Why I am majoring in Sociology:
The family unit and its varying shape and form is a societal institution I have been fascinated by for some time, initially in the context of my own family situation. Growing up in a unique family model, with parents who divorced early and retained equal joint custody, I have always been curious as to how my conceptions of family and its structure differed from the more conventional nuclear family models experienced by most of my peers and within society in general. For me, my initial intellectual fascination stuck, and upon entering my undergraduate career at Stanford I found the opportunity to study the family systems within the context of academia unprecedented, and thus quickly gravitated to the societal explanations of it's evolution that Sociology offered me.
What I like best about Sociology:
The aspect I love most about my Undergraduate study in Sociology, is the academic overlap across courses. With my initial interest in Sociology sparked by Professor Rosenfeld’s Changing American Family Course and my subsequent involvement in his research project, I have come to observe how converging influences of ethnic, racial, and gendered social systems work together to apply pressure and evolve the family system within American society.
Additionally, the intimacy of this department at Stanford, has allowed me to connect with world class researchers in a way I never thought possible. For the last two summers, I have had the privilege of assisting my faculty advisor, Professor Michael Rosenfeld, with his research project surveilling and evaluating the rise of the alternative family in modern society. My experience within this project allowed me to discover the interworkings of academic exploration in the discipline of Sociology with the family and it allowed me to see real life case studies of alternative family interactions and relationships framed by an analytic structure and conceptual framework provided by Professor Rosenfeld and background from my curriculum in the Sociology department.
Favorite Class/ Professor (and why):
SOC 155: The Changing American Family with Professor Michael Rosenfeld was the first Sociology course I enrolled in at Stanford. I credit this course with jump-starting my interest in this field of study. The subject matter exciting me in a way I had never before experienced academically. Professor Rosenfeld is an inspiring lecturer and the course's structure and reading material was engaging from start to finish. Professor Rosenfeld has served as an incredible peer advisor and mentor. I attribute my role in his research project with cultivating my interest in becoming an academic researcher.
Favorite book (and why):
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. This book was on the required reading list the summer before my Freshmen year at Stanford. I gravitated to the book's explanation of the factors that contribute to high levels of success. Through it's explanation, I came to understand how an individual's culture, family, their generation, and other idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing contribute, and ultimately shape their ability to become outliers within a society. Through it's explanation, I came to understand how these factors ultimately contributed to my own success, and allowed me to attend the elite undergraduate institution, Stanford University.
Career goal / Future plans:
Over the course of my undergraduate career with this department, I have illuminated a strong interest in pursuing an academic career as a Sociologist, with the intent of pursuing a Ph.D with a possible concentration in this topic of the American family system, or an alternative outgrowth from my work as an undergraduate. My first hand experience assisting Professor Rosenfeld on his research project surveilling and evaluating the rise of the alternative family in modern society has exposed me to a process of study I hope to conduct as an academic one day.
Intern at the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness
Member of Los Salseros Dance Team