What is your occupation? What is your current job (roles and responsibilities)?
I am a PhD student in the Sociology program at Duke University. Prior to starting graduate school I was a paralegal for a law firm in Massachusetts that specialized in family- and business-based immigration law. My role was to assist the family-based side of the practice and work directly with foreign nationals tying to achieve lawful status and make a life for themselves in the United States. I hope to use this experience to inform my own research and future work.
How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?
At Bowdoin, I never felt like I was learning just for the sake of learning, and my classes and my work always felt purposeful and related to real-world issues. I feel that this really laid the groundwork for my path to graduate school, and I hope to take this same approach to the work that I am doing and hope to do in the future, especially around issues of race, identity, and belonging.
Has studying Sociology and Anthropology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?
Studying Sociology has made me more aware of the things going on around me, and opened my eyes to a lot of issues that are sometimes taken for granted. My research has also taught me that there's always more than one way to look at a problem, and to keep an open mind when thinking about a particular issue or research question because sometimes what we think is going on or what we perceive from the outside doesn't reflect what is actually happening. Personally, what I like most about the field is that it gives me the tools to address questions that I had already been asking my whole life, but it allows me to do so while drawing from a variety of perspectives and approaches to get a fuller picture.
What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?
Two things that stand out to me from my time at Bowdoin are my advisors, who went above and beyond for four years to work with me, challenge me, and push me to be a better student and sociologist, and my theory class with Dr. Theo Greene, which was the academic catalyst that pushed me toward doing independent research and considering graduate school more seriously.
Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?
Make the most of your time at Bowdoin and don't be afraid to do things that challenge you!