Alumni and Careers

Greg Rosen

Greg Rosen

Class of: 2014

Location: Houston, Texas

Major(s): Government and Legal Studies, Sociology

The common good and a sense of community remain important to Greg after Bowdoin. Graduating in 2014 with majors in Government & Legal Studies and Sociology, Greg now works as a Public Health Associate with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Houston, Texas. Greg’s position with the CDC is a part of a rotational program that aims to build the public health workforce in the US to provide training in state and local health departments and regional departments.

Greg Rosen

As a Public Health Associate, Greg spent one year working in infectious disease and disaster response by conducting epidemiological case investigations of food/waterborne, vaccine-preventable, and respiratory diseases. Since October 2015, Greg has transitioned into his new role as a Quarantine Public Health Officer with CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, stationed at the Houston Quarantine Station at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. In this role, Greg responds to reports of illnesses and deaths on inbound international conveyances (both airplanes and maritime vessels) into the U.S., and enforces federal regulations governing the importations of potentially infectious material, including live animals and etiologic agents. Greg credits his background in Sociology for his interest in public health. As a student, Greg developed an interest in the social and environmental determinants of health among diverse populations. His coursework allowed him to cultivate the critical thinking that is essential to his current social science and epidemiological research with the CDC. Furthermore, his co-curricular experience with Peer Health assists him in extracting important information through goal-oriented conversations.

In Houston, he has joined a running club that allows him to meet a host of Houston residents of different ages, industries, and backgrounds. This, he says, is helpful in personal development as he is able to learn from people who have backgrounds and perspectives that are different from his.

Greg has also been able to engage with communities outside the United States. On a fellowship awarded to him post-graduation, he spent over two months in Cambodia working for a small local NGO focused on community development and projects in small agricultural villages. One of his most meaningful projects was a report where he interviewed individuals in the community who had been involved in sex trafficking prevention work. Greg’s supervisor presented his work to government officials, and a project was launched based on the service he had performed.

Greg urges Bowdoin students to identify opportunities and to not be afraid of raising their voices in asking for those opportunities. “They do not come around,” Greg says, “It’s up to your initiative to speak up and address your desire to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Beginning in August, Greg will be pursuing a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in International Health, concentrating in Social and Behavioral Interventions, at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Danica Loucks

Class of: 2013

Location: Irvine, CA

Major(s): Anthropology

Minor(s): Earth and Oceanographic Science

I am currently a PhD student in Sociocultural Anthropology at University of California, Irvine. As a grad student, I am working on my dissertation research about public lands conflict in the American West—a task that currently means focusing on relevant literature for writing qualifying exams, but will eventually involve conducting a year of fieldwork in southern Utah.

Are you playing other roles at University of California?

I also work as a teaching assistant each quarter and, in my role as a UCI Pedagogical Fellow, train incoming TAs. Because of my interest in teaching, I have a number of pedagogical side projects in the works, including developing resources for instructors to transition their courses to online learning environments and assessing the effectiveness of scaffolded assignments in teaching anthropological thinking.

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

There is the obvious influence of my work as an anthropology major (and as a Bowdoin student more broadly) preparing me with both skills and knowledge to jump into an anthropology graduate program, but perhaps more significantly, the analytical skills I developed at Bowdoin help me sustain a meta-cognitive assessment of my position as a grad student and of the social and political dynamics of learning environments

Has studying Sociology and Anthropology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

Absolutely! The analytical skills and perspectives developed through my classes and interactions in the Sociology and Anthropology department permeate all facets of my life. In addition to shaping how I approach my work as a scholar and instructor, the ability to identify complexities and nuances before jumping to conclusions shape how I participate in social relationships, pursue other interests (e.g. coaching youth rock climbing), and more. For better or worse, I can't turn it off!

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

Bowdoin is a very unique and special educational community. Certainly one of the most helpful and cherished aspects of my Bowdoin experience were the interactions with faculty who became important mentors, both at and beyond Bowdoin. Some of these incredible people are Sara Dickey, Krista Van Vleet, and Susan Bell (now at Drexel University) in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Collin Roesler in the Department of Earth & Oceanographic Science.

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

I think as an undergraduate I sometimes worried that pursuing too many seemingly disparate things (academically, socially, etc.) would leave me unprepared for a future not-yet-determined career opportunity. In retrospect, it’s the unexpected connections between quite different activities and areas of study that I pursued that have enriched how I’ve approached different tasks and have created unique opportunities because of unexpected pairings. For instance, a German class I took my first year at Bowdoin on German Romanticism laid the ground for work on wilderness ideologies that I’m working on right now, and earlier in my graduate school experience, my background in oceanography from Bowdoin has resulted in multi-disciplinary connections to feed anthropological work on climate change. My advice would be to follow sparks of interest even if you’re not sure it “aligns” with whatever career goals you may have--eclectic collections of experiences can sometimes have surprising results.

Marta Misiulaityte

Marta Misiulaityte

Class of: 2014

Major(s): German, Sociology

As for how her study of German at Bowdoin shaped her post-graduate life, Marta says: “I literally owe my post-grad life to the Bowdoin German Department!

What Marta is doing now:

Marta is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sociology at the Freie Universität (Free University) in Berlin, Germany and is working as a research assistant at the Communications Studies Institute at the University and as a research assistant at the Experts’ Council on German Foundations for Integration and Migration. The latter position helps her to utilize both her Arabic and her German language skills.

Here’s Marta in her own words, discussing her current position and its role in the recent wave of migration to Europe from Arab countries:

“The research division of the interdisciplinary Experts' Council both supports the work of the Council and produces original research on many aspects of integration and migration in Germany. I am an assistant in a qualitative study investigating the situation of refugees who are in the early stages of their asylum application. My most significant responsibility involves organizing and coordinating the interviews with asylum seekers from six different countries of origin, residing in three federal states, in both urban and rural environments. Aside from that, I conduct literature research, compile information in several languages to hand out to refugees, translate presentations, coordinate travel, transcribe interviews and undertake a wide variety of ad hoc tasks as they arise. It has been extremely rewarding to be able to direct my time and energy to a project that highlights the refugees' own voices by letting them speak about the successes and challenges of their first steps in Germany. The job is fast-paced and sometimes linguistically demanding, but I feel supported and appreciated by my team. Above all, knowing that the study's results will be used to form concrete proposals for political actors and other stakeholders to improve the lives of refugees in Germany continues to motivate me to keep doing my best.”

As for how her study of German at Bowdoin shaped her post-graduate life, Marta says:
“I literally owe my post-grad life to the Bowdoin German Department!

Faustino Ajanel

Faustino Ajanel

Class of: 2016

Major(s): Mathematics

Minor(s): Sociology

My teaching goal is to help urban students realize that learning and excelling in mathematics is possible.

Why Education?

I grew up in South Central, Los Angeles and attended public schools throughout my K-12 education. Coming from a school in a low-income community, I felt overwhelmed coming to Bowdoin where there are an abundant amount of resources, small class sizes, and a wide range of areas of study.

The biggest wake-up call I had about my socioeconomic status was during an activity in the class Sociology of Education. Students were asked to form a circle, and told to step out of the circle if a statement applied to you. The professor said, “Step outside if one or both of your parents attended college.” As I looked from left to right, all my peers stepped outside the circle except me. I felt embarrassed and sad that I was the only first generation student in the class (I was also the only person of color in that class too). However, she used this activity to point out the inequalities in education and how it can impact us in moving up or down in the socioeconomic ladder. My discomfort changed to curiosity as I learned more about how inequality played in the U.S. education system.

In my first year of college, I was nervous about taking math classes at Bowdoin. I felt unprepared in taking Calculus, Computer Science or science classes. My advisor recommended me to take a Calculus with Professor Barker. Throughout the semester, I felt engaged in Calculus as Professor Barker took the time and effort in helping me learn the concepts. I realized that having a professor/teacher who is passionate about the material and offers support outside the classroom is crucial for students to succeed in math.

After Bowdoin, I will be working as a math middle school teaching assistant and getting my Massachusetts teaching license at the Boston Teacher Residency program. My teaching goal is to help urban students realize that learning and excelling in mathematics is possible. I hope to obtain a National Board Certification after a few years teaching in Boston. With a background in teaching in urban schools, I plan to enroll in a Doctorate program in Education Leadership, and return to Los Angeles Unified School District either as a school board member or superintendent.

Charlie Curtis

Charlie Curtis

Class of: 2014

Location: Irvine, CA

Major(s): Anthropology

Minor(s): Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

I am an anthropology PhD student and TA at the University of California, Irvine. Bowdoin's rigorous academics prepared me extremely well for graduate studies. I especially appreciate the emphasis placed on writing during my time at Bowdoin.

Has studying Sociology and Anthropology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

As a grad student in anthropology, the impact of my time in Bowdoin's Department of Sociology and Anthropology is quite obvious! But even if I were pursuing a different professional path, studying anthropology would be an important influence. For me, anthropology has been a source of tools and perspectives that help me understand the world around me -- even if it's just trying to get used to Southern California after living in Maine my whole life!

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

The process of working on my honors thesis my senior year was wonderful. It required a lot of hard work, but I loved the opportunity to dive into a topic in great depth.

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

It's easy to feel like you have to be successful as soon as you graduate from Bowdoin -- that you have to get the competitive fellowship, land your dream job, or begin further studies at a prestigious university. But there are many different forms of success, and you will be an impressive member of the Bowdoin family no matter where your path leads.

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Evan Baughman

Class of: 2017

Location: Boston, MA

Major(s): Sociology

I'm currently an Account Associate at EMI Strategic Marketing, a small marketing/consulting agency in Boston. I work on an account for a large financial services company as a member of a social media team. My role is largely concerned with managing, measuring the effectiveness of, and making recommendations for our client's social media presence.

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

Studying sociology at Bowdoin gave me a unique set of skills that has noticeably set me apart from most who work in finance and advertising. Most notably, majoring in sociology equipped me with the skills necessary to comfortably situate particular complex problems within a larger structural framework of understanding and feel comfortable handling large sets of data. Both frequently come in handy in marketing. It also goes without saying that learning how to effectively write about people's actions and behaviors with accuracy and nuance is a valuable asset in analyzing markets and purchasing behaviors.

Has studying Sociology and Anthropology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

Sociology has immeasurably impacted how I view and experience the world by elucidating overarching social structures that are active everywhere, constantly influencing the lives of myself and others. Moreover, sociology has also given me an especially valuable, macroscopic perspective that has proven useful in finding my place in the world post-Bowdoin.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

I have many fond memories of Professor Greene's course on the classics of social theory. What I appreciate the most about this class is that I was exposed to a wide breadth of influential social theory that has irreversibly changed my worldview and incessantly informs how I interpret current events. The course was also especially challenging at times, which made me a more skilled social thinker.

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

The most significant general advice that I can give to a student of sociology at Bowdoin is to embrace your sociological imagination and continue to cultivate it inside and outside of the classroom. Possessing an attuned sociological imagination will prove useful in many unexpected places and provide you with an incredibly valuable and rewarding way of seeing and experiencing the world. Also, start learning how to network successfully as early as possible.

Caroline Martinez

Caroline Martinez

Class of: 2016

Location: Quito, Ecuador

Major(s): Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Sociology

I am currently pursuing an MA in Gender and Development at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences and working part time at ICONOS, a social science journal based in Quito.

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

Bowdoin helped me improve the way I write, analyze social issues and think critically about research and the way society works.

Has studying Sociology and Anthropology impacted your perspective (personally, professionally, or other)? If so, how?

Yes! Studying sociology impacted my personal life because it helped me put into word the issues that I had seen and experienced in my life, but didn´t know how to explain. Professionally I feel I learned how to be much more critical about the way society is organized, which has been helpful in every project I have worked in and job I’ve had.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

Race and Ethnicity with professor Nelson was a beautiful and disturbing class in the best sense possible! ResLife´s first training on race with professor Nelson and other faculty members and students was an exciting experience!

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

Bowdoin has a huge amount of resources, use them to make change and take time to relax when you start feeling overwhelmed by life in the bubble.

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Parker Lemal-Brown

Class of: 2018

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Major(s): Sociology

Minor(s): Francophone Studies

I’m a TV development intern at a Hollywood production company. I read and review scripts sent in by talent agents and producers. I also research books and articles to get ideas for new shows!

How has your Bowdoin education and experience helped you and informed the work that you do?

The ability to think critically and write quickly is essential for good script coverage. I honed those skills at Bowdoin, thanks to all of those essay assignments! The spirit of the Common Good will definitely guide my career in entertainment. I want to create series that are both entertaining and socially responsible.

Has studying Sociology impacted your perspective?

Sociology gave me permission to be both curious and critical about all aspects of life. I love how it encourages big picture thinking and analysis of everything we usually take for granted. Sociology is how I found my way back into creative writing and validated that even entertainment can deeply impact how society works. Sociology is a special lens that forces me to consider all sides of every issue and go beyond knee-jerk judgments. The sociological imagination is a great gateway to storytelling – it’s all about getting to the root of who we are and why.

What are the one or two events, courses or people that stand out in your mind from your time at Bowdoin?

Researching, writing, and producing a performance of my first full-length play with help from Bowdoin students and faculty. And sleeping in the President’s office as a first-year to protest for divestment!

Do you have any advice for current student at Bowdoin?

Don’t be afraid to try things and don’t be afraid to quit things. Say yes to as many opportunities as possible, but be patient with yourself. You might want to do something that the College does not offer, which can be frustrating. But there are always resources available for you to use to do that thing yourself, and plenty of people willing to support / guide you. Follow your passions fully while you are in a small, nurturing space. Go abroad! Join a new club! Perform! Protest! Whatever! Define your own comfort zone and constantly push the boundaries.

 

Michelle Kruk

Michelle Kruk

Class of: 2016

Major(s): Sociology

Minor(s): Education

Ultimately, I have found education to be the source of my own emancipation and a tool through which others can undergo incredible journeys of self-discovery.

Why Education?

I was born and raised in the Northwest side of Chicago. It wasn't until I started attending a well-funded selective-enrollment, public high school that I realized the inequity present in the Chicago Public School system. I saw the same system that allowed me to flourish and develop intellectually fail my friends from elementary school who attended neighborhood public high schools. I struggled to understand why these stark disparities in education existed and how it was that my dear city was most known for a failing public school educational system. I credit my public, Chicagoan education and the teachers along the way who served as mentors as a huge part of the reason of why I am currently attending Bowdoin College. I became inspired and driven to grasp the ailments of a system that was largely failing my peers, yet had the potential to be a place in which they could thrive.

I delayed taking an education course until my sophomore year when my schedule would finally allow it. Instantly, I fell in love with everything about education and the Education Department at Bowdoin. I decided to become an Education Studies minor partly due to the fact that I find the material interesting and largely because of Doris Santoro a professor in the Education Department. This will be my third semester in a row of being in a class with Prof. Santoro and I cannot imagine the department without her. Doris has challenged me intellectually and emotionally in thinking about education in all its complexities: urban education, teaching, the process of learning, the human condition as it relates to education, race, culture, social expectations, standardization, etc. Ultimately, I have found education to be the source of my own emancipation and a tool through which others can undergo incredible journeys of self-discovery. I hope to one day become a professor at a university or college (like Bowdoin) and create a space where education can serve my students in just as transformative of a way as it has served me.

Pamela Zabala

Pamela Zabala

Class of: 2017

Location: Durham, NC

Major(s): Sociology

Minor(s): Africana Studies

I am a PhD student in the Sociology program at Duke University. Right now, I'm making my way through the coursework for the degree, but I eventually hope to do research on migration, race, and politics in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, as well as identity formation among immigrants in the United States.

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!

Rakiya Dancing

Rakiya Orange

Class of: 2011

Major(s): Anthropology

Dancer, choreographer. After studying dance at Bowdoin, Ms. Orange went on to earn her masters degree in Dance at Hollis University. Upon graduation from Bowdoin, she was awarded Award for Excellence in Dance Performance.