Hometown: Fort Dodge, IA
Current city: Ankeny, IA
‘05 sociology and environmental studies, ‘07 MS sociology and sustainable agriculture
Current position: Program Coordinator for the Office on the Status of Women at the Iowa Department of Human Rights
What she does: I serve as the point of contact for the Office on the Status of Women (Office), which includes developing the mission statement for the Office, identifying the goals and objectives of the Office, evaluating Office programs, and staffing a 7-member Governor-appointed commission.
Advice to current students: Take as many research-related classes as you can! These will come in handy if you want to go into government or non-profit work. And, finally – network! Network! Network! You never know who you will be working with in the future, and how just meeting one person could potentially change the trajectory of your career.
What organizations were you involved in and what did they add to your experience as a student: In my undergraduate experience, I was involved with numerous social justice organizations on campus and very involved in my residence hall community in multiple leadership positions. I was a member of Golden Key honor society and Students for Social Justice, which was a student-led group to advocate for underrepresented communities on campus.
How my sociology degree prepared me: I gained numerous skills while I was in the Department of Sociology and in the interdisciplinary sustainable agriculture program. The ones I use the most in my day-to-day life are the ability to take a systems-view on different issues and to apply different sociological theories and concepts when advocating for underrepresented populations in Iowa. Using a systems approach is especially important in working in government because the populations we serve at the Iowa Department of Human Rights often have to overcome multiple system-wide barriers to get to a level playing field with the majority population.