Alumni Spotlights

Here are some examples of what a few of our recent grads have written about how they use their major in their present lives.

Angela Mitiguy

I didn't realize until I left Saint Michael's just how valuable the education I received in the Sociology Department truly is. As a Sociology graduate student I am continually relying on the foundation that I received at St. Mike's. Several undergraduate courses have prepared me for graduate level work. Core courses, such as Sociological Theory, have given me a strong basis for extended study while the Research Methods class I took has helped me pursue large scale research projects, like the one I’m currently working on for my thesis.

In general, my undergraduate studies in St. Mike's Sociology program helped teach me how to critically evaluate sociological material as well as develop my own ideas and research interests. As I pursue my Ph.D. in Sociology, I am continually thankful for the education that I received from the Sociology Department at Saint Michael’s and the preparation that education has given me to further my career.

Kevin Barisonek

I didn't know it when I chose Anthropology as my major at St. Mikes, but studying about culture would have profound impact on the path that I would take in my life. The professors opened my eyes to a myriad of cultures and beautiful ways of interpreting the world around us and also challenged us to reflect on the way we live. Through my studies I gained a deep appreciation for cultural diversity, which helped me choose to teach elementary and junior high school in rural Japan for 5 years. I think that my experience in Japan was richer for having studied Anthropology. My appreciation for differences in culture made me flexible and helped me to make deep and meaningful connections there.

Now, after lots of traveling and teaching around the globe, I have come back to the States to teach elementary school in San Francisco. My foundation in Anthropology continues to serve me in my classes by helping me to be a more thoughtful, analytical, and reflective teacher.

Shawna Wakeham

My experience after graduating from Saint Michael's College with a BA in Sociology/Anthropology in 2007 has been one of exciting exploration and continued development. I took a "safe" job soon after graduation and found that while I was comfortable, I was also restless and unhappy. This past July I made a decision that was terrifyingly impulsive according to both my own and my parents’ standards. I joined Americorps*VISTA.

As a VISTA, I receive a monthly stipend which places me economically at the poverty line for my year of service. While this was a concern in accepting my position, I couldn’t say no to the opportunity of working at the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP). Working as the Family Literacy Coordinator for the VRRP has proven to be one of the best decisions I could have made at this point in my life. I am learning invaluable skills such as grant writing, curriculum building, volunteer outreach and organization, and even teaching. Living at poverty level isn’t easy, but it certainly helps me relate at some level to the clients I see every day.

Rather than sitting discontentedly in a cubicle, I am excited to go to work each day. I am excited knowing that while I have no idea what the end of my year as a VISTA brings, so many doors have opened for me along the way and the experience has been truly amazing.

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