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.

Hillary Miller

I have always had a passion for social justice. However, it was my experience within the Saint Michael’s College community, especially the anthropology department, which truly opened my eyes to new insights about the world. As anthropology minor I was able to complement by biology courses with anthropology classes, strengthening my global perspectives.  

I am truly grateful for the experiences I have had with the practice of learning through engagement. Currently, I am serving the Greater Philadelphia Area through the Mercy Volunteer Corps, a subsidiary of the Sisters of Mercy, as a Patient Advocate. The Mercy Volunteer Corps promotes social change by placing volunteers at service sites across the United States and South America for one year of service with people who are marginalized and facing poverty. In my Patient Advocacy role, I work in conjunction with the Mary Howard Health Center in Philadelphia that serves people experiencing homelessness and/or previously incarcerated. To be honest, this city can be daunting for any outsider. However, I credit my comfort with diving into the work associated with this new social/cultural environment to the many faculty members at Saint Michael’s College that I had encountered over my four years, especially the anthropology department and Professor Adrie Kusserow.

Upon completing my term as a volunteer I hope to enter the Public Health field, through nursing. It is my aim to continue my work as a care provider at a health care center, which serves marginalized individuals in underserved populations.

 

 

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.

Hillary Miller

I have always had a passion for social justice. However, it was my experience within the Saint Michael’s College community, especially the anthropology department, which truly opened my eyes to new insights about the world. As anthropology minor I was able to complement by biology courses with anthropology classes, strengthening my global perspectives.  

I am truly grateful for the experiences I have had with the practice of learning through engagement. Currently, I am serving the Greater Philadelphia Area through the Mercy Volunteer Corps, a subsidiary of the Sisters of Mercy, as a Patient Advocate. The Mercy Volunteer Corps promotes social change by placing volunteers at service sites across the United States and South America for one year of service with people who are marginalized and facing poverty. In my Patient Advocacy role, I work in conjunction with the Mary Howard Health Center in Philadelphia that serves people experiencing homelessness and/or previously incarcerated. To be honest, this city can be daunting for any outsider. However, I credit my comfort with diving into the work associated with this new social/cultural environment to the many faculty members at Saint Michael’s College that I had encountered over my four years, especially the anthropology department and Professor Adrie Kusserow.

Upon completing my term as a volunteer I hope to enter the Public Health field, through nursing. It is my aim to continue my work as a care provider at a health care center, which serves marginalized individuals in underserved populations.