Iowa Sociology Majors: Making the World a Better Place, One Step at a Time
Nicole Jeffrey is a University of Iowa senior majoring in Sociology and minoring in English. She is interested in sociology of family and health, and has a strong interest in ethnographic qualitative research and intersectionality. As an aspiring researcher, she is developing her skills by working with Sociology Professors Michael Sauder and Freda Lynn. Their research team is exploring Americans’ perceptions of success. Nicole has an important role in this project: she is conducting and transcribing the interviews through which the data are collected.
Nicole has also pursued her passion for sociology outside academia. She has held internship positions at the Northern Iowa Juvenile Detention Center and the Waterloo Youth Shelter. During these internships, Nicole taught sociology to students and inmates. In the past, Nicole has also volunteered with various social justice organizations, including Next Generation Climate, the REACH Program, and Circle K. Nicole is a vocal advocate for marginalized groups, and sociology has helped her pursue her advocacy goals. “I feel as is if my place in society is privileged enough and I have the means to speak for the voices unheard. Sociology has taught me that our society is not real nor naturally occurring, but the consequences are very real and deserve our attention,” she says. As a result of Nicole’s hard work inside and outside the classroom, she was accepted into the graduate program in Sociology at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
Michael Schneider is also a Sociology senior, who focuses on Criminology. Currently, Michael holds a prestigious internship with the Iowa City Police Department. To date, he has shadowed police officers on nearly a dozen raids to address situations ranging from underage drinking to attempted homicide. According to Michael, he chooses to work the night shift because most exciting police work typically happens after the sunset. Michael is balancing his internship with four classes, hoping to become a state trooper or a police officer after graduation, and work for a federal law enforcement agency in the future.
Nicole and Michael are just two of many talented Sociology majors at the University of Iowa who use their skills and sociological knowledge to contribute to the community and make small yet consequential steps toward solving important social problems.