Alumni in the Field

Mary Jo Bates / BA in Sociology, 1971

By Katie Hittmeier, Sociology Undergraduate, Spring 2003

Mary has done lots of volunteer work including involvement in creative art groups, animal rescue, and community work. In a 2003 interview with Sociology undergraduate Katie Hittmeier, Mary said:

Information on social theory has definitely assisted [me] in working with groups of people, and developing a level of empathy and understanding. Learning about the interactions of different cultures, races, and populations within and without the mainstream built a wide appreciation of humanity.

I do not work in a specifically sociological field at this time, although I did related work immediately after graduating. Information learned in the program has assisted me in life in general, and is most assuredly an asset in developing relationships within a complex office atmosphere. It has broadened my understanding about the needs and interactions of people of varying cultures, and developed a level of humanity within myself that probably would have taken much longer to solidify if I hadn't had the benefit of the coursework here.

Knowing about how groups form and function was a very significant asset in raising children and helping [them] to negotiate the rigors of learning and how to [help them] interact with their peers. Sociology is of significant benefit in the work place and in all aspects of life-- work, volunteering for the community, interacting with the "man on the street," and with varying age groups and cultural backgrounds.

Sociology classes are very important in helping students broaden their perspective of the interactions of people, and should be considered as recommended courses even if students are majoring in other fields. No matter what the socio-political time and climate, the knowledge gained from sociology benefits and builds understanding and compassion.

I found that a combination of sociology coursework along with psychology and anthropology made for a broader awareness and significantly enhanced the person that I have become. HSU has excellent instructors with a wide range of scholarly experience, and I highly value the experience and enlightenment I received here.