Alumni in the Field

Rodney L. Merrill / BA in Sociology, 1975

By Katie Hittmeier, Sociology Undergraduate, Spring 2003

I graduated with a B.A. in sociology in 1975. I have never been employed in a capacity that requires a degree in sociology. People sometimes suggest that I wasted a lot of time and money on something that never paid off. I could not disagree more.

Studying sociology was a consciousness-altering process for me. It opened up new vistas and a more expansive experience of life. For me sociology was never just a subject to study. It was a consciousness to adopt. There isn't a day that goes by when I do not put this sociological consciousness to work. The way I interpret the news, the detachment I experience from marketing and advertising, the willingness I have to understand people from different counties and cultures, to entertain the possibility that our ways being no better than their ways, all this and much more do I owe to my study of sociology.

Had I gone to school for the purpose of earning a degree that would land me a high paying job, then I would feel disappointed and cheated; but I did not. I went to college to learn something new about the world. That I did. So I ask you, what price tag can you put on new eyes and new consciousness? What value can you assign to a transformation of your experience of life? Therefore, I say, had my education cost me ten times what it did and still I could not find a job in my field, I would still feel it was a bargain.

Since graduating from Humboldt State University, I have taken many courses in other subjects and earned other degrees from other schools. Most have been disappointing by comparison. My time and money spent at in the Humboldt State University in the small but wonderful Sociology Department was a bargain the likes of which I have not seen since and may never see again.