Alumni in the Field

Elizabeth Weber / BA in Sociology, 1984

In a 2003 interview with undergraduate Katie Hittmeier, Elizabeth Weber discusses how she uses her Sociology background in everyday life.

I received a B.A. in Social Work and a B.A in Sociology in 1984 from Humboldt State. I have done extensive volunteer work since graduation: rape counseling; domestic violence counseling; Girl Scouts; help with elderly in assisted living/nursing home environment; AIDS organization fundraising; various political campaigns and issues; writing articles for newsletters; etc. I currently volunteer at my son's day care doing fundraising, publicity, and room representation on the advisory board.

I know my experiences at HSU were used in the more emotionally intensive volunteer positions, but my mom, who had all five of her kids volunteering from a young age, ingrained in us a need to help in any and all situations.

I gave up getting paid to do social work in 1989, when I completed my certificate in Paralegal studies and changed to a more financially lucrative career. However, I use my social work skills more with the attorneys I work with than any of the clients I had as a social worker.

The skills I learned in the Sociology and Social Work programs 19 years ago are so ingrained now into my every day life that it is hard to detail for you the exact ways I currently use these skills. I guess the things I learned, or had within me that became enhanced in the program, are: respect for all people; knowing I am just a heartbeat and a bit of luck away from the challenges social services clients face; when facing a challenge try and look for the bigger picture of what is happening; breathe deeply. I use the knowledge I learned from the child development classes with my son everyday.

I loved my experience at HSU! I enjoyed the interactions between the professors and the students, which was possible due to the small size of the department. I made friends in the dorms that I still consider my best friends 19 years later. And I see them frequently even though we live all over the country.