Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance Student Profile
Name: Abbey Guyette
Graduation Year: 2017
Hometown: Greenville, WI
How and why did you choose your major?
In choosing a major, I knew I wanted to study something that I could really connect to and care about on a personal level. I wanted to study something that would enable me to make the world a better place someday, and I could feel that happening in the Sociology department.
I chose the B.S. option because it allowed me to strengthen my analytical skills through classes like calculus and statistics, while applying those skills to concepts and topics that I really care about that might be more abstract or theoretical.
Originally I was very excited to learn about the Law, Criminology, and Deviance part of the major, as I used to be a fan of crime tv shows. In my second year, I took the Introduction to Sociology course and as I learned more about the many areas of study within sociology, this major felt right.
Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.
As I continued in the major, I became more interested in many other areas of sociology, including gender, class, religion, and politics. My entire worldview has changed based on the research I’ve learned about, the theories I’ve been challenged with, and the insight I’ve gained through my major coursework. I’ve developed a critical lens with which I now look at the world and our society’s institutions – in Sociology we call this our sociological imagination.
I’ve been able to explore many other disciplines during my undergraduate education through the sub-plan requirement of the major, which is comprised of courses outside the department. I’ve found new things I’m passionate about, like human rights law and environmental studies, and develop marketable skills, like grant writing and statistical analysis. The interdisciplinary experiences through my sub-plan courses I’ve taken have enriched my learning and opened up many possibilities for my future and career.
I’ve always enjoyed learning, and attending graduate school to continue my education is a goal of mine. Not only do I feel that my major in sociology has given me a diverse set of skills and experiences that I’ll be able to apply to a variety of fields within a professional setting, but also to the work I’ll do in whichever type of graduate school I pursue.
What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)
I’ve had internships with The Center for Homicide Research and the Minnesota Literacy Council, I’ve volunteered for The Advocates for Human Rights, I have served as a board member and President for the University of Minnesota Sociological Association (UMSA), I sit on the Undergraduate Ethics and Affairs Committee for the Sociology department, and I work for the Sociology department as an undergraduate Teaching Assistant in the Social Statistics course.
Although my study abroad experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina was a program focused on Spanish language immersion, I was able to take a course called “Argentina: Stereotypes & Identities”. Being able to apply what I had learned back at the U in my sociology classes to the new cultures and society that I was interacting with and learning about in Argentina was a really empowering experience for me in my education.
In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?
Your major does not have to equal your career! With a major in Sociology, I’ve been able to build important career skills that are transferrable across different industries by studying what I am interested in and passionate about, without limiting my career options to a single profession.