Where are they now?

Anthropology graduates:

Cydney Rader

Cydney Rader

BA, Anthropology (2017)
Archaeology Research Assistant at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Archaeology

Nick Arnhold (2011)
Staff Archaeoalogist, Cultural Resources Analysts, Inc.

Susan Bachor (2010)
Historic Preservation Representative for the Delaware Tribe of Indians

Arden Dahl (2014)
Archaeologist, AECOM Engineering (a Fortune 500 Company)

Jennifer Falchetta (2007)
Field Director, A.D. Marble

Tarah Leeland (2008)
Archaeologist, Kautz Environmental Consultants, Inc.

Kristen LaPorte (2019)
Archaeology Lab Technician, AECOM Engineering (a Fortune 500 Company)

Tyler LaMantia (2015)
GIS Analyst, Dovetail Cultural Resources Group

Mark Morris (2015)
Archaeologist, Cardno Inc.

Tyler Nance (2015)
Archaeology Crew Chief, E2 Project Management

Cydney Rader (2018)
Archaeology Research Assistant, Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Sean Ream (2003)
Principle Archaeologist, New Jersey Department of Transportation

Museums and Archives

Helen Bilinski (2013)
Exhibits Manager, Delaware Museum of Natural History

Alexandria Chisholm (2009)
Reference and Instruction Librarian, Alvernia University

Colin Kuhn (2018)
Guest Services, Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle

Lisa Moulder (2000)
Director, Betsy Ross House

Sara Regensburger (2014)
Museum Educator, Institute for American Indian Studies

Sarah Sutton (2015)
Manager of Educational Programming, Everhart Museum

Data Analytics

Colin Callaghan (2010)
Lead Analytics Strategist, SEI Financial Services

Brianna Crellin (2017)
Data Analyst, MedPro Systems

Caleb Fritz (2012)
Crime Analyst, NYPD

Jared Kozlowski (2010)
Global Manager, TMG Health Services

Jamie Reece (2009)
Policy Analyst, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

User Experience (UX) Research

Caitlyn Seaman (2017)
UX Research and Digital Marketing Analyst, Traffic Builders Digital Marketing

Julia Czaja (2007)
UX Researcher, Google

Rachael Sirdashney (2017)
Product Specialist, Fiserv

NGOs

Kelly Crodian (2014)
Program Compliance Associate, Women Against Abuse, Inc

Mohammed Kaba (2015)
Founder and Director, Cleopatra Broh Foundation

Chris Thornton
Director of Outreach, Beyond the Bars, Inc.

Entrepreneur

Sarah Alderman (2014)
Owner, AGP Collective LLC

Alexandria Proko
Owner, Alexandria Catherine Events

Antonella Gamba (2006)
Owner, dolce Zola
Restaurant

Dawn Manning (2009)
Poet and author

Doug Reeser, Ph.D. (2005)
Web Editor for Anthropology Now and Editor and Columnist for Recycled Minds

Public Health/Healthcare Services

Sydney CitarManis (2013)
Case Manader, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Jensine Conner (2019)
Project Support Associate, Signant Health

Katie Frame (2009)

Discharge Planning Social Worker, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

Annie Koempel (2011)
Program Manager, Superfund Research Program

Madeline Munitz (2009)

Social Worker, Seward Park School Community Health Center

Hannah Novy-Russell (2010)

Customer Operations Supervisor, PMD Healthcare

Matthew Ruggieri (2012)
Client Services, BAYADA Home Health Care

Caitlin Trucksess (2008)
Senior Research Assistant, Centers for American Indian & Alaskan Native Health

Erin Walker (2013)
Dispatcher, ABBA Medical Transportation, LLC

Education

Aubrey DiDonato (2011)

Teacher and Adminstrator, Alpine Arts Center

Alexa Knoll (2014)

Kindergarten Teacher, Waldorf School

Cortney Todd (2010)
Special Education Liasion, School District of Philadelphia

Peace Corps

Deryn Fink (2017), Gambia

Hannah Novy-Wikowski (2010), Botswana

Luigi Zeccardo (2010), Fiji


Sociology graduates:

 

Melissa Mitchell

Melisa Mitchell

BA, Sociology (2015); MSW (2018)

I began my academic journey in sociology as a transfer student at West Chester University in the Fall 2012 semester. During this time, I switched my major from biology to sociology and overcame personal adversity. While this was a major shift in studies and goals that I paved for myself, this change was indeed an impactful and positive one. It has shaped my aspirations and career to what it has blossomed into today. When I started my sociology track at WCU, I was uncertain of the career path that I would take but knew that I wanted to help people and combine my passions of animals, the environment, and social service. Dr. Zalewski, who was my academic advisor, professor and mentor, helped guide me and ensured that I had a well-rounded background. I took different electives and major courses including Sociological Theory, Perspectives on Mental Illness, Sociology of Aging, Sociology of the Family, and Research Methods that taught me key theories and concepts of sociology, social dynamics, and trends that shape and explain the social structures, social injustices, and problems that we are seeing today. By taking these courses, I also gained increased cultural and social awareness, analytical and critical thinking skills, and writing and research skills that I believe are crucial for all areas of employment. I also minored in geography and urban planning to learn about GIS systems used to collect and analyze geographic and other data for research, as well as to gain additional perspectives on environmental and social challenges that plague society. During my undergraduate studies, I also took advantage of academic and extracurricular activities such as joining the Sociology Club and Multicultural Affairs Club, as well as volunteering at the Women’s Center, Friends Association for Care Homeless Shelter and Protection of Children, and the local animal shelter. These all helped me to form professional networks, apply my skills, and learn about the many areas in which sociology can be used for the greater good. These advantages ultimately led me to pursue graduate studies in Social Work upon graduation.

After receiving my B.A. in Sociology in May 2015, I attended WCU’s graduate program in Social Work at the Philadelphia campus, where I developed and strengthened my knowledge and skillsets in sociology and social work to work with diverse populations in an urban setting. In May 2018, I received my Master’s in Social Work. Since graduation, I have held multiple positions in the mental and behavioral health field as a Therapeutic Support Staff, Direct Support Professional, Advocate, Mental Health Outpatient Therapist, and Supports Coordinator, providing case management, advocacy, and counseling to children, individuals, and families. In these roles, I have implemented the knowledge and skills that I learned from both degree programs to facilitate and provide individual and group therapy, participated in interdisciplinary team meetings to solve and address social disparities and problems, responded to crises, developed and utilized evidence-based treatment and service plans, and accessed community resources to improve the quality of life for the people that I help every day. In November 2019, I took the Association of Social Work licensing board exam and received my LSW to practice social work in PA. I am currently working toward obtaining my clinical social work license and receiving continued learning across different disciplines so that one day I can open my own private practice, providing counseling services to individuals and families and serving as a mentor to the next generation of students. Looking back on my journey, I am grateful for my sociology degree, as it served as a catalyst for my success and made me the person that I am now. I hope my experiences aid another sociology student in knowing the value of their degree and the path(s) that it can take them.

Sarah Millai deBarardinis

Sarah Millai deBerardinis

BA, Sociology (2016); M.Ed., Special Education (2019)

I graduated from WCU with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in May 2016. One thing I found valuable in a sociology degree is that its study involves a path that leads to a diverse range of career opportunities.  During one semester, I took a class called “Perspectives on Mental Illness” with Dr. Leveille. The class was significant to my career, as it was the first time I was exposed to the topic of special education and an array of theoretical frameworks. At that time, I had no idea that the scientific research methods I was learning about in class would one day be approaches that I currently implement in my clinical work as an ABA/Behavioral Therapist and soon-to-be Licensed Behavior Specialist.  

During my last semester at WCU, I used the university’s career management system to find a part-time job. These job searches led me to getting hired by a company that provides educational and behavioral health services called CCRES. Upon getting hired as a personal care assistant, I was assigned to my first elementary school working in an autistic support classroom. Throughout my time there, I fell in love with working in a school atmosphere and helping students who need it the most. After about a year and a half, I was referred to a company called Gamut Early Intervention Services, which is where I still work today. While transitioning from a personal care assistant to an ABA/Behavioral Therapist, I was being trained by well-experienced board-certified behavior analysts on how to actually implement a scientific approach that I first heard about in my sociology class: what is referred to as applied behavior analysis. As a Behavioral Therapist, I use principles of applied behavior analysis to provide direct implementation of behavior analytic services, gather quantifiable data, provide crisis support/de-escalation procedures, graph and analyze data trends, and implement behavioral interventions based on evidence-based practices. Although the work can be challenging, it also is extremely rewarding, as I have had the opportunity to work with a range of students with exceptionalities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Intellectual Disability, Fragile X, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and Emotional Disturbance.

In December 2019, I graduated with my Master’s in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from California University of Pennsylvania. In April 2020, I applied through the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine to obtain my credential as a Licensed Behavior Specialist.  In addition, I’m currently finishing up my independent supervised fieldwork through Gamut so that I can qualify to sit for the certification exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. If it were not for obtaining my sociology degree at West Chester University, I would not be where I am today. The professors in the WCU Sociology Department were always supportive and encouraged me to further my education. Specifically, Dr. Zalewski was one of the first people to ever tell me that I should go to graduate school, which at the time I thought was an out-of-reach goal. Now I’m proud to be sitting here as a recent graduate with a master’s degree. I initially chose sociology as my major because I was fascinated by learning about the complexity of human behavior. Since then, it has served as the foundation for where I am in my profession today, and for that I’m forever grateful for my degree in sociology. 

Molly Wark

Molly Wark

BA, Sociology (2012); MSW (2015)

I obtained my B.A. in Sociology from WCU in 2012 and my Master of Social Work in 2015. Not only was my coursework in sociology influential to the pursuit of my career in social work, but the theories and concepts I studied in the program gave me an incredible advantage as I navigated my graduate studies and have influenced the way I practice social work. I currently work as a Medical Social Worker at Chester County Hospital, and I moonlight as a Crisis Intervention Specialist for Main Line Health.

At Chester County Hospital, I am currently assigned to a COVID 19 unit, and my job is to work with patients and families to develop safe discharge plans from the hospital. It has been extremely rewarding to work within a multidisciplinary healthcare team to battle this pandemic on the front lines. When our first COVID 19 patient was successfully weaned off the ventilator after 12 days, I was responsible for coordinating her continued care so that her medical needs could be safely managed at home. Another example relates to an elderly couple who we recently discharged after being treated for complications related to COVID 19. Initially, they were going to have to be placed in different nursing facilities because the husband suffers from dementia. I appreciated the stress a separation would have caused this couple, who have been married over 50 years, just as they were recovering from serious illness. After many conversations and phone calls, I was ultimately able to arrange their placement in, not only the same facility, but in the same room. Their family was so grateful, and this gave me a real sense of satisfaction. These are just a couple of the many examples of how my job as a social worker has allowed me to make a positive impact on the lives of others in both big and small ways.

Karissa Stiglic

Karissa Stiglic

BA, Sociology (2012)
When I first selected my major, I wasn't entirely sure what my career path would look like. I didn't have a "dream job" in mind, but I knew that I connected with the study of Sociology and assumed that the rest would work itself out. It wasn't until I started interviewing for jobs that I truly realized how valuable my Sociology degree would be in the workplace.
I graduated from West Chester University in the fall of 2012 and was fortunate enough to get a job right out of college with Finance of America Mortgage (Gateway Funding at the time).

Being in the marketing department, I quickly had to learn what a mortgage was, why obtaining homeownership was truly important, and how to get that message to our audience.
Homeownership is one of the fastest ways to build wealth, and for some, it seems impossible. Outside of the lack of education presented around purchasing a home and positive debt, thanks to the knowledge I obtained in my Sociology classes, I was able to understand some of the other reasons that impact the decision to purchase a home. I think a Sociology degree changes how you look at the world. What some see as purchasing a home, I see as a step towards changing the entire structure of a community. And it all starts with the messaging that we created in the marketing department.

Recently, I moved to the digital team at Finance of America Mortgage where I am helping build out various technologies to make the customer experience more holistic and accessible. Daily, I take the knowledge that Dr. Jackie (Zalewski) and the rest of the Sociology department shared with me during my time at West Chester and use it to find solutions to help provide resources to those who see homeownership as unobtainable and guide them through laying the foundation for financial freedom.

Understanding Sociology benefits every single industry, and I'm grateful to have been given the knowledge to better local communities through the financial sector.

Harvey Nicholson

Harvey Nicholson

BA, Sociology (2014)
I am currently an assistant professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law. I majored in Sociology as a student at West Chester University and, afterwards, entered graduate school to pursue my M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology. As a professor, I conduct research and teach courses on racial and ethnic health disparities, substance use problems, and racial and ethnic relations in American society. I strongly believe majoring in Sociology at West Chester University helped generate the knowledge and the skills necessary to excel in graduate school, especially due to the excellent faculty and the diversity of interesting courses offered by the Sociology program. To me, Sociology has opened my eyes to the many challenges facing society. But, more importantly, it has given me the tools to work towards eliminating social inequality and injustice.

Sociology Alumni

Steve Falance

BA, Sociology (2018)
I currently work as a Legal Administrative Specialist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Benefits Administration, while also transitioning into a Supply Management Specialist position for the U.S. Department of the Army. I firmly believe that the value in obtaining a degree in sociology can make oneself a marketable asset in a competitive job market. The sociology program at West Chester University allowed me to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and become exposed to concepts that have broadened my perception of how society and the world operate. The knowledge that comes from studying sociology can set you up for success regardless of what career field you end up pursuing.

Sociology Alumni

Margo Maas

BA, Sociology (2017)
I am the Assistant Director of Student Philanthropy at the WCU Foundation. This is a new role for me, but I will continue to work with the Golden Rams Society to cultivate a culture of philanthropy across WCU. I also work with the processing of annual appeals for our nonprofit fundraising for WCU. This degree helped me to get where I am because it put me in places with people who were doing things in the world I wanted to do, taught me a whole new level of balance as a nontraditional student, and it polished important skills such as professionalism and responsibility, as well as sparked my creativity and gave me a new direction to serve my passions in life. I’m grateful to WCU and all the professors who worked with me in order to achieve my BA in sociology!

Sociology Alumni

Nancy Reeves

BA, Sociology (1989)
I graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a minor in psychology. Most of my undergraduate sociology courses were taught by Dr. Leigh Shaffer, a wonderful professor who instilled within me a love for sociological concepts and theories. Upon graduation, I found a job working in the customer service field. My background in both the sociological and psychological fields quickly proved invaluable, as I was promoted to supervisor within a short time period. In 1992, in addition to working full time, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in urban sociology at Temple University because I wanted to add to my sociological background with a degree in other academic areas. After I had my first child, I left the workforce for approximately nine months. When I reentered the workforce, I decided to make a change in my career path upon the suggestion of my late husband. Thus, in September 2002 my teaching career began in the field of sociology. Since that time, I have taught a variety of sociology courses at many different universities and colleges, including Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Sociology of the Family, and my personal favorite: Social Deviance. I learned a great deal about sociological theories, concepts, and ideas during my time earning a Bachelor’s degree in sociology at West Chester University. My love for the field of sociology is rooted in the valuable information I attained in the many classes I attended during the period of 1987-1989. The most significant impact my degree in sociology has had in my life cannot be found within the classroom, however. Rather, it is the fostering of critical-thinking skills that has allowed me to be successful in working toward my Doctoral degree in post-secondary education. A Bachelor’s degree in sociology is the start to so many future possibilities, both academically and professionally. I am so thankful that this degree has helped my life in innumerable ways.

Sociology Alumni

Steven B. Bobo

BA, Sociology (2014)
Hello, West Chester University students! I take great pleasure in writing this paragraph about the Sociology Department and all that it has done for me. Sociology taught me one of the most important things that I needed to know: how to understand the effects of culture on the ways people respond to all types of events and changes. When I started at West Chester University, my goal was to become a drug counselor, but, like many of you, my career path changed. My time at WCU was all about doing the work and achieving something that I've never done before in my life: earning my bachelor's degree. This was a large task for a 40-plus-year-old black man with a wife and five kids, attending school full time while working three jobs. I still graduated on time – and with honors! Now I'm a Therapeutic Support Specialist for NHS Human Services. I was hired six months after graduating from WCU, and I currently work with people of different cultures and religions to help them improve their behavior and make better life choices. I received the knowledge to do this from the best university on the planet: West Chester University is truly second to none!

Molly (Bryne) Austin

Molly (Byrne) Austin

BA, Sociology (2014); M.Ed. in School Counseling (2016)

When I started at West Chester University in 2010, I knew I wanted to go into a helping profession, but I wasn’t sure specifically what career path I wanted to pursue. I chose to major in Sociology because I knew West Chester’s program would provide me with a well-rounded education that could open many doors for me. About halfway through my undergraduate career, I decided I wanted to work as a School Counselor. I was so thankful that along with my Sociology classes, I had the flexibility to take classes in Psychology and Education. This provided me with the perfect mix of classes so I was able to study social structures, individual behaviors, research methods, the brain, childhood development, and the school system all at once! I also was provided opportunities for hands-on learning by assisting Dr. Zalewski with her research projects, and Dr. Zalewski helped me while I conducted my own research. The opportunity to work closely with a Sociology professor really strengthened my research, communication, and critical-thinking skills. I graduated with my Bachelor's in Sociology in May 2014, and that same month I began my Master's of Education in K-12 School Counseling at WCU. I graduated from the school counseling program in May 2016, and I’ve been working as a high school counselor since then. I am currently in my fourth school year as a school counselor, and I am utilizing what I learned in my Sociology program every day. In my profession, I am constantly being challenged to solve programs, think creatively and critically, and collect and analyze data. Sociology has taught me to ask the hard questions about why things are happening, and this has made me a more thorough and thoughtful counselor. I’m thankful for my Sociology degree and the ways it has shaped me as a person and a school counselor!

Sociology Alumni

Jessica Herling

BA, Sociology (2014); BA, Women's and Gender Studies (2014)
Jess recently earned her master's degree in sociology at Virginia Tech and is now working toward a Ph.D. in sociology with a concentration in women's and gender studies in the same department.She double-majored in sociology and women's and gender studies as an undergraduate at WCU, and she says that her experiences at West Chester have been invaluable in her graduate program. Presenting at conferences with the support of the Sociology Club, taking rigorous sociology and women's and gender studies classes, working on research projects with faculty, and having strong guidance from her mentors at WCU truly helped her on her journey to graduate school and adjustment to life as a graduate student.

Sociology Alumni

Zachary Kline

BA, Sociology (2015)
As a student at West Chester University, Zack developed skills alongside committed sociology faculty in leadership, networking, research, teaching, and collaboration. Zack took advantage of faculty's open door policy. He participated in multiple research projects, data entry and management, an internship in business management, Sociology Club, and a one-on-one independent study. He was even fortunate enough to guest lecture in an Introduction to Sociology class. West Chester's abundant opportunities helped him built a curricula vitae (resume) and scholarly passion strong enough to gain admittance to a PhD program in Sociology at the University of Connecticut. He still visits campus as often as he can and continues to rely on his WCU mentors in his academic pursuits.

Sociology Alumni

Amber Plank

BA, Sociology (2013)
I'm currently serving the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a Clinical Research Assistant within the division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. My time at West Chester University and my choice to pursue a degree in sociology have solely led me to the place I am today. In my academic coursework, I learned the value of diversity and how to communicate with diverse populations – a valuable skill when working with a team whose members have varying perspectives and even more valuable when collecting data on patients and families from an array of cultures and backgrounds. Throughout my time at West Chester, I learned how to use critical thinking to solve problems that arise in day-to-day activities. My studies in sociology, in particular, taught me that problems may be best tackled by getting to know the individuals around us and treating each one as a person with a story and a context, as opposed to just a number. Classes in research methods and statistics prepared me for this position and elevated my knowledge of research design and good clinical practices. I encourage each and every student to make the most of every class they encounter because even some concepts that might not sound very interesting at first will be extremely valuable in future careers and endeavors.

Sociology Alumni

Sarah Sanchez

BA, Sociology (2011)
Sarah is the foundress of UNRUCK YOURSELF and a contributing author toThe Midas Touch: The World's Leading Experts Reveal Their Top Secrets to Winning Big in Business & Life(2015, Expert Author Publishing). On way she chose to major in sociology, she said: "I chose sociology at WCU because I like to have the freedom of choice. With my degree, I have had the opportunity to not be stuck in one career path for the rest of my "working" life. I have been able to start my own company, pick and choose what charities my company supports, and contribute a chapter to an Amazon best-selling book. I can't describe the impact the sociology program at WCU has had on my life, but I will say this: To the students who love to think outside the box while studying your own communities, it's a must have a degree. The program builds a solid foundation for future free-thinkers, social workers, and community leaders alike."

Sociology Alumni

Joe Woodbridge

BA, Sociology (2014)
I received my BA in Sociology in December 2014 from West Chester University. Upon entering the undergraduate sociology program, I pursued this major because of personal interest after completing my associate’s degree in communication studies from Delaware County Community College. While in the sociology program, I learned about important social science topics including sociology of gender, statistics, deviance, and career internships. My first internship was at Adolescent Advocates in Bryn Mawr, PA, where I had the opportunity to work with adolescents struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. After that internship, I knew that I wanted to be involved in that field of work. Shout-out to Dr. Ceballos, Dr. Zalewski, and Dr. Wiest! I was also involved in the Sociology Club, where I got to serve as the Social Chair. We planned club activities and found ways to keep the membership interesting and available to students. My last semester, we got to travel to NYU for a workshop on Sociology in the Digital Age where we met college students from other countries.

After graduation, I was hired to work as a Clinical Aide at Mirmont Treatment Center in Media, PA. Mirmont Treatment Center is part of Main Line Health and serves as a residential substance abuse treatment facility. Shortly after beginning my career there, I made the decision to return to West Chester University to pursue higher education in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program. My experience from the sociology program really helped serve as a solid foundation for the course work I began in the MSW program, specifically learning about the person in the environment and community interventions. I graduated from the MSW program in May 2018 and am now working at the Mirmont Outpatient Center in Exton as a Drug & Alcohol Therapist. I primarily work with adolescents who struggle with substance use disorders. Soon I will be taking the Licensed Social Worker (LSW) exam and traveling to Atlanta, GA, for a professional training to become certified in Relapse Prevention Counseling (CRPS) under the Gorski model.

I plan to pursue the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credential upon receiving the LSW certification. Dr. Zalewski and I have even spoken about creating an elective course and syllabus for undergraduate sociology students at WCU on the topic of substance use disorders! Who knows, I may even be talked into pursuing a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree someday. My experience at WCU’s undergraduate sociology program was wonderful, and I would recommend it to anyone seeking a unique education track with an interest in learning about others. Get involved, keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to seek assistance from the wonderful sociology professors at WCU!

Find out more about The Sociology Majors Project

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