alumni spotlight

Aaron Arrendondo

Aaron Arredondo

MA in Sociology | 2015Doctoral Student, University of Missouri
"Upon graduating with my master’s in sociology from UA, I went directly into the sociology PhD program at the University of Missouri. At MU, I have been able to further develop the line of research I established at UA. This has enabled me to present my work at the ASA, publish book reviews on topics within my expertise, serve as reviewer for a journal, and transform my MA thesis into a peer-reviewed journal article".  Read More ->

Erica Estes

Erica Estes

MA in Sociology | 1999
Director of Employer Relations for Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
Erica is a Director of Employer Relations for Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. She got her B.A. in psychology with a minor in gender studies. Later She continued her education toward an M.A. in sociology.  In her current job, she uses her degrees to understand how and why people make the decisions they do, and the value of further investigation into the complexity of systems, processes, and groups of people. Read More ->

Dahlia Evans-Vertreese, Alumni, Mayor of The Township of Hillside, NJ

Dahlia Evans-Vertreese

MA in Sociology | 1995
Mayor of The Township of Hillside, NJ
"In her work with labor unions, Dahlia credits the Sociology program in helping her navigate perspectives and understand where people were coming from, helping her to develop win-win situations in managing conflicts. The program also helped her understand what fair meant – this helped her as a manager to see different viewpoints and understand why people acted the way they did. As a teacher, Dahlia credits faculty in the Sociology program for helping her to develop a strong ability to compare and contrast. Faculty always encouraged her to question her ideology and opinions and to look at other perspectives, a skillset she transferred to her own students."  Read More -> 

Bilquis Ferdousi, Ph.D., Alumni

Bilquis Ferdousi, Ph.D.

MA in Sociology | 1998
Associate Professor, School of Information Security & Applied Computing, College of Technology
"Although my current academic profession is in computer program, but MA in Sociology has significant contribution in my career as a faculty and researcher in computer field. In my research and classroom instruction, whenever possible, I try to correlate computer technology to the society. Keeping in mind that computer is just a technology that has no value if it’s not accepted by the members in society, I always try to apply social theory in my research on computer technology acceptance. With increasing threat to people’s privacy and security, especially because of prevalent use of mobile technology, social medial, etc. focusing on social and psychological factors becoming important to researchers in computer technology field."  Read More -> 

Megan Handley, Alumni

Megan Handley

BA and MA in Sociology | 2015
Project Director for a Grant Housed in the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Department at the University of Arkansas
"The faculty in the Sociology and Criminology department were outstanding. I was fortunate to receive excellent mentoring while obtaining my BA, and decided to stay for my MA to build on those relationships. My education in the MA Sociology Program is the reason that I am doing what I do today. It provided me with the research experience that is required for my current position. The MA Sociology program provided me with the opportunity to collaborate on multi-person research projects, lead those research projects, and equipped with the knowledge and experience to be successful in what I'm doing now. Also, I made connections and networks that helped launch my career."  Read More -> 

Shila Hawk, Ph.D., Lecturer at the University of Arkansas, Alumni

Shila René Hawk, Ph.D.

BA and MA in Sociology | 2010 
Applied Research Services, Inc.

"The foundation of my research and all research-related services can be traced back to the UofA Sociology MA program. I was able to build upon that strong foundation in my doctoral program and ultimately it resulted in me being a Subject Matter Expert, research consultant, and data scientist. It was the UofA faculty’s guidance that led me to define an area of interest, nurtured quintessential methods and analyses understandings, and provided the opportunity for my first experiences in conducting studies. I often advise on evidence-based practices by digesting the existing literature, determining its validity, and helping clients know how to apply it."  Read More -> 

Eric Heath, Alumni

Eric Heath

BA and MA in Sociology | 2008
Associate Vice President for the University of Chicago’s Department of Safety and Security
Eric is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Sociology and has attended the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.  A Veteran who has served overseas in the Middle East, Eric has served in a public safety leadership capacity at several prominent institutions including the University of Arkansas, Vanderbilt University, and George Mason University.  Now he serves as the Associate Vice President for the University of Chicago’s Department of Safety and Security.  Read More ->

Kristin Kelley, Alumni

Kristin Kelley

BA in Sociology and Criminal Justice | MA in Sociology | 2013
Ph.D. Candidate at Indiana University
"As an undergraduate at the UofA, I majored in Sociology and Criminal Justice. I became increasingly interested in social inequality and enjoyed taking courses from the UofA faculty, who pushed me to earn my MA n in Sociology at UofA.  After graduating with my Master’s Degree, I moved to Bloomington, Indiana to pursue my PhD in Sociology at Indiana University. I recently earned the National Science Foundation’s Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) Award to fund my dissertation: “The Role of Economic Resources and Parental Status in Challenging Gender Norms: The Case of Marital Name Choice.”  Read More ->

Scott Lynch, Ph.D., Alumni

Scott M. Lynch, Ph.D.

MA in Sociology | 1995
Professor, Department of Sociology and Population Research Institute (DUPRI), Duke University
"I was an undergraduate sociology/criminal justice major at Arkansas, and I wanted to go on to graduate school in sociology.  In my second year of the MA program, I applied to six PhD programs based on geographic considerations and my interests.  I was admitted to three of them and opted to go to Duke University for the PhD.  I spent six years in the PhD program, earning an MS in statistics along the way.  After I graduated (2001), I took an assistant professor position in the sociology department at Princeton University.  I was tenured there and promoted to associate professor in 2007 and full professor in 2010.  I remained there until 2014, when I took a position back at Duke University."  Read More ->

Jill Neimier photo alumni

Jill Niemeier

BA and MA in Sociology | 2018
Lecturer of the Sociology & Criminology Department  at the University of Arkansas
Jill chose to pursue an MA in sociology at the University of Arkansas after obtaining her BA from the same program. Now, Jill decided to do a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA. She serves at the University of Arkansas in the Center for Community Engagement as the Outreach and Engagement Program Advisor. In addition to her VISTA position, she is teaching an online general sociology course at the University of Arkansas.  Read More ->

Don Willis photo alumni

Don Willis, Ph.D.

MA in Sociology | 2013
Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock
"I was a sociology major as an undergraduate and knew that I was interested in this field. The University of Arkansas Sociology Department stood out to me as a program where I would have a lot of opportunities to get engaged with applied sociological research that impacted the surrounding community. After completing the MA program, I began working towards my PhD in sociology at the University of Missouri - Columbia. I recently completed that degree and have taken an assistant professor position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock."  Read More ->