Megan HandleyMegan 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


Why did you choose to purse an MA in Sociology at the UofA?

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.


What did you do upon graduating from the MA in Sociology program?

Immediately following graduation, I moved out of the country briefly. Upon returning, I travelled around the U.S. before settling down in Fayetteville to pursue a career as a Criminology/Sociology Instructor for the U of A. Shortly after taking on the role as Instructor, I accepted a position as Project Director for a grant housed in the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation department at the U of A. This is my current position.


What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

My greatest professional accomplishments are 1) completing and successfully defending my Master's thesis, and 2) accepting the position as Program Director for a research grant aimed at developing and assessing measures for social surveys.


How did your education in the MA Sociology Program prepare you for what you are doing today? 

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.


What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your field?

Don't listen to people that tell you that getting a degree in the social sciences is pointless, or not useful in the work place. To put it bluntly - they are wrong. My foundation in Sociology has benefited me greatly, both professionally and personally. More importantly, I don't feel like my experience is an isolated one. Follow your passions - it makes life more fun.