As so many other students in my graduating class, I was relatively unfamiliar with sociology when I entered college as a freshman, but fell in love with the discipline after my very first sociology class. I went into college wanting to understand how the world worked, and in the end found out that the complex relationships among social forces provided much more satisfying explanations for my daily experiences than even the most sophisticated knowledge of physics or chemistry. Sociology speaks to the most important and compelling events of my life--I cannot imagine another discipline feeling so relevant. With my sociology degree, I have the power to challenge inequalities of gender, race, and class, to be acritical and educated voice in public policy issues, and to explore theintersections between private troubles and public issues.

I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego, and I feel extraordinarily lucky to have gone through the sociology undergraduate program at Montana State University. Talking to my fellow graduate students who received their undergraduate degrees from universities like Colombia, Brown, Northwestern, and Stanford, I received an equal--if not superior--sociology education from MSU. The sociology faculty at MSU were interested in my success, eager to discuss my budding research interests, and nothing short of inspiring. They pushed me to be my best and allowed me the intellectual freedom to develop truly unique ideas. When I applied for graduate school as a junior, I had not one, but four faculty members in my corner cheering me on and giving me invaluable advice. I also had the opportunity to conduct my own research project which I was able to publish shortly after I graduated. Publishing that early in my graduate career puts me leaps and bounds ahead of fellow graduate students from larger universities. I am deeply thankful to the sociology faculty for encouraging me to develop my theoretical and research skills and for their relentless support of my intellectual development.

-Erin Cech
Sociology '05
Electrical Engineering '05
Doctoral Student in Sociology, UC San Diego

I'm just finishing my first round of law school finals, and it's quite the experience. I've been surprised how different the courses are, but also how similar the legal writing is to the Sociology program. I think I've been able to have a step-up on some of my classmates because of the writing and critical thinking I was exposed to during my undergraduate work.

-Allisa Mellum