UCF Sociology Difference

 Thomas McLoone (B.A. 2013)

“Studying Sociology has provided me with a platform to help distinguish trends and behaviors within the Staffing Industry and business in general.  By understanding group behavior and social norms learned throughout the Sociology program, I have developed an ability to interpret everyday issues as they relate to workforce trends such as unemployment matters, career choices, workplace conflicts, personality traits and labor trends in general. Additionally, understanding the individuals role within an organization has been a phenomenal skill when making sales calls and presentations to prospective customers, particularly organizations that have large multinational and international footprints and diverse workplace issues.”

–President, Level Resources-A Staffing and Recruiting Company


Rachel Morgan (Ph.D. 2013)

“Pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology at UCF was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  The faculty and coursework facilitated my growth and development as a professional and intellectual.  The faculty encourages and helps motivated graduate students succeed and study topics they are passionate about.  They assist students in finding ways to learn outside of the classroom by working with organizations in the community and promoting collaboration with colleagues outside of UCF.  While at UCF, I studied violence against women.  I knew I wanted a career in which I could study this topic and contribute to making women’s lives better.  The faculty in the department aided me in doing just that and taught me the necessary skills to succeed as an applied sociologist.  The coursework in statistics, survey methodology, and domestic violence helped me secure a position with the U.S. Department of Justice examining criminal victimization in the United States.  After earning my Ph.D., I felt confident and prepared to begin my career and I thank the UCF sociology department for this.”

–Statistician, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice


Michelle Parra (B.A. 2013)

“Studying Sociology at UCF has helped me to embrace social diversity and better understand, analyze, and describe the different conditional factors that could positively and/or negatively modify the human behavior and socialization process. Moreover, UCF philosophy-creed combined with the sociological knowledge’s learned during my years as a sociology student have been essential elements that influence the development of my socio-psychological sense which allow me not only to identify behavior patterns but also to improve my self-awareness. It has helped me to be a better human being and professional so that I will always be a Knight following the Creed!”

–Bilingual Financial Advisor, JP Morgan Chase


Amanda Russell (M.A. 2013)

“Because I had such an enriching curriculum, rewarding involvement, and developing interest during my UCF undergraduate Sociology studies, my decision to enter the applied graduate program was easy. The invaluable experience throughout my studies further inspired my career in higher education administration. My honed analytical skills along with understanding of cultural diversity are important assets to the profession. Higher education requires a vast comprehension of program design and evaluation, multiple backgrounds, and societal trends. My mentor professors gave me the opportunity to engage in both influential community research as well as my own personal research interests. The blending of literature, research, workshops, conferences, and practical applications created a fulfilling scholastic environment. Looking towards the future, I can confidently say I am well prepared because of my positive UCF Sociology involvement.”

–Administrative Professional, Valencia College


Lisa Chiapputo (B.A. 2012)

“Diversity in education is an extremely important factor, and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from UCF provided me with both the theoretical background and research experience I needed to be successful in my current position as a field data collector with a large research company. The focus on data analysis methods and evaluation were especially beneficial in understanding how research design begins, and my position is merely an applied continuation of the skills received in my undergraduate career. My education has given me insight into not only how society functions as a whole, but also how I can be a part in bringing people together through shared knowledge and understanding, something I hope will eventually lead me to a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. The numerous paths available within the field of Sociology make it an exciting, versatile degree which can be used in a wide variety of fields and career options.”

–Field Data Collector/Interviewer, Westat


Shannon Pennington (B.A. 2012)

“Attending UCF and studying Sociology has been invaluable in formulating my theories of the world. The professors at UCF have a vast understanding of the materials they teach.  I was able to be educated through their experience and gain knowledge myself on things like domestic abuse, murder, research methods and data analysis.  Now working for Help Now Osceola, Inc. as their Community Outreach and Prevention Coordinator, I am able to put all the tools I learned from UCF to work.  Studying Domestic Violence, Juvenile Delinquency and Sociology of Murder really helps me daily in my field.  I have a deeper understanding of the issues that I now deal with in my profession.  Now I am educating my community on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  I would encourage all students and prospective students at UCF to take full advantage of their time at UCF, as it will only benefit their future!”

–Community Outreach and Prevention Coordinator, Help Now Osceola, Inc.


 Timothy Colyer (Ph.D. 2012)

“A doctoral degree in Sociology has given me a new perspective when approaching people and challenges. The curriculum enhanced my ability to be open-minded when exposed to different viewpoints expressed by employees and customers, resulting in a management style that encourages and accepts diverse opinions. The doctoral program’s rigorous research methods and data analysis regimen enable me to apply advanced methods to program management and evaluation efforts.”

–Program Manager, Ahtna Support and Training Services


Debra Marshall (Ph.D. 2012)

“My degree has allowed me to view my work in the classroom as an important stepping stone on the path that all students, regardless of their eventual career choices, will take. Sociology broadens horizons, and gives meaning to our everyday world. It is a great feeling knowing that what I learned at UCF is being passed on to a new generation of academics. Teaching students at the introductory collegiate level is extremely rewarding and my professors and mentors at UCF were integral in giving me not only academic knowledge, but also teaching skills which I have been able to use to spark the interests of many students in an array of sociological areas. In addition, the doctoral program helped to strengthen and broaden my own base of sociological knowledge thus making me a more effective teacher. Whether teaching about the environment, crime, race, gender or class, many students have used the sociological foundations of my courses to benefit their academic and professional careers. I look forward to a long career in teaching, and I credit the sociology faculty at UCF for encouraging me down this path.”

–Assistant Professor, Brevard Community College


Courtney Freeburn (B.A. 2011)

“Studying Sociology at UCF inspired me to engage in practical social research and the application of findings to the community. My original research interests expanded over the course of my undergrad and I realized that my fascination with society’s impact on individuals could well be served in a career in law enforcement. With my degree, I am a competitive candidate for many positions in the field because studying Sociology has allowed me to effectively understand and analyze the inter-workings of society. Currently, I work as a 911-specialist and my perception of culture benefits me daily in my profession. This fall, I will continue my education and begin working on a Master’s Degree at UCF. I also plan to stay with the agency I’m at currently and hope to play a role in creating positive social change in the field. As a result of my time spent with the Sociology Department, I have found my passion in the study of society and crime.”

–Communications Specialist, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office


Jaime Hecht (M.A. 2011)

“My sociology degree is used a guiding light every day as I work to protect today’s farmed animals and feed people in need. When trying to encourage change it is imperative to remember the many social and cultural differences that both unite and divide us. Because of my degree in sociology I have the unique ability to understand the many intricate and conflicting situations in which our potential members may find themselves. I use my background in social research to devise the most effective strategies and persuasive campaigns. I am very thankful to UCF for the encouragement I received during my studies and daily apply my degree to make positive change in the world.”

–American Sociological Association, Program Coordinator for Academic & Professional Affairs


Katelan Smith (M.A. 2011)

“When I began looking for graduate programs, my number one goal was to find an applied program that would give me the skills necessary to succeed in the research field. As a survey specialist working on a large national survey, I can say that the Master’s program at UCF provided me with the foundation necessary to enter the world of social science research. The applied focus of the curriculum allowed me to hone and develop my skills in survey research and data analysis. One of the most beneficial aspects of the program was the freedom that was provided in formulating a thesis. The program allowed me to develop my research not only on a topic of interest to me, but to also develop it around applied methods and principles that I would later use in my career.”

–Survey Specialist, Research Triangle Institute


Nicholas A. Guittar (Ph.D. 2011)

“The doctoral program in sociology at UCF has improved my life both personally and professionally. The program did everything imaginable to prepare me for my current role as Assistant Professor of Sociology at a small regional university. I learned valuable research skills (both qualitative and quantitative), developed a firm understanding of social theory, and engaged in the application of sociology in local organizations. The department maintains a true open-door policy and they offer a wide variety of curriculum. One item that sets the UCF doctoral program apart from other doctoral programs is the fact that students teach—not just assist, but teach—courses in their area. Most academic positions place great emphasis on applicants 1) having a record of publication, and 2) having teaching experience. Thanks to my Ph.D. in Sociology from UCF, I now have both.”

–Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of South Carolina Lancaster


Rebecca Feiler (M.A. 2009)

“A degree in Sociology influenced me to have an active role in positive social change, particularly in creating an environment that practices holistic health care for the mind and body, and offers education to promote a wellness centered lifestyle. When individuals are healthy, functioning members of a community, they are more likely and able to see their connections to others and to take actions that promote equality and peace. Additionally, skills in survey design and program evaluation helped me create surveys and questionnaires that provided valuable data on what yoga students are looking for in classes.”

–Small Business Owner, Meaningful Messages Yoga Studio


Nick Libby (Ph.D. 2009)

“I pursued a doctoral degree in Sociology to further my studies in Criminology, but have ended up with a rewarding career in health care. Essentially, I went from studying people that kill people to people who save people’s lives, shifting easily from official crime databases to survey data collected from medical professionals and patients. Although this is a shift in focus, my background in Sociology provided me with numerous transferable skills necessary to perform in any analytical occupation: research methods, quantitative analysis, data management, program evaluation, and survey design.”

–Avatar International