Since COVID-19 has made gathering for the Department of Sociology's 125th anniversary difficult, many faculty and alumni have sent in fond memories of their time at Catholic University. Browse through these memories below and join us in reflecting on the history of our department.
To submit your own memory to be featured on this page, please email Anna Barren at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DC as a Classroom
Professor Leszek Sibilski in 2010.
Being located in the heart of Washington DC is something that uniquely differentiates CUA from other Universities. I believe Professor Leszek Sibilski realized that, and let us take advantage of it. We would learn in class about these amazing organizations who were headquartered in Washington DC. Professor Sibilski would take the learning one step further. He would navigate these organizations, set up time for us to meet with individuals there, and we would go visit the organizations instead of attending class. Being able to walk into the World Bank, or the IMF and hear first hand accounts from the people that worked there was something we couldn't get in a book, and it's something I still think about to this day.
- Anthony Graffeo, B.A. Sociology, 2011
Incredible Place to Work
There are so many positive memories that it is hard to limit it to one. The students who have come through the Department and made the Sociology Department so special are countless. Then I hear from them about what they are doing with their degrees and think... WOW. A memory I will share involved a Halloween some years ago. Sociology always had a party and that meant food and some costumes. One of my students knew I loved the VIkings NFL team and wore Vikings horns that day. Unfortunately, she also got a stats test back on that day with a rather low score. I had never seen horns droop.
All my best to all of our alumni. You have made the Department an incredible place to work.
- Dr. Sandra Hanson, Professor Emerita
Professional and Personal Growth
The department has given me a lot: connections, an education I value highly, opportunities that have led to professional and personal growth, a new perspective, and some very close friends. 3 1/2 years have gone by too quickly and I cherish my time in the department—the ups and the downs. My favorite memories in the department are the times I spent with faculty and peers who encourage friendship and lean into asking tough questions. Dr. Brandon so kindly opening up his home for brunch, getting coffee and talking about all things from academic research to gossip with Dr. Hanson, presenting at a conference with Professor Singer and being mentored by him, and the fun times in Dr. Bynum’s class which always left me thinking more deeply about our world and my place in it (and enjoying Dr. Bynum’s hilarious self too).
- Gabrielle Beranek, B.A. Criminology, Arabic & Islamic World Studies Certificate, 2020
Igniting a Passion
Thank you so much for giving me an amazing foundation to my career! I knew when I attended CUA that I wanted to be a Sociology major, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. Studying Sociology gave me a solid foundation in learning about societal inequities and eventually ignited a passion for education. I worked as a teacher for a few years post-graduation, and then pursued a Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration. Sociological theory helped to ground much of what I learned in grad school. I'm currently working full-time in academic advising and online student programming at the University of Virginia, and pursuing a doctorate in Higher Education!
- Bernadette Poerio, B.A. Sociology, 2014
Developing a Quality of Mind
I am proud to be part of the sociology department at CUA. As a faculty member, I have enjoyed the opportunity to teach hundreds of CUA students over the years. This experience has been one of the highlights of my career. One insight I have gained is that awakening students' sociological imagination is one of the valuable things we do in the department. By developing a sociological orientation to the world ('quality of mind'), students may reflect on their lived experiences in new ways that can be life-enriching. It can also reinforce one's understanding of walking in another person's shoes. This is one way, I have found, that the department helps 'light the way', both now and in the future.
- Dr. Christopher Tamborini, Lecturer