Meet Our Majors

Meet some of our sociology majors.

Coby Constantino ’22

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Major: sociology

What was your motivation to major in sociology? Was there a specific inspirational moment or experience?

During adolescence and early adulthood, I became fascinated with social relations and power structures. While working in military intelligence, I was provided the opportunity to explore my fascinations with all things sociological. However, I lacked formal training in sociology. When I separated from the military, I was eager to expand my knowledge base and study sociology as a collegiate scholar. After some diligent research, I made the decision to apply to Oxy in hopes of becoming a sociology major.

Can you describe your working relationships with sociology professors? Are there any standout classes you’ve taken?

My favorite sociology classes thus far are “Race and Ethnicity in American Society” and “Social Movements and Revolutions.” The former opened my eyes to the complexity of race and ethnicity, and how such constructs have shaped American society. The latter was a unique course that gave me the academic and unclassified perspective on how social movements and revolutions form.

A current relationship I have is with Professor Lin, since I served as an Educator in Action (EIA) for his course “Urban Sociology.” I had the opportunity to support his research efforts that focused on LatinX artists in Northeast Los Angeles during the 1970s and 1980s.

Thanks to the liberal arts education provided at Oxy, I can confidently say that I am more whole as a human and an American citizen.

What do you find most compelling about studying sociology?

The most compelling aspect of sociology is its presence in everyday life. Thanks to sociology, I was able to dissect almost every facet of my life. For instance, sociology provided me with the information and tools to analyze economic structures, governments, social dynamics, school curriculums, urban sprawl and racial identity.

What are your ambitions post-Oxy and how has the liberal arts approach helped to shape these ambitions?

My ambition is to attend graduate school for occupational therapy, start a family and contribute back to the community. Thanks to the liberal arts education provided at Oxy, I can confidently say that I am more whole as a human and an American citizen. The liberal arts expanded my knowledge in economics, philosophy, urban and environmental policy, politics and sociology. Using the knowledge accumulated at Oxy, I can help to educate my peers and future generations on how we can make a difference in our future. I will also be applying my knowledge to help the community and organizations that have made a difference in my life. 

What is the “vibe” of the sociology department?

The vibe of the sociology department is intensely chill. The classroom environment is fun, engaging and productive. Every class feels like a seminar and your input is highly valued. 

Do you have any advice for a student considering a major in sociology?

No matter what knowledge you acquire, chances are it can be applied in sociology. Each person’s experience and knowledge base has something to contribute to the field of sociology, so come on in.


Kendall Kitahara ’22

Hometown: Brentwood, TN / Yokohama, Japan
Major: sociology; minor: linguistics

What was your motivation to major in sociology? Was there a specific inspirational moment or experience?

I wanted to study the inner workings of groups in society. I took “Classical Sociological Theory” with Professor Trevizo my first semester at Oxy. Going in, I was nervous because I had never studied pure theory or read anything with such weight before. This class is actually one of my favorite sociology courses because it showed me how much sociology, even early sociological groundwork, permeates our daily lives.

Can you describe your working relationships with sociology professors? Are there any standout classes you’ve taken?

Professor Dolores Trevizo and Professor Jan Lin are two faculty members that have made my sociology studies integral to making my Oxy experience so fulfilling. I have taken two courses with Professor Trevizo (“Classical Sociological Theory” and “Political Sociology”), and because of our frequent communication, I have been able to go to her for guidance regarding post-grad plans. I have also taken two classes with Professor Lin (“Mass Media and Communication” and “Qualitative Methods”). He gave me the opportunity to represent the sociology department at the Fall 2021 Academic Fair where I met new students who were looking at majoring in sociology or were interested in learning more. 

What do you find most compelling about studying sociology?

The most compelling aspect of sociology is that it straddles so many different subject areas, such as education, economics and politics. I often catch myself applying different sociological concepts and theories to content in other classes. Studying sociology has taught me how to critically analyze societal patterns and research how they can be made more equitable. 

I am applying to graduate school, and the liberal arts experience was the turning point in my decision to pursue this next step in my educational career.

What are your ambitions post-Oxy and how has the liberal arts approach helped to shape these ambitions?

I am applying to graduate school, and the liberal arts experience was the turning point in my decision to pursue this next step in my educational career. I transferred from a large, state university, and I immediately noticed how Oxy cultivated a sense of community. Through my small classes and ability to speak with professors one-on-one, the liberal arts approach let me forge close working relationships with those whose careers I aspire to take on.

Do you have any advice for a student considering a major in sociology?

Try not to be intimidated by the theory classes. It can seem like the content is difficult to digest, but the professors truly guide you through what you need to know and help you read through a sociological lens. This lays the framework for future sociology courses. Also, talk to your professors! They are very approachable and helped me identify what I find most interesting in sociology.

 

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