The Department of Sociology is proud of the hundreds of living alumni who have their degree in Sociology from University of the Pacific. Take a look at where some of them have taken their Sociology degrees since they graduated from Pacific.
Robert Mosqueda '16
Project Manager For a Non-Profit
Robert Mosqueda, a graduate from the Department of Sociology, is currently a project manager for a non-profit organization based in Stockton. The non-profit works in collaboration with the city of Stockton, Stockton PD, Office of Violence Prevention, and other community partners to reduce gun violence within the community. "The thing I love the most about my job is being able to be a part of people's lives and helping them develop a plan to restructure their life to be more positive, not only for themselves, but also for their loved ones as well," Robert says.
To students who are interested in studying sociology, Robert advises them, "Challenge everything. Challenge your way of thinking and what you think you know. Challenge your professors as well, don't just accept what they say; make an argument for your case. They love a healthy debate, and it will help to open your eyes to different perspectives." Robert adds that building relationships with professors is extremely valuable. Communicating with them and taking the time to ask for help will prove just how great of a resource your professor can be for you.
Robert's favorite memory from his time at Pacific is graduation. He recalls that it signified a major accomplishment, as it's one thing to get accepted into a very respected private university, but to be able to walk down and receive his diploma is a moment that he will always fondly remember.
Caitlin Denton '15
Youth in Development Peace Corps Volunteer
Caitlin Denton majored in Sociology and is currently living in Bokluatai, Nan, Thailand. It is a small town about 50km from the border of Laos, with a population of 5,000. She is a Youth in Development Peace Corps Volunteer, and has been in Thailand for one year already, with 15 months more to go. Her job consists of working with the local town government, health clinic, and three schools to establish and facilitate weekly activities and camps to teach Life Skills (critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, etc.), Gender Equality, Volunteerism, Sexual Reproductive Health, some basic English, and cultural exchange. Her favorite part of her job is that she has the opportunity to experience first hand development on a community level and build relationships with people in a new part of the world.
"My advice to current Sociology students at Pacific is to intentionally make yourself uncomfortable: whether that is by studying abroad or taking elective classes outside your major. Those are the times you will grow immensely, learn more about yourself, your interests, and see the connections between what you have learned in Sociology and other courses, or the the world. Some of the greatest memories I have at Pacific are the bonds I made with people through campus activities such as Pacific Christian Fellowship, Pep Band, Rec Sports, and working in the call center. Also, take time to visit your professors during office hours, or talk to them about their work. They are investing in you, and truly care about both your work in the classroom and your life outside."
Gwendolyn Primous '13
Records Coordinator II at Pacific's Office of Admissions, first Intern for the City of Stockton's Vice Mayor, Founder and President of The Dome of Hope, Board Member for Stockton's Sister Cities Committee
Gwendolyn Primous majored in Sociology and minored in Ethnic Studies. She holds several jobs, but finds each of them rewarding. In the Office of Admissions, she has the opportunity to speak with prospective students and families, and share her experiences with a Pacific education. She also serves as the facilitator for Admissions Preview Day event, where she speaks to African American students and their families. She shares her background, in the hope of making a difference in their lives by choosing to further their academics. As an intern for Stockton's Vice Mayor, Christine Fugazi, she gains exposure to all the integral parts of the city and receives a broader scope of the resources and needs of the community. As the founder and president of The Dome of Hope, she creates an opportunity for students to connect with the community and add resources to their community. Her greatest goal is to supply and fulfill the need to foster individual independence sustainability. And as she serves on the board for Stockton's Sister Cities, she is able to collaborate with other Ambassadors, i.e. Mexico, China, Italy, Japan, and the Philippines. These interactions gives her a wider perspective of life and different ways of accomplishing certain things. It also shows her the way other people live and their worldview, which she greatly respects.
She advises students to allow themselves to explore other perspectives and take the opportunity to learn, not just allow their "opinions" to become "facts/absolute." She adds that students should go outside of Pacific and "traditional" internships. Seeking the less popular non-profits will provide help to those who truly need it, rather than just volunteering for the popular non-profits. Gwendolyn says that students should continue to practice using their sociological lenses, as it provides a clearer insight. "Last, do not assume that disparities and the truly disadvantage are those who are only the minority!" Gwendolyn adds.
Pacific has provided several wonderful memories for Gwendolyn, like befriending classmates and forming a tight-knit community that resembled family. Her "cohort" even assisted her in reactivating her non-profit. She also recalls her participation in the Washington Semester Program, where she was able to work at a non-profit, LIFT-DC, and meet world renowned sociologist, Dr. William Julius Wilson (Author-Truly Disadvantage), who became a friend and mentor. "He was our required reading in Dr. Nicdao's class. I also had the privilege for him to come and speak at my annual gala, and that year, the ENTIRE Sociology Department attended the gala, in order to meet him," Gwendolyn says.
Since she graduated in 2013, she has continued her education and is currently a graduate student in the Student Affairs program. She will earn her Master's in Education this Spring, with a dual concentration in Student Affairs, Education Organizational & Leadership. After graduation (May '17), she will continue to coordinate and plan for the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Etta Mae Ford Learning Center -Southeast Stockton, a project of the Dome of Hope. She will continue her education and enroll in Pacific's Doctoral Program, to begin Fall '17 (Educational Administration concentration). "My last and final degree will be a dedication to my Mother, my Community and everyone who has supported my life's journey. I want my legacy to be remembered as someone who tried to make a difference, by giving their all and leading by example. If I want to promote education, I have to 'walk the path' in order to gain 'credit' and to have empathy for those who attempts the same direction. Transforming my Community and making Hope a Reality is my aspiration!" Gwendolyn says.
We are proud of our alumni who are working to make a difference in their communities and in the world at large. Here we share what a few of our Sociology graduates are doing.
Tara Ignont '12
Tara Ignont went straight to graduate school at the University of Southern California in their Social Work Program. She currently has a field placement at Families in New Directions where she provides therapy to children, adults and families that are mandated by the courts, DCFS or probation to seek therapy. She is currently working with underrepresented African Americans in South Los Angeles. She will use this experience to open up her own family therapy private practice once she graduates in 2014 and gets her license in clinical social work.
Gerald L. Jones, Jr. '12
Gerald currently works with City Year Orlando, a non-profit AmeriCorps program that looks to solve the high school dropout crisis. As a corps member, he works inside the classroom in the form of mentoring and tutoring middle school students who are at risk of dropping out. In addition to this civic duty, he serves as the Resource Engagement Coordinator garnering local business support. His long term plans are to attend business school and receive an MBA.
Miranda Winters '12
Miranda leveraged her Pacific degree and her civic experience to land a position as an associate with Judith Buethe Communications, a public outreach and public relations firm working with public and private sector clients in the Central Valley. Miranda was also the Chair of the highly successful "Stockton Is Magnificent" event, held on the Miracle Mile south of campus. This event brought together nonprofits, local merchants and citizens to celebrate our city and their lives within it.
Mario Enriquez '10
Mario has been able to apply his Sociology degree to his work at a top-tier non-profit organization. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is a Latino/Latina civil rights advocacy-based organization. He works on the Lideres Initiative within the NCLR, which supports hundreds of local and community-based programs, as well as campus-based student organizations. The goal is to build the skills of Latino youth and increase their potential to be leaders.
In his role, Mario plans and executes local and national youth conferences, increases social media efforts such as Facebook and Twitter, and works to promote the Lideres network, which provides resources for youth such as scholarships, internships and fellowships.
Mario has officially been selected as a Fellow for the National CORO Fellows Program in Public Affairs!. He will begin his graduate training at the University of San Francisco in Fall 2013.
Chanda Chhin '09
As a Youth Program Coordinator for Fathers & Families of San Joaquin (FFSJ), Chanda works with Central Valley youth to empower them as social change agents. The FFSJ mission is to involve and engage fathers to improve the well-being of children, families and communities.
Chanda is also a coalition member of Escuelas Si! Pintas No! (translation: Schools Yes! Prisons No!)—a youth organizing coalition in the Central Valley that promotes youth justice and education equity. The coalition addresses the schools-to-jails pipeline that many underrepresented youth face in the Central Valley.
Chanda began a Masters in Education at UCLA in the Fall of 2012.
Terri Redwood '02
Terri transferred from Delta Community College into Pacific's Sociology Department in 2001. She now holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from California State University Stanislaus, and is currently working at Hospice of San Joaquin in Stockton. The Hospice provides medical and compassionate care, counseling and support to terminally ill patients and their families. Terri works individually with patients, facilitates support groups and provides community outreach for the Hospice.
Of her experience at Pacific, Terri said, "Pacific provides students with a small community in which it is easy to recognize faces. By the middle of the semester, it is guaranteed that the professor knows your name and who you are. There is a sense of belonging and identity with others who share your interests."