Major of the Month


APRIL 2017


Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Extracurriculars: Black Bruin Transfer Success: Historian, Alternative Breaks: Volunteer, STOMP Conference: Volunteer, ACCESS (Non-Profit): Executive Director, Undergraduate Student Advisory Board for Dean and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Patricia Turner, Biking, Photography

What drives your interest in sociology?

My interest for Sociology sparked when I took my first Sociology course at my community college. It altered my way of living and thinking forever, opening me up to possibilities I wouldn't otherwise consider, such as pursuing and conducting my own original research in Sociology upon transferring. My interest began to unfold as I noticed myself analyzing and applying sociological theories to my everyday life.  The course began changing my interactions with peers, family, and strangers.  Actually, I was quite astounded by my simmering curiosity; this was my first encounter ingesting what I learned and applying it to experiences outside of an academic requirement.  My current research involves Black community college students and their understanding of the financial aid process and how that may attribute to their transfer success. Along with providing me with a lens to understand the world around me, Sociology drives me to produce work that is relevant and transformative in the world I live in.

What are your future career plans?

Ultimately, my near future career plans lies in the pursuit of obtaining my Ph.D in Sociology. I am a Mellon Mays Fellow and my research interests are race/ethnicity and inequality, higher education, and financial literacy among Black community college students. My personal experience as Black community college student is what led me to my research interests. These areas of research are of importance because I want to contribute to the broader public conversation about Black college students and the disparities they face when attempting to transfer. I am specifically focusing on financial literacy as a barrier. I hope to be a leading expert in areas of college access and success, Black students’ education, and financial literacy. I aspire to obtain my PhD. and become a Research Professor in Sociology. I am also committed to developing initiatives and resources to help marginalized communities, especially people of African descent (in continent and across the diaspora), to achieve greater economic and educational advancement.

Which Sociology classes have you enjoyed the most?

My favorite Sociology course at UCLA would have to be Sociology 156: Race & Ethnicity in American Life. Sociology 156 was my favorite course because it made me think critically about race and its formation within the United States. I also enjoyed learning about how one's race can advantage or disadvantage an individual depending on where they fall on the Black/White binary paradigm. This class has been especially useful to me outside of the classroom because it aligns with my research interests. 

Previous Majors of the Month:

March 2017: Abbiegayle Levi

February 2017: Katherine Dumangas

January 2017: Nancy Nguyen