Sociology and Social Work Testimonials

MichelleStaab

Michelle Staab (2008)
Birth Mother Counselor
Lifeline Children's Services, Inc.
Birmingham, AL

The Fort Hays State University social work program really is designed to give students the best foundation possible to be a Social Worker. Since it is such a diverse profession, there is a lot of ground to cover. For part of the social work program, we were required to complete both an internship and a practicum placement. This work was hands on; we were treated as professionals and expected to represent Fort Hays as well-educated Social Work students. Our professors allowed us opportunities to discuss the experiences we had in these placements in a way that helped us correlate what we were seeing and doing with what we were learning in class. It made our education even more real. It wasn't just textbooks & group discussion anymore; it was life. I was also very surprised at the close friendships that developed in our graduating class at Fort Hays. Social work is such a wonderful, diverse profession; you are not locked into one sector of the career world. I am so grateful for the way my education prepared me for my job today. Not only was the social work program at Fort Hays one worth investing in, but in return, the professors invested so much in me.

TannerBartholomew

Tanner Bartholomew (2011)
Survey Center Manager
Docking Institute of Public Affairs
Hays, KS

I credit all my success thus far to the knowledge and helpfulness of the Fort Hays State University Sociology Department staff. My sociology classes introduced me to research methods, survey design, statistics, and grant writing. My professors recognized my fascination for sociology, and continued to push me in the right direction. This led me to work at the Docking Institute of Public Affairs as the survey center manager. I have found that my classes have made me able to perform my job at a higher standard, and gave me the understanding of why my job is important to the benefit of society. I know in the future that the knowledge I have obtained will continue to help me succeed. Here is a link to the survey center's web page: http://www.fhsu.edu/docking/ucsr/

Lee Chastain (2004)
City Planner
City of Thomasville
Thomasville, GA

Since graduating in 2004, I have worked for both city governments and private business as a planner and project manager. I am currently the City Planner for the City of Thomasville, GA. In this capacity I report directly to the City Manager and I am responsible for planning, zoning, code enforcement and building review. Additionally, I am pursuing a Masters in Public Administration from Troy University. The certificate in Community Development helped to focus my attention on a career in city planning and the reflective skills I gained through the B.A. in Sociology program at FHSU that benefit me as a city planner. The sociology program at FHSU focused on the development of my "sociological imagination." It is this "imagination" that I use daily in my endeavors to develop solutions to community concerns.

Jeanne Billings (2007)
Registrar
Hesston College
Hesston, KS

One of the reasons I was considered for this position was that my employer saw that I was working towards my Bachelor of Sociology degree at FHSU and would complete this degree and would continue on to earn a Masters in Liberal Studies from FHSU. When I joined the FHSU Virtual College, I was scared to death. It was exactly 30 years since I had graduated from High School. If it hadn't been for the support of Sociology Professor Rose Arnold, my degree advisor, I don't know if I would have proceeded after that first class. She was supportive and helped me ‘plan’ my route. I must have set a new record for the number of times a student has emailed her advisor with a question. We older adults need assurance that we can handle the new technology and get the support we need when pursuing a new adventure such as this. I got that!

Melanie Lamb (2012)
Program Director
Southeast Kansas Community Foundation
Pittsburg

I graduated from Fort Hays State University in May of 2012. The sociology program at Fort Hays exposed me to a whole new approach to transforming my community by providing a thorough exploration of sociological concepts and theories, specific best practices for the nonprofit community, and strong skills for nonprofit program development and evaluation. The extensive training and practice in all aspects of grant proposal writing also helped prepare me to empower nonprofits with the tools they will need for real transformation in Southeast Kansas. In July of 2012, I was offered and accepted the position of Program Director for the Southeast Kansas Community Foundation. I use the concepts and skills that I learned in the sociology department at Fort Hays every day in order to work with donors and nonprofits throughout our region to create positive transformation in our communities.

Ryan Nelson (2005)
Survey Manager
National Research Corporation
Lincoln, NE

The Sociology Department at FHSU prepared me to become a productive member of the labor market. Through my educational experience I was exposed to survey research methods and survey design. This gave me an upper hand when entering the labor market, compared to others in my cohort. The research methods classes in Sociology gave me the knowledge necessary to immediately go to work with surveying in real world applications.  During my tenure with NRC I have been fortunate enough to continue my professional development through graduate studies at the University of Nebraska. Knowledge and skills learned in the FHSU’s Sociology methods classes allowed me to work in research organizations right after graduation. I have had the privilege to work in interesting and important research positions since graduating from Fort Hays State University in December 2005.

Morgan Campas-O'Hara (2003)
Intake Clinician & Patient Rights Representative
Devereux Cleo Wallace
Westminster, CO

I loved each sociology class I took and knew I was getting a valuable education from the first day of class. My experiences since graduating from FHSU have illustrated how the sociology degree program provided me with countless benefits that prepared me to excel in graduate school and be a leader in the work place. The focus on developing strong writing skills surpasses many other undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The incorporation of a multicultural focus is vital to graduate education programs and the modern workplace. In addition, the unparalleled commitment and attention provided by department staff provides individualized guidance and direction, essential to navigating the professional arena and world that follows graduation. Most importantly, each of these benefits is transferable and valuable to a wide variety of professional and personal endeavors. I left FHSU prepared and strengthened both personally and professionally.

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