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Department of Sociology
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Rarick Hall 349
Phone: 785-628-5840
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Graduates in the World

Here’s a brief look at the career success of some recent Sociology graduates. If you are a sociology graduate, contact Dr. Brett Zollinger, department chair, to let everyone know what you're up to.



Ryan Nelson (BA in Sociology, 2005)

Upon graduating from FHSU's Sociology program Ryan went to work for an East Coast university's institutional research office.  He later came back to the Midwest to work at National Research Corporation’s Healthcare Market Guide division in Lincoln, Nebraska, where is was promoted to Survey Manager. The HCMG is among the most comprehensive consumer reported assessments of hospitals, health plans, and health systems in the industry. Ryan now works as Director of Healthcare Research for Wilson Perkins Allens Research in Oklahoma City.


Mary-Kathryn Menendez (2017)

I'm just emailing to let you know that I've made a decision on a graduate school.  I was very fortunately accepted to everywhere I applied and was offered several merit scholarships, which made the decision fairly difficult-a wonderful problem to have!  After a great deal of thought and meeting with different schools, I've decided to pursue my MPH at Brown University! The program is an excellent fit for my long-term goals, and they offer a behavioral and social sciences concentration that will allow me to continue to utilize my undergraduate basis in sociology within the realm of public health.  I was also offered a generous merit scholarship there, which significantly helps to ease the cost of attending a private university.  I could not be more excited to get started at Brown. Thank you again so very much for providing such a kind recommendation!  I could not be more grateful to FHSU for providing the academic basis I needed to pursue this opportunity.


Melanie Lamb (2012)
Program Director
Southeast Kansas Community Foundation

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.


Tanner Bartholomew (2011)
Previous 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:

Linda Page (recipient of Sociology's Grant Proposal writing and Program Evaluation Certificate, 2009)

Linda’s grant proposal to the Drug Free Communities Support Program for a five-year project was funded in the amount of $625,000! 


Jeanne Billings (2007)
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!


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.


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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