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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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Alumni Comments

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!

Jeanne Billings, B.A. in Sociology, FHSU
(FHSU Virtual College class of 2007)
Registrar, Hesston College
Hesston, Kansas

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.

Morgan Campas-O'Hara, B.A. in Sociology, FHSU
(Class of 2003)
M.S.W. University of Denver
Intake Clinician and Patient Rights Representative
Devereux Cleo Wallace

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, Georgia. 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 nearing completion (only four courses left) of my Masters in Public Administration from Troy University.

While the certificate in Community Development helped to focus my attention on a career in city planning, it is 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.

Lee Chastain, B.A. in Sociology, FHSU
(FHSU Virtual College class of 2004)
City Planner
Thomasville, Georgia

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.

Upon graduation I accepted a job at the College Of Southern Maryland, as a Research Analyst. As a Research Analyst in the Outcomes Assessment and Research unit I was responsible for compiling recruitment and state board of education descriptive statistics about the college. In 2006 I returned to the Midwest, and took a Research Analyst position with National Research Corporation in Lincoln, Nebraska. National Research Corporation (NRC) is comprised of four divisions: NRC Picker, The Governance Institute, Payer Solutions, and Healthcare Market Guide. Each division is deeply involved in some fashion or another with the healthcare industry. I was first hired by NRC Picker division, which conducts patient satisfaction surveys for hospitals throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. As an analyst, the primary goal was to align healthcare measurement and quality improvement with behaviors identified as improving the patient experience.

In 2007 I accepted an advancement in the NRC's Healthcare Market Guide division (HCMG) as the division's Survey Manager. The HCMG study is the most comprehensive consumer reported assessment of hospitals, health plans, and health systems in the industry. The HCMG study collects approximately 300,000 completes throughout the year in over 300 Core Base Statistical Areas. My primary responsibilities toward ensuring the success of the surveying include: survey design, survey implementation, sample management, and achieving 100% accuracy in the Internet Reporting tool used by HCMG. 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.

Ryan Nelson, B.A. in Sociology, FHSU
(Class of 2005)
Survey Manager
National Research Corporation
Lincoln, Nebraska

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