Q & A with McKenzie Ahmadi
Because sociology studies human relationships and interaction, it is a study that changes with society. We can always learn more from this.
When did you decide you wanted to study sociology?
I read “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman as a senior in high school and I fell in love with the sociological theories. I was always interested in psychology, but sociology really stuck out to me, because I could address issues on a macro level rather than the individual level. Also, sociology is not limited to what you study. You can look at anything through a sociological lens. Personally, I focus on medical sociology and the public health atmosphere.
Did you have a favorite class in your major?
I’ve taken so many amazing classes in my major that, honestly, I don't think I can pick just one favorite class. I really loved Foundations of Theory, Sociology of Families and Medical Sociology. They were all discussion-based classes where you get to be part of the conversation. These classes also introduced to me new readings and ideas. I have to say that I enjoyed all of them and continued to read other related work outside of class.
Which professors have you enjoyed working with?
Dr. Christine Mowery and Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren are my favorite professors in the department. They both care so much about their students and are so knowledgeable on the topics they teach. I learn so much from them and am hoping I can take one more class from each of them before I graduate. Both professors have also gone out of their way to write me recommendation letters and help me with other sociology classes that I needed assistance on.
Can you tell us about your work with the East End Cemetery?
I’ve done a lot of service learning through Dr. Bodnar-Deren’s courses. I’ve been volunteering over a year now at East End Cemetery, a historic African American cemetery in Henrico County. It is a wonderful way to connect what we learn in sociology, specifically medical sociology, to the real world. I even conducted my own research based on the population of bodies found at the East End Cemetery and presented my research at the University of Richmond.
Why should a student major in sociology?
Sociology is a field that is always applicable. Because sociology studies human relationships and interaction, it is a study that changes with society. We can always learn more from this. I also think people who are going into any field that works with large amounts of people, like criminal justice, nonprofit work or medicine, should minor or double major in this.