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Department of Sociology

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Alumni Profiles

Vashalice Howard received her BA in Sociology in 2014 and then worked with City Year Americorps to provide assistance in Homestead Middle School in South Florida. Vashalice is now in the Peace Corps and working as a Literary Specialist at MM Wanyange Primary School in Uganda.


Shaina Hyder earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Women's Studies from Florida State University in 2010. After graduation, she worked at the Environmental Protection Agency in Atlanta, Georgia, and then spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow in Dhaka, Bangladesh, studying garments workers and women's financial independence. As a Fulbright Fellow, she interviewed garments workers and visited garments factories to better understand how formal, paid work affected the lives of women working in the industry. Afterwards, Shaina went on to Berkeley Law. At Berkeley, Shaina focused on intellectual property and privacy law, and graduated in 2014. Shaina is now an associate at the DC law firm Covington and Burling. She works as an attorney in the firm's privacy and patent litigation groups.


Alexandra Olsen earned a dual degree in Sociology with a minor in Statistics and French with a minor in International Affairs. Alexandra won the 2015 Academic Leadership Award for the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. She was the recipient of a Moellership Award and an Undergraduate Research or Creative Activity Award to study the women’s movement in Ouarzazate, Morocco. In this capacity she investigated obstacles to social change in the rural Moroccan women’s movement, how women frame their goals for the women’s movement, and the role of social movement organizations to the movement.


Caroline Burkholder graduated with honors in 2014 with a dual degree in Sociology and Interdisciplinary Humanities with concentrations in English and American Studies. Since graduating, she worked as a field organizer for the Florida Democratic Party to earn Gwen Graham the seat of U.S. Representative for Florida's 2nd congressional district. She was able to apply skills she gained in her sociology courses to the management and analysis of demographic data, particularly in the implementation of precinct level voter turnout strategies and tactics in NGP Voter Activation Network (VoteBuilder). Caroline continued her work in progressive grassroots organizing early in 2015 for political consulting firm Brass Tactics in Richmond, Virginia. Here she focused on enrolling low-income populations in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace as part of a national advocacy campaign.


Jesse Smith-Appelson double majored in Sociology & Environmental Studies and completed an Honors in the Major thesis in which she explored the severity and dimensions of social isolation among Latina/o farmworkers in the region. In her senior year, Jesse won the Sociology Department's Outstanding Undergraduate Paper Award, a Global Citizen Award from the Center for Global Engagement, and a Fulbright Scholarship. The Fulbright award has enabled her to spend 2016-17 teaching in the Orcasur area in Madrid, Spain.


Daniela Wojtalewicz is a junior undergraduate student who is pursuing a double major in Sociology and International Affairs at FSU with a minor in Environmental Studies. Ms. Wojtalewicz applied for a competitive internship in the Bear Management Program at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and was one of six undergraduate interns selected into the program from Florida State University. Daniela excelled in her statistics course in the Department of Sociology and is currently enrolled in the research methods course. She gained valuable experience collecting and analyzing data in these courses and the internship helped further develop her data analysis skills.


Daniel Hubbard spent five years as an Army medic before enrolling at Florida State, and in 2015 he was designated one of 58 Truman Scholars and the only one from Florida. Daniel graduated with honors in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology major, and he was designated a Garnet and Gold Scholar. Daniel also received the 2015 Student Seminole Award.