Student Profile - Teresa Mejia

Sociology Major
May 2012 Graduate

Why did you choose to attend college at the University of San Francisco?

I chose to come to USF because of the Jesuit values of social justice and how they approach social justice as a community and defender of basic human rights.

Why did you choose to major in sociology?

I felt that sociology held the core of most of my interests. I was interested in power, social construction and how they each influence and led to consequences within our society.

Why do you think sociology is important to the world? What do you think sociologists and those who have studied sociology uniquely bring to the world?

There have been many great sociology theorists who have made contributions and [raised] questions of how our society is constructed. Many sociology theories can be applied to race, class, ethnicity, age and even capability. I now know how to apply these theories to practice in any field of my interest and I have learned how to question and research, and how to talk about issues that affect our society.

What experiences have meant the most to you as a sociology major?

I really enjoyed specific classes such as the Latin@/Chican@ culture class, Feminism, Gender and the Body and mostly my senior capstone class in which I got to conduct my own research. The most valuable experience would be learning from the great women and men in the Causa Justa community organization.

In terms of faculty, my number one go-to person was Cecília Santos, who was also ways there for me and to answer my million and one frantic questions during my sophomore year.

What strengths or positive aspects of the USF Sociology Department would you highlight if a prospective student asked you about the major?

The Sociology Department has grown since I first started taking classes. I think that is the wonderful thing about sociology, how you can practically analyze most things through a sociological perspective. The Department has a very dedicated, intelligent and diverse set of professors. As the department has grown, there has been more diverse classes being offered and most of them appeal to the current events that are happening now. I remember that [a number of sociology classes] specifically focused on the Occupy movement, which shows the Department’s adaptability to social changes.

What are your plans after graduation? How does sociology fit into them?

I plan to hopefully one day start my own non-profit based on community organizing to promote social change. My summer abroad in Nicaragua really opened by eyes to see how art can create connections and build solidarity among these neighborhoods in poverty. I think about the effects of oppression and how these marginalized people must find their voice to speak about the injustices they face. I feel that art can be their new type of language or communication to aid in their process of social consciousness and social change.