Student Profile - Ciara Swan

Sociology Major
Class of 2014

Ciara Swan

Photograph by Meddy Levenson

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

I had a cousin who graduated USF in 2006, she told me to do my research. I was pleased with it being a private, which enabled me to have smaller class sizes, financial security in regards to aid and the ability to network closely with staff and faculty.

Why did you choose to major in sociology?

I honestly stumbled upon this major. I decided to enroll in an Intro to Sociology course and I really loved it. Also, I begin to work closely with a sociology professor my second semester at USF.

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?

Sociology is important to me because it allows me to question certain societal conditions and begin to wonder about people as a whole and how people shape the world we live in, which contributes to our overall understanding of life and working together to coexist. I believe that sociologists bring multiple perspectives to understanding the social structures placed before us. We are able to more publicly discuss social matters and are not afraid to seek answers to the questions we bring forth. This allows for more open dialogue amongst people of different backgrounds and ideologies.

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

Sociology has allowed me to be more open with myself; in terms of comfortably seeking answers, internally and externally reflecting. I have been able to more deeply analyze and research racial, gender, and economic relations, and how these structures intersect and are big contributing factors to social order and our lives.

In terms of faculty, my favorite professor would have to be Stephanie Sears. Her passion and level of honesty are two things that distinguish her. She willingly took me under her wing, expanded my mind to seek truth within myself, and trust my abilities as a student. She was and continues to be someone I can trust, especially given her level of wisdom and her encouragement to want the best for her students.

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

I would tell that student how reliable the sociology department is, how easily accessible everyone from [the] department makes themselves, how comfortable you can be with asking questions and seeking assistance, and finally the overall the level of support each student is given--especially those who take the time to build relationships with staff/faculty.

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

After my undergraduate years, I hope to continue my education and receive a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing and develop my career as a writer/poet and professor of creative writing with emphasis in race and gender relations. I also hope to develop or work with a nonprofit organization that enables young, marginalized women of color (here and abroad) to express their emotions and life stories through visual and performing arts.