Student Profile - Shea Hazarian

Sociology Major
Class of 2014

Shea Hazarian

Photograph by Meddy Levenson

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

I’ve wanted to live in the Bay Area for most of my life. I saw myself going to Berkeley or SF State, but as soon as I toured USF I fell in love with the campus. Coming from a small high school, I was afraid I would get lost at a big state university. USF is small enough to carve out a place for myself, but still in the middle of my favorite city.

Why did you choose to major in sociology?

I had no idea what sociology even was before I declared my major, actually. But I knew that I was interested in gender and LGBT studies, and that sociology related to them. It wasn’t until after my Intro [to Sociology] class that I realized sociology was the perfect major for me. I had always been an observer, which lent itself well to the sociological imagination. Sociology helped me answer questions about the world that I didn’t even know that I had. It was the best decision I could have made.

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?

The most important part of sociology (to me, at least) is that it illustrates how everything in our world is connected. We are products of our societies, and we keep changing them too. Sociologists know that nothing happens in a vacuum and that we have to study each event in the context of the world around it.

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

I’m so glad I got the chance to join the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars. We studied how hip-hop was a product of social conditions in the Bronx, and how it became popular in other cities with similar social conditions (like Marseille, France). Then we got to travel to both places to experience the cultures for ourselves! In the spring, we came back and organized a hip-hop and spoken word show on campus. EMDS was an incredible experience with a group of wonderful people.

In terms of faculty, my wonderful advisor Professor Stephanie Sears has had a big influence on me. She is one of the most brilliant professors I’ve had as well as one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met. I took her Sociology of Gender class (which single-handedly changed my view of the world) and traveled with her to New York and France on the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars transborder trip. I feel so lucky to be her advisee. She’s my hero!

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

Small class sizes make a huge difference. All of my professors know my name and we have in-depth discussions about the application of our studies, not just the memorization of theories. The social justice aspect of the school also helps. Sociology is notorious for being a downer, but most of my classes have focused on ways to change and eliminate injustices and inequalities.

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

My plan changes every few months, but whatever I do after graduation, I will probably be the one annoying team member who encourages everyone to think intersectionally.