Student Profile - Amy Schiefelbein

Sociology Major
Class of 2012

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

My interest in USF initially stemmed from the chance to live in San Francisco. Through further research I found the university’s emphasis on social justice and “creating oneself as a person for others” resonated highly with the path I wish to pursue in life.

Why did you choose to major in sociology?

My interest in sociology was derived from my love of anthropology. The two disciplines are inextricably linked and sociology offers a lens in which cultural practices and beliefs can be examined in the context of larger social forces and institutions.

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?

My understanding of sociology is the study of human social behavior, groups, societies, and institutions. There is a huge diversity of topics that one can explore, ranging from education, health and illness, ecology, crime, punishment, deviance, family, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, religion, the media, among many others. Sociology is important in that it incorporates many disciplines such as political science, history, economics, anthropology, and philosophy. Sociology is also important in that one learns how structural forces influence our everyday life. Through sociology I have gained a deeper understanding of how and why things are the way they are in our society.

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

I think what has been most valuable is applying sociology in my everyday life. I now see the world through a different lens, one that engages me in critical thinking and allows for a deeper understanding of social structures and the impact these structures have on individuals.

In terms of faculty, each professor within the department has something unique to offer, whether it is personal background, teaching styles, or specified areas of interest. I am hesitant to name a favorite as I have truly enjoyed each professor I’ve had!

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 a strong sense of community. The professors care about your education and give their time to work individually with students. From my experience, professors will go out of their way to help you with assignments, internships, possible job offerings, and ultimately achieve your true potential.