Now that class of 2023 grad Sophia Taylor is almost done studying sociology, she’s ready to start practicing it. There’s one thing she knows for certain about her path after her June graduation: she wants to make a difference.
Sophia was immediately drawn to the sense of belonging she felt when she first visited Oregon State University. She chose to join the Honors College to “ingrain myself in the campus as much as possible.” She also wanted an opportunity to challenge herself through the honors thesis process.
Sophia worked as a residential assistant for three years, this past year working in the Honors College living learning community in West Hall. Through that role she was also a member of National Residence Hall Honorary, where she served as vice president of leadership. Outside of the Honors College and residence halls, Sophia was involved with the Sociology Club and served as the club’s president during her fourth year. She enjoyed using the role to promote community within the sociology department.
Sophia’s experience as an RA helped inform her thesis, “Menstrual Dignity and Stigma: How College Students Perceive Period Poverty.” In it, she studied the effects of period poverty in residence halls at Oregon State, examined how the Menstrual Dignity Act serves students on campus and identified communities that the implementation of the act did not address.
Sophia does not have a concrete plan for her next steps after graduation, but she knows she wants to make a difference in the communities around her. She is currently considering attending graduate school or serving with Americorps. She is passionate about spreading sociological knowledge and believes both options will provide an avenue to do so.
Sophia’s advice for new and current HC students is to “lean in to the weird and uncomfortable.” She fondly recalls that many of her favorite memories from her time in the HC have occurred through embracing the unconventional aspects of her honors colloquia, as they often provide a reprieve from the workload of her major courses. Sophia also loved seeing her professors’ enthusiasm for the subjects they taught in colloquia, which in turn excited her about the course material. She encourages students to not be afraid to branch out and take classes unrelated to their major, saying, “you may find yourself surrounded by some of the most passionate and interesting people.”
By Kate McHugh, Public Information Representative