Lewis sociology graduates are enrolled in a number of graduate and professional schools, pursuing programs in sociology, urban studies, public policy, social work and law. 

Recent alumni include people like Alondra Gonzalez. Here, Ms. Gonzalez talks about her passion for Sociology and how it influences her graduate studies, community involvement, career plans, and more.

Alondra Gonzalez

“I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology in 2019 and will complete my Master of Social Work in May 2021. I never planned on obtaining a degree in Sociology; it found me. I was required to take a social justice class to fulfill my general education requirements, and that class changed my life!

Sociology Alumni

Criminal Justice and Sociology are extremely intertwined and go hand in hand when learning about the justice system. I quickly fell in love with sociological theory and I was able to learn to see the world from different perspectives. As I continued taking Sociology courses, I found myself becoming more and more passionate about societal issues and wanting to become involved in the community.

While in undergrad, my interests included urban education, women’s studies, and criminology. I also helped organize a campus drive to collect women’s menstruation products and bras that we donated to unhoused women through “I Support the Girls”—a program providing menstrual products to women experiencing homelessness and poverty. After graduation, I found myself in the mental health field, which allows me a number of ways of using my Sociology degree. I decided to pursue a Master of Social Work to continue focusing on the micro-, meso-, and macro-level and to make connections with societal issues, like race, income, and education level that are impacting mental health.

I use Sociology every day and because of it, I developed a critical understanding of the functioning of society and the ability to point out possible social issues impacting individuals and their families when I interact with them. Currently, I am working as a Child Protection Specialist through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. I love being able to go out in the community and speak with families and find needed resources for them. I am also employed at Silver Oaks Behavioral Hospital as an Assessment and Referral Technician where I assist clinicians in the admission process for patients needing psychiatric admission. I ensure patients and families understand their rights and consent processes prior to admittance to the hospital’s programs. In both positions, I am able to see how societal oppressions impact individuals and families: from health insurance to mental health to the ways parenting styles affecting their children. I am also able to see the resilience present in the community, including reuniting families in the community after they receive needed resources.

My future plans furthering my education include getting a Master of Arts in Sociology or possibly a Master of Jurisprudence in Children’s Law. My advice for prospective students is: it’s never too late to choose your passion. Whether you’re 15 and planning your future career or 50 and changing your career, do what you love! Sociology is my passion, what’s yours?”

Eva Gonzalez, LCSW

Class of 2015

Sociology Alumni I had begun my years at Lewis University with my goal to enter the field of mental health. When I had an opportunity to obtain a second major, I did not realize how impactful the decision to study Sociology would be on later obtaining my Masters in Social Work and serving clients through a holistic lens. My time as a Sociology student transformed the way I viewed the work with individuals in that it challenged me to recognize the impact of systems and histories as well as helped me understand the purpose of having challenging conversations needed to do the work we strive to get done in the field of mental health. I am particularly grateful for the support and guidance from Dr. Tennille Allen during my time as a student as I recognize the seeds that she had planted many years ago continue to bloom today.

The lessons from the classroom became the foundation to the way I understand how systems and communities work and understanding the intersectionality of identity helped me to make sense of my own experiences. I currently work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at a university focusing on the mental health needs of students with underrepresented identities and working with my team to provide services by way of community healing. To current and prospective students, I encourage you to find your community of connections or people where you can find rest, rejuvenation, and joy while you navigate this phase in life that can bring various challenges and responsibilities.

I think back to my time as an undergraduate and feel gratitude that I found community with other students and with professors, an experience that greatly contributed to and helped me succeed as a scholar and a professional. 

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