Georgia College Front Page

Class of 2019: How Faith Lead This Graduate to Major in Sociology

James Bard

James Bard


1) ​​​​​​What is your major?





2) What is your favorite place on campus and why?


I think it would be a tie between front campus and the third floor of the library. I think that the third floor of the library is the most underrated place on campus. If you find yourself having trouble focusing or getting things done then you should try it out. I also love walking through front campus on my way home. The work that our grounds crew does on campus is truly an art. Everything always looks so healthy and clean- especially on a nice day.



3) What made you want to be engaged in an undergraduate research program in collaboration with the office of financial aid?


The idea started in my sociology capstone class last semester. We were specifically interested on the potential things that cause persistence and retention in higher education. Because GC was obviously the most readily available school, we focused on the trends that are here and the ways that those trends relate to past research about higher education. Although there were a variety of other subjects that focused on admissions and recruitment, the Bridge, Early College programs, and the academic advising system, financial aid was the most interesting to me. The timing for this project was perfect as the Financial Aid Department actively reached out to us to better understand how to reach first generation students and make sure they have the information they need to be successful. 



4) What extracurricular activities are you involved in and what is your role?


I volunteer at the Life Enrichment Center. This center provides adults with intellectual developmental disabilities the opportunity to engage in meaningful life experiences within their community that embraces personal dreams and desires. As a volunteer, I have the opportunity to work with Campus Kitchen to provide meals for each event as well as create relationships with some incredible individuals. 



5) What have you discovered about yourself while being here at Georgia College?


I have discovered my passion for intersectional trends in inequality that are present not only at GC but also in society as a whole; both at the structural/macro-level and the interactionist/micro-level. Sociology has truly defined an entire part of my understanding of the world around me in a way that I could never have imagined. 



6) What made you want to pursue a sociology major?


The initial push towards sociology was at my church in high school. My church is overwhelmingly upper/middle class and white. And while my invisible whiteness at the time allowed me to ignore this trend, my inquiries into these demographics towards the end of my high school career led me towards sociology. 



7) What is the Office of Institutional Research and how does that play a role in your life decision?


The Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness focuses on educational and demographic trends at GC in order to improve the effectiveness of the education program. It has played a role in my life decisions in improving my love for research. 



8) What are some of the connections you made at Georgia College and that will help you after graduation?


I have made amazing connections with peers, faculty, and staff at GC that will not only help facilitate my career decisions in the future, but also allow me to continue to have meaningful connections to my undergraduate experience. 


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