Alumni Spotlight | Troy University

Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Here students describe their success stories in Troy University's Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Criminology. You will hear from current students and alumni in Sociology, Anthropology and the Masters in Social Science.

 Rita Detrick

Rita Detrick

B. S. in Psychology, 2014

M.S.Sc. in Social Science, 2017

 



Please tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
I graduated from Troy in 2017. I am a military spouse and mother to two boys. I was a non-traditional student in that I attended classes online and balanced pursuing education with raising my family and work. Most of my free time is focused on my family.
 
Why did you choose to attend Troy University, and why did you choose the social sciences?
I had heard about Troy through former students, including my husband, who all spoke positively about the school and their experience there. I also appreciated that it was so military-friendly and would allow for flexibility in pursuing a degree as we moved around the country. As a student I ended up living in four different states. Troy made achieving my goals possible.
 
I chose to study social sciences because my interests are varied. It allowed me to study both psychology and sociology which gave me a chance to learn how to think and conduct research from a multi-disciplinary approach.
 
What is your favorite memory about your time at Troy University?
I really enjoyed interacting with other students. They all came from such varied backgrounds, so they were all always able to bring something new to a conversation. I feel that I not only learned from textbooks and professors, but my peers as well. Thanks to them, my worldview expanded quite a bit and I’m grateful for that.
 
Who was your favorite professor in the Division of Social Sciences at Troy, and what impact did this person have on your life?
Dr. Jeneve Brooks has directly impacted my life in several ways. In her classes I never once felt like I was missing out by not being in an actual classroom or on campus. She was also my advisor and has been a wonderful mentor. She has guided me to a place where I am making the most of my education.  Most recently I was offered fellowship funding by the University of Michigan to attend their Summer Institute in Survey Research Techniques Diversity program, which is thanks, in part, to the letter of recommendation she wrote for me. She forms meaningful connections with her students which gave me someone to turn to in order to pursue this opportunity. She’s a hands-on professor who has a lot to give to her students, and I’ll always be grateful to her for everything she’s done.
 
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Troy University?
The more concrete things I learned at Troy all have value, but the larger value for me has been how my perception of the world around me has been changed overall. While attending Troy I was exposed to so many different types of people and ideas that I am just not the same person as when I started. As a result, things like my creativity and problem-solving has been positively impacted, which has been a huge asset to me outside of school.
 
What did you do right after graduating from Troy University?
I began looking for work and successfully secured my current position within a few months.
 
Tell me a little bit about your career.  How did your education at Troy University prepare you for what you are doing today?
I am a research analyst for an information services company outside of Washington D.C. that offers a range of services from policy and social science research to website design and development. My education at Troy University helped me to develop high standards for myself when it comes to my research capabilities and writing. It also has acted as a solid foundation that allows me to try different things that would have once been far out of my comfort zone. Most recently I’ve been actively involved in the UX design process of our websites and applications which, for me, was an exciting new way to apply my background in the social sciences.
 
What advice would you give to other students who are interested in pursuing a career in the social sciences?
Do not limit yourself. Many of my peers viewed the social sciences as something you pursued only if you’re interested in academic research, but that’s not all there is out there. A background in social sciences can hold value in several different fields, and there are also research and employment opportunities in the private sector.
 
If you had to describe the social sciences in one word, what word would you use?
Diverse.
 
Is there anything else you would like people to know about Troy University or the social sciences?
There are a lot of opportunities out there that would let you apply a background in social sciences in different and unique ways. If it’s something you’re interested in, then it is worth exploring.

 Samuel Adam Hunter

Samuel Adam Hunter

B. S. in Political Science, 2015

M.S.Sc. in Social Science, 2017

 

 

Please tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
My name is Samuel Hunter. I am a Troy Alumni who graduated with a Masters of Social Sciences with focuses in sociology and psychology..
 
Why did you choose to attend Troy University, and why did you choose the social sciences?
I came to Troy for several reasons, the key of which was Troy’s high level of diversity amongst its students. Diversity is important to me, which is one reason why I chose Sociology as a focus in my degree. Another reason I chose my degree is related to my undergraduate experience. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Political Science, which I enjoyed, but many of my professors would always comment on my essays that there was a strong Sociological tone to my essays. Therefore, I decided that when getting my Masters degree, I should perhaps look into the Social Sciences instead of continuing in the Political Sciences.
 
What is your favorite memory about your time at Troy University?
It is hard to choose a favorite memory from my time here at Troy. I have had so many wonderful experiences. I would have to say that most of my fondest moments would have to involve my diversity of friends, whether it be the all-nighters studying and going on which trips into the town at 2am for coffee to help us survive, the quick weekend day trips to the beach, swing dancing at the British Tea Formal, or the many other small adventures we would have together.
 
Who was your favorite professor in the Division of Social Sciences at Troy, and what impact did this person have on your life?
I would have to say that my favorite professor within the Social Sciences is a tie between Dr. Annette Allen and Dr. Christopher Bradley. Both of these individuals are different in their form of instruction, but through that diversity, I was able to come out a better individual. Both of them have had a major hand in opening up my mind to new ways of thinking and giving me greater curiosity about our social world. During my time at Troy, I went through much hardship in my personal life. These individuals gave me understanding and focus that helped me overcome and progress in my education. So it goes beyond the academics with these individuals; they were great educators and friends.
 
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Troy University?
The most important thing I learned at Troy can be summed up with one sentence: “Different isn’t bad, it’s just different.”
 
What did you do right after graduating from Troy University?
Upon graduating from Troy University, I was approached by the Chair of the Division of Social Science and was asked to fill a vacancy as an adjunct instructor. Being a teacher was my goal, so I happily accepted.
 
Tell me a little bit about your career.  How did your education at Troy University prepare you for what you are doing today?
My career at Troy University has been quite the adventure. I have given my fair share of presentations and speeches throughout my college career, but nothing truly prepares you to walk into your own classroom for the first time and take over a class yourself. Troy did help prepare me by giving me a wonderful education. I also had many great advisors who I consulted regularly. Some of these advisors not only offered me sound advice, but they also allowed me to come into their classes and monitor them. I have enjoyed my career overall, and I love working with my students. I by no means consider myself to be an amazing teacher, but I am working on it, as I constantly try to improve my class.
 
What advice would you give to other students who are interested in pursuing a career in the social sciences?
It is not always easy, but it is worth it. The social sciences offer students a chance to diversify their way of thinking and to view things from new perspectives. Sometimes changing one’s ideas of how the world works in hard, and maybe painful, but in the end you will find that this experience to be liberating. A career in the social sciences no doubt opens up many opportunities. One can find a job anywhere from being an academic to preforming research for government or corporations. One need not be limited.
 
If you had to describe the social sciences in one word, what word would you use?
The best word to describe the social sciences, one I have already used several times, is diversity. Diversity is the future. It is the key to stability and unionship.
 
Is there anything else you would like people to know about Troy University or the social sciences?
Troy University offers many opportunities for a variety of students of all shapes, colors, and backgrounds. Anyone can find a place here. If one is unsure what they want or are interested in, the social sciences could be the perfect choice. It allows students to experience a diverse array of studies, helping them find their perfect fit.

Anna Lindzey
Anna Lindzy

M.S.Sc. in Social Science, 2017

 

 

 

 

Please tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
I received my Master of Social Science Degree from Troy University. Twenty years prior to that, I received my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Indiana University. I have been working as a research assistant on papers with the faculty at Troy University and Alabama State University.

Why did you choose to attend Troy University, and why did you choose the social sciences?
I chose the Troy University Master of Social Science program as it was available to pursue online while I was still working full time. I have always had great interest in sociology. I had been encouraged by the Indiana University Sociology Department to pursue a graduate program immediately following my bachelor’s degree in 1998, but I chose to go into the workforce instead. Many years later, I still felt compelled to continue my education, and I found a way to make it happen with the Troy University Masters in Social Science program.

What is your favorite memory about your time at Troy University?
I enjoyed completing video presentations for online classes with Dr. Brooks. I was nervous at the idea of putting them together and felt much more confident after completing them successfully. I was very glad to improve my presentation and communication skills.

Who was your favorite professor in the Division of Social Sciences at Troy, and what impact did this person have on your life?
Dr. Jeneve Brooks was the most dedicated and invested professor in the Division of Social Sciences at Troy during my pursuit of my Master of Social Science Degree. She has had great impact on my exposure to the professional study of social science. She encouraged me to present research at state and national sociology conferences. With her encouragement, I have developed more knowledge and interest in the research and instruction of sociology.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Troy University?
Attaining my master’s degree online required me to prioritize and use my time wisely. Time management is essential to complete readings and assignments in graduate school.

What did you do right after graduating from Troy University?
I began working as a sociology research assistant for Professor Brooks.

Tell me a little bit about your career. How did your education at Troy University prepare you for what you are doing today?
Prior to my education at Troy University, I was an accounts receivables manager. I had been doing bookkeeping for a decade. After receiving my Master of Social Science Degree, I am inspired to do social research and would like to be a sociology instructor in the future.

What advice would you give to other students who are interested in pursuing a career in the social sciences?
Don’t wait. Take some courses to find and pursue your specific areas of interest.

If you had to describe the social sciences in one word, what word would you use?
Evolving.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about Troy University or the social sciences?
The social sciences are important for analyzing the world as it was, as it is, and how lives may be improved for the future. Studying social sciences will give students valuable new perspectives on society. There are several fields to be studied and many careers to be pursued. The Division of Social Sciences at Troy University can open doors to new careers. Studying social science helps students learn analytical skills as well as improved communication skills.