Study Sociology and Anthropology at Southern Oregon University

Students who are interested in global
issues and global questions and diversity around the world but who also
want to take a local perspective and think about what’s happening in their
own communities and here on campus, and connect those two pieces together.
This is a great program to make those connections. My name is Jessica Piekielek.
I’m a cultural anthropologist and I teach in SOU’s Sociology and
Anthropology program. My name is Mark Shibley and I’m chair of the Sociology
Anthropology program. I’m Larry Gibbs, I’m an assistant professor of Sociology in the
Sociology and Anthropology department here at SOU. My name is Chelsea Rose, I’m
a research archaeologist with the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of
Anthropology. We have a dynamic program unique in some ways in that we bring
together two disciplines – Sociology and Anthropology. We take all of the
strengths from both of those disciplines and merge them into something that’s
unique for students. What I’m most excited about here is the way that we
mentor students using the tools of those disciplines to really work on projects
that they care a lot about that make a difference in their lives and have an
impact on the communities that they’re part of, and we work really hard on that
in our program and I’m really proud of that –
and I’m really excited about the kind of opportunities that opens up
for our students. What makes it fun teaching at SOU is that over time you
build these relationships – that you give students skillsets that go
beyond the classroom so it’s good when you can do research or you talk about
social issues and you see students there their faces light up and they’re excited
to just do work. So that’s one of the assets of the SOU community. I
decided to come here to Southern Oregon for the sociology department because it
has small class sizes, and right away one of my professors really wanted to see
what I was interested in. I ended up getting a job as a research
assistant within the first two months that I joined this program. We’ve had a
lot of students do their senior thesis or capstone and get it published, or be
able to take that research on with them when they go into grad school. So because
of the fact that we are actually real archaeologists here on campus embedded
in this program, there’s a lot of opportunities that maybe students
wouldn’t get elsewhere. I just love the professors here. They just do such a
great job immersing you in the curriculum, but also giving you
real-world experience and giving you practical experience so that way
whenever you get your degree you can go out in the real world and be prepared to
to go out there and get a job. And they tell us that it that it’s excellent so I
can list off many students who have graduated from here that have plugged in
to jobs in the community in those fields based on the capstone
work they’ve done here. …they may decide to come to this program… I believe is
their desire to focus on diversity and inclusion. Of course our students are
very interested in that here because sou is located in a beautiful region and
students want to come here, study at the University and kind of be a part of
what’s going on in the landscapes around us. So we kind of come at that from a
Social Science perspective. Our Environmental Studies program which is
excellent here, kind of comes at it from from a natural science point of view. I
would say one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had working with
professors is working with Chelsea Rose over at SOULA. Working with her has really
made me critically think about how we view and interpret race in an ethnicity
when it comes to our history and what we’re lacking or what we could actually
improve on. We are able to bring our students out in the field, they can get
their hands dirty in the lab. They’re working on cleaning, analyzing, and
there’s a lot of opportunity for students to kind of have ownership over
a piece of their own research. I think that if you want to be
a part of a community at the school that you’re at and if you want to feel
supported by your peers and by your professors then SOU is a great choice
for you. If you want to explore your passions and shape your classes around
what you’re interested in, I think that the sociology and anthropology
department offers every opportunity to do that. [Music]