Alumni of sociology undergraduate and graduate programs

Sociology students can and -- as the students below attest - do pursue a variety of careers.  Please meet some of our undergraduate and graduate alumni:

Tiffany Allgeier, MA

Tiffany earned both her bachelor's (2005) and master's (2007) degrees in sociology from UofL and has been working at the Ronald McDonald House in Louisville since 2007 and now serves as the House Manager.  In her role, Tiffany says, "I do a little bit of everything - I help provide a "home away from home" for our families who are far from home and have a sick child; oversee the daily operations of the House; hire, train and supervise our relief managers and volunteer coordinator; ensure 24/7 coverage; communicate with hospital staff; help families with Medicaid assistance, and lots of other fun stuff!"

Tiffany advises students to "[t]ake the time to get involved in the campus community – study groups, extracurricular activities, etc. You never know where the connections you make can lead to. I first volunteered at Ronald McDonald House with an honor society I was part of and fell in love with the place – I’ve now been a part of the organization for ten years."  What she enjoyed about the graduate program was "...being able to take a large variety of classes and having professors that enjoyed what they were teaching and cared about their students. As a graduate student I was able to take courses in non-profit management, which has supported my career...I work with diverse groups of people every day (families, volunteers, board members, staff) and my degree in sociology equipped me with the skills necessary to do that. I also use creativity, innovation, critical thinking, analytic problem solving and communication skills on a daily basis – all skills a degree in sociology supports."

Brittany Buttry-Watson, MA

Brittany earned her MA in sociology from UofL in 2014 and has since been working as a researcher at HPW Associates, an applied evaluation firm, in Pittsburgh, PA.  Brittany says, "I regularly use the training I received while at the University of Louisville. As a part of the evaluation team for offender re-entry programs, I help design evaluation plans, coordinate data collection, and create reports and factsheets to communicate the program’s accomplishments and challenges. I am also helping conduct a region-wide community needs assessment on tobacco control programs in the Northwest region of Pennsylvania, which involves conducting interviews and focus groups, and developing survey protocol and instruments."

Brittany enjoyed her social theory courses, and says, "Though I am not applying theoretical frameworks directly in my current position, I frequently realize the importance of the theory-driven education I received. For instance, an understanding of how both larger societal factors and daily interpersonal interactions shape our human experience and impact decision making greatly influences the way I approach program design and the interpretation of outcomes."  She "would encourage students to take advantage of U of L’s focus on applied research and work hard to discover the intersection between their research interests and the world around them, and to think about how they can creatively share their research with those in other departments and the community."

Emilie Dyer, MA

Emilie earned her MA in sociology in 2009 and now works at the American Community Center as a family coach.  Emilie tells us, "...I assist family leaders in Family Education to complete life goals that they have identified and remove barriers to complete those goals. Their goals can include any tasks that promotes the stability, self sufficiency and education of the entire family including becoming financially stable, buying a home, applying for a job, completing an education or supporting the education of children. I work to keep myself informed about local community resources that contribute to family success in order to collaborate with potential partners that can help our families achieve their goals. I also help families remove barriers preventing them from achieving goals by connecting parents with these resources, providing education on how to access these resources, and advocating on behalf of the family when and if they are unable to do so for themselves. We serve all residents of Louisville but our population primarily consists of refugees and immigrants."

Patrick Kelly, PhD

Patrick earned his master's degree in sociology from UofL in 1995 and his PhD in Urban and Public Affairs from UofL in 2010.  He currently works at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems in Boulder, Colorado.  You can read more about Patrick and his work at NCHEMS at

Michael Littrell, PhD

Mike earned his PhD in applied sociology in 2015 and is now working with the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigations Cyber Crimes Branch.

Thomas Mowen, PhD

Tom earned his bachelor's (2010) and master's (2011) degrees in sociology from UofL and his PhD in sociology from the University of Delaware.  He currently works as an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Wyoming and teaches courses on policing, criminology, and social inequality.

According to Tom, "Using my training in sociology, I study the impact of criminal justice policies and punishment on family and youth, and how family dynamics contribute to delinquency and crime.  Currently, how school safety strategies and policing impact families and youth, and how other forms of punishment—like incarceration—contribute to changes within the family, and what type of consequences that leads to across the life course."

Tom says, "Overall, the entire program at UofL was fantastic.  In particular, I enjoyed sociology of sport, and deviance.  It was really the deviance course that lead me to become interested in issues of crime and inequality in the U.S.  I also really enjoyed the Sociology Student Association (SSA) and the opportunities that becoming involved with the SSA presented, like interacting with faculty members, other students, and members of the Louisville community."  He recommends that students "...take advantage of the open atmosphere within the department of sociology at UofL.  The department is unique in that each and every faculty member has an open door policy with students.  It was my experience that faculty members enjoyed working closely with students, participating in events outside of the classroom with students (like SSA or conferences), and were always happy serving as mentors.  This makes the Sociology Department at UofL a very special place!  I would strongly encourage current and prospective students to take advantage of such a great opportunity."

Elizabeth Roberts, MA

Elixabeth graduated from our MA program in 2017 and just recently accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Strategic Admissions and Merit Scholar Recruitment with the Honors College at the College of Charleston. 

Srijita Sarkar, MA

Srijita, who earned her MA in sociology from UofL in 2012, has a forthcoming article, "Women-Centric Films in India," with Dr. Patricia Gagné, professor of sociology at UofL, to be published in theContemporary Journal of Anthropology and Sociology. Srijita's work looks at women's resistance in independent Hindi language Indian film and argues that such representations of women, particularly in a male-dominated society, encourage social change by fostering open discussion of taboo subjects such as domestic violence and rape. The article is currently in press and will be available in March at

Lisa Stapleton, MA

Lisa earned her master of arts degree in sociology from UofL in 2013 and currently works at Mercer, a global HR consulting firm, in their "Talent" department.  According to Lisa, "We run compensation surveys that thousands of companies use in order to set budgeting for the next year and track promotions/benefits for their employees...Because my team works with compensation surveys, we help a lot with data cleaning on the submission level and aggregate level. Taking statistics helped me so much in being comfortable with a lot of the terminology and concepts (data masking and data culling criteria, probablitity, outliers, etc.)."

Lisa tells us her "favorite course was also [her] hardest, Research Methods. I still use some of the skills I learned in there when helping to research and develop the survey questions or help analyze the responses...I would recommend taking classes that interest you, even if they don't directly relate to your thesis, since you never really know what will be useful later. Also, pay attention in stats! I never thought I would be using so much of what I learned in there now and I wish I had taken better notes."

Nancy Steinmetz, MA

Nancy Steinmetz earned her MA in sociology in 2012 and returned to Fall, 2017 to earn her PhD in applied sociology here at UofL.  Nancy tell us, "As a “non-traditional” student, I returned to U of L to complete my undergraduate degree after 30 years (U of L and I were on a break), and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I completed my undergraduate degree [in sociology] in 2009 then went into the graduate program for my master’s...My master’s thesis focus was crime and victimization and an abbreviated version of my research was published inThe Journal of Criminal Justiceshortly after I [graduated]."

According to Nancy, "Sociology in general helped me see society/societies in a more organized and thoughtful way.  One may ask, “What can I do with a sociology degree?”…to which I would answer, there isn’t a field of work where a sociology degree isn’t relevant, applicable, or even needed.  The ideas, concepts, and foundations that students of sociology acquire, can be used in every type of employment opportunity."

Maggie Stone, PhD

Maggie earned her PhD in 2014 and has the distinction of being the first to graduate from our doctoral applied sociology program.  Upon graduating, Maggie took a faculty position at Marshall University in West Virginia in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, where she is actively involved in teaching and research.

Maggie tells us she is currently teaching "...undergraduate and graduate level courses in commodifying/sexualizing the body, quantitative research methods, and statistics. This semester I was appointed Director of Graduate Services for our department and will begin working in that capacity in January 2016. I serve on a number of graduate thesis committees overseeing projects such as a study of Safe Harbor laws and the domestic commercial sexual exploitation of children and an analysis of bodybuilders' performativity of the body using queer theory. I serve on the Advisory Board for Women's Studies, the COLA Curriculum Committee, the Sexuality Committee, and am the faculty advisor for The SOCiety, our undergraduate student sociology club. Additionally, I continue to research prostitution and sexual health, recently spearheading an interdisciplinary community-focused initiative in Huntington, WV. In the past calendar year I've presented at two national and three regional conferences in addition to co-organizing a local panel regarding sex work."