Have you been wondering which career you'd like to pursue with your Sociology degree? If so, you'll want to explore our alumni profiles! This page was designed in order to celebrate our students and their accomplishments, while also illustrating the numerous ways you can put the knowledge gained from taking sociology courses to good use in your field of choice.
Autumn Tyler is currently a fourth-year doctoral candidate at the University of Colorado studying Media Research and Practice. Autumn also works as a research assistant in the summers and is responsible for gathering and organizing data. Additionally, Autumn works for the department as a teaching assistant and aides professors with grading, classroom management, and teaches multiple lab sections.
While Autumn enjoys working with students, research holds a special place in her heart. Her dissertation delves into Black, queer aesthetics and self-expression. As such, Autumn is utilizing multiple qualitative methods such as photovoice and interviewing to aid her research participants in their self-expression through their eyes.
Autumn's favorite class as an undergraduate was Sociology of Mental Health (SOCI 3110) looking at how systemic structures impact mental health. Autumn states that the "strong analytical skills, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills" she developed at UNT were the most helpful to her in her doctoral program.
After taking the Introduction to Sociology (SOCI 1510) course with Dr. Potts, Autumn says that Sociology "just felt right" and she switched her major. She loved that she finally had the words to put to social issues she previously thought about or observed.
After graduation, Autumn is hoping to find a position dealing with UX (user experience) research positions, qualitative researcher positions or DEI consulting.
From Autumn's Art Exhibit featuring work collected for her dissertation:
In Plain Sight, 2023
Photography, Mixed Media
As part of my dissertation, In Plain Sight features eight portraits of my research co-creators and focuses on themes of Black queerness, personal aesthetic practices, and concepts of visibility/invisibility.
Throughout the research process, my co-creators discussed how Black queer aesthetics "is art; it's high fashion," "it's authenticity in a world that doesn't want you to be," and "plays on ideas of perception and how sometimes you have to be in stealth mode."
What started as a project concerned with questions of self-fashioning, my co-creators opened up new understandings of what it means to be Black and a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and how they use aesthetic practices to hide in plain sight.
Mallory graduated from UNT in 2008 and is now a 6th grade Social Studies teacher in Ferris ISD who also serves as the advisory teacher for the gifted and talented students. Mallory has taught 5th grade reading for the previous five years before making the leap to secondary education. Prior to teaching, Mallory worked at a community college for the Health Professions Department as an administrative assistant, helping to facilitate the needs of five health programs for both the faculty and students. Mallory confesses that she has "always had a passion for education."
Mallory credits her Sociology courses for teaching her that "people are products of the world around them." She says this particularly becomes useful when teaching children because you have to understand why a student is behaving a particular way. She says that sociology presents a framework where you can begin to understand if the behavior is cultural or if it is perhaps due to an issue at home and if intervention is needed.
Mallory's favorite sociology class was the Sociology of Marriage and Family. Mallory describes that coming from a divorced family and growing up in a single parent household, the course helped her personally to explain "how all the different relationship statuses have an impact on family dynamics." Mallory credits this course and her beloved professor with helping her evaluate what she wanted in her own life as a newly married wife.
Mallory states that the best part of being a sociology major was that "the lessons were applicable anywhere." Sociological concepts and themes helped her navigate and understand groups of people, and she argues that her sociology courses helped her "to be more empathetic and communicative to everyone's needs."
Like many students, Mallory states that she did not know what she wanted to do after graduating college, but she "fell in love with sociology classes" and with her sociology professors.
Jeff Pressler is currently the IT Operations Manager for a Law firm in Dallas, TX. After graduating, Jeff advanced from an IT Helpdesk position to virtual infrastructure and networking engineering to cyber security analyst and disaster avoidance/recovery where he supports a team of "some of the smartest people I have ever known."
Jeff tributes the Sociology courses at UNT for opening his eyes to the "very broad spectrum of cultures, ideologies, and experiences of those you may otherwise assume to have a common background to your own." He notes that his favorite Sociology course was Sociology of Aging because it "hit home" for him considering he began a family of his own while still caring for his parents. He also praises this course for laying the groundwork for his future management role where he currently works with a wide range of people in terms of age. He notes that there is nearly a 40-year age gap between the most senior and junior team members he manages.
Serving others is a fabric of Jeff's life. When asked what the best part of his Sociology major was, Jeff says that in his opinion, "no matter what field you end up working in, you will be serving people in some form or another." He states that Sociology "helps students approach others from whatever walk of life with a genuine curiosity and open mind to their own ideas and processes." Jeff identifies with a lot of other students when it comes to the cost of obtaining an undergraduate degree. Related to this, Jeff said that "a university education was not an easy financial investment for two first-generation college students," but his professors and access to textbooks made this easier.
Jeff graduated from UNT in 2009 and now lives in Ennis with his wife, Mallory and their two boys. Jeff also serves his immediate community as a Chaplain (volunteer) firefighter and as an Ordained Christian Minister.