CLINTON BOYD, JR. '11
A Chicago-native, Clinton Boyd, Jr. graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a B.A. in Sociology in 2011. While attending CUC, Clinton was involved in several societies and activities including: Alpha Kappa Delta (International Honor Society for Sociology), Psi Alpha Omega (National Psychology Honor Society for students of color), Psi Chi (International Psychology Honor Society), the American Correctional Association, Cougar Allies and Concordia Football. After graduation, he went on to DePaul University and received his master’s in sociology two years later.
Boyd is currently a sociology doctoral student at Georgia State University where he recently received the prestigious Doris Duke Fellowship. The Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being was created to develop young leaders who are interested in creating practice and policy and initiatives focused on improving child well-being.
Boyd’s research investigates how neighborhood environments impact the welfare of children and African-American fathers, as well as looks at the current social environment in terms of police brutality and its effect on African-American children, particularly girls.
“My work with fathers has left an indelible impression on me. Looking at them, their children and their neighborhoods is a constant reality check. I could’ve been one of them. That’s why I’m so passionate about my work.”
MARISIA ROBINSON-BANNISTER '16
Marisia Robinson-Bannister, from Waukegan, IL, graduated from Concordia University Chicago in 2016 with a B.A. in Sociology (minor: Criminal Justice).
From CUC, she enrolled in St. John's University Graduate School in Queens, New York. She hopes to attain her master’s in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Leadership in 2017.
While attending grad school full-time, Robinson-Bannister also holds a position as Graduate Assistant for Conference Services at St. John's University. This job has provided her the opportunity to gain leadership and problem solving experience as she guides undergraduate student workers and teaches communication skills.
In the future, Robinson-Bannister has strong intentions of becoming an Emergency Response commander for FEMA and/or the Department of Homeland Security.
“My job and my program allow me to network with some pretty influential people throughout my university, the City of New York and the world!”
DOROTA NAPIORKOWSKA '15
Dorota Napiorkowska, from Norridge, IL, graduated from Concordia University Chicago in 2015 with a B.A. in Sociology.
While a student, Napiorkowska was involved in the Human Rights Club, Psychology Club, and peer mentored several Noetics classes. She presented at multiple events including Doorway to the Mind, the Women and Gender Studies conference and a Global Justice Series event regarding criminalization.
Dorota currently works with the senior community at Solutions for Care, a social service agency in North Riverside. There, she provides resources and services to those over 60 so they can continue their independence and quality of life at home.
In the future, Napiorkowska plans to further her sociology studies, focusing on public health and human rights.
“As cliché as this sounds, learning about the complex issues we face is not what got me interested in sociology, it's the hope that our sociology professors have shown me I can find in research, and the work that we get to do to not only face these issues but to offer creative solutions to them.”
DAMIEN OLIVARES '14
Damien Olivares, a first-generation college graduate, received his B.A. from Concordia University Chicago in 2014.
While a CUC student, Olivares worked as a research assistant, English tutor, and helped coordinate campus fund raisers, film screenings, and other events involving social change and human rights.
Currently, Olivares works for a research group at the University of Chicago participating in data collection. He meets and interviews people daily, learning about community issues such as low access to recreation, affordable housing and healthcare. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this project will inform upcoming programs designed by Bright Star Community Outreach.
“The sociology department opened my eyes to the world of research and my limitless potential in it. Without it, I would not be where I am.”
LESLIE CORTEZ '16
Leslie Cortez, a first-generation college student from Cicero, IL, graduated from CUC with a B.A. in Sociology in 2016. During her college years, Cortez led the Human Rights Organization and Consent Committee.
She currently works at Heartland Alliance, a non-for-profit organization, as a case manager. In this position, she is responsible for recreational and educational programming, as well as monitoring medication and advising and supervising minors.
The sociology courses that prepared her to work as a case manager include Classical Sociological Theory; Contemporary Sociological Theory; The Sociology of Marriage and Family, Social Inequality: Class, Status and Power; Sociology of Poverty and Culture; and Sociology of Gender/Sexualities. Cortez notes, "These classes informed me of the backgrounds that the minors that I work with are coming from, understand the individual self and development, and group dynamics."
“I love being able to work with my team to organize and lead creative projects, create fun programming, be a positive role model for each participant, and have an impact in their lives.”
QUINTIN WILLIAMS '12
Quintin Williams was a Sociology major as an undergrad and earned his M.A. from CUC in 2012.
For Williams, building his leadership skills was just one of the positive outcomes of choosing to attend CUC. “Serving as president of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Club is something I was encouraged to step up and do, and I learned a lot about leadership as a result,” he says.
When asked what he enjoyed most about studying sociology at Concordia–Chicago, Quintin notes some of the ways his professors inspired his learning. “The sociology professors at CUC live and breathe sociology, and it’s obvious they love it,” says Williams. “They got their Ph.D.s, coming from fantastic schools, but they didn’t just get their degrees and stop there. They’re very active in the sociology field still. They’re always involved in other projects, presenting their work at conferences, writing books, doing research and reading books. As a CUC student, my professors suggested books to me and encouraged me to think critically. They drilled into me that you have to read—it’s not optional. And because of that I now have an appetite to read, and I always have to have a book with me.”
Currently a doctoral student in sociology at Loyola University Chicago, Williams says his CUC experience has prepared him well for the next steps on his career path.
“What I learned at CUC in the field of sociology, in the jobs I had on campus, the leadership positions I was put into, the assignments I had to complete that I didn’t think I could do, the degree of difficulty of some of my classes—all of that collectively prepared me for life after CUC. With that type of training I can embark on any journey.”
MARICELA MERAZ '11
Maricela Meraz graduated from CUC with a B.A. in Sociology and minor in Women and Gender Studies in 2011. While a student, Meraz was a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honors Society.
She is currently a care coordinator supervisor. In this position, she is responsible for hiring and training future care coordinators who will provide services to older adults. She assists team members with day-to-day questions to better guide them when assisting clients. In addition, Meraz monitors staff production and provides training and development where needed.
Meraz says, “My Sociology classes allowed me to broaden my perspectives in order to work better with individuals. This may be an older adult who needs me to be sensitive to cultural needs or team members requiring me to adjust my training approach because I’m cognizant that everyone learns differently.”
Meraz’s future plans are to remain in a leadership position to continue to mold the care coordinators that directly assist older adults in the community. “This allows me to serve my community while continuing to aid the development and growth of my organization,” she adds.
“My Sociology classes allowed me to broaden my perspectives in order to work better with individuals.”