Everybody wants to change the world, and Olivet’s sociology/anthropology major is setting students up to achieve that goal one day at a time.
Cea Noyes, J.D., chair of the Social Science Department, professor of sociology/anthropology and director of the Betsy Dole Women’s Resource Center, emphasizes that the sociology/anthropology major encourages students to make a difference in the world.
“A student who declares a major in sociology/anthropology will develop the tools to be a change-maker in society on a local, regional, even global level,” Professor Noyes said. “Our students learn what it means to be an active and responsible person in society, to be the person who helps us communicate and act in ways that make our society and our world a better place whether they do it as a social worker, a lawyer, a museum curator or any other profession where they work with people and institutions.”
Jeff Humphrey ’19 knew the major was the right fit from the start.
“I love to study different societies, how they are constructed, how they develop and how they function every day,” he said. “One can learn all about human society and still find out more new things to learn. I have a wish to help people in need, and sociology/anthropology is a major where those who are dedicated to helping people can go because the major involves a lot of different careers that involve some sort of human service.”
Rising senior Brittany Matsumoto speaks to the valuable lessons she’s learned from her professors. Besides critical thinking skills, Brittany has picked up knowledge on a wide variety of topics that have allowed her to make sense of the world.
“Learning about controversial topics can be hard, but it’s worth it because knowledge about society and history is power,” she said.
Besides these lessons in humanity, students in the program also learn life skills that will help them in their future careers.
“I’ve learned that in life, if one is to be successful, they must always be prepared and ready for whatever they are doing,” Jeff said. “You cannot go in and just wing it in life. Be prepared and you will be successful. All of my professors instilled this lesson in my soul as soon as I got to Olivet College and started taking classes.”
Professor Noyes believes that the combination of life skills and technical knowledge in the program prepares students for success.
“Sociology/anthropology students combine academic theory, observation of the world around them and practical experience to prepare for their professional lives,” she said. “Our program will prepare students for further academic work and give them an opportunity to work in the professional world. Students in our program get the tools and the opportunity to prepare for work with people and with institutions in the everyday world to make a difference.”
Brittany succinctly sums up her major.
“If you enjoy helping others and making a different, the sociology/anthropology major is a perfect option.”