Jeanette Cibelli, Sociology, Class of 2017

I spent my first year as a undergraduate at Quinnipiac as an undeclared communications student, with a minor in sociology. I declared my minor before even knowing for certain which classes I wanted to take during my first fall semester. I knew I enjoyed writing and working with people (despite being an introvert), so I thought communications would be a good professional route for me. I tried to force myself to love journalism or public relations or media studies, and while those fields were interesting to me, I dreaded the work and assignments. The only classes I really looked forward to were my sociology classes, so at the beginning of my sophomore year, I made the switch to a sociology major.

It was an excellent choice! During my time at Quinnipiac, I learned from amazing professors in the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Anthropology: Dr. Cathy Solomon, Dr. Stacy Missari, Dr. Steve McGuinn, and my academic and thesis advisor, Dr. Grace Yukich, to name a few. I started paying more attention to politics, policy, and history that have contributed to racial and economic inequality, as well as gender inequality. I also learned a lot about being intellectually curious through the University Honors Program. These experiences helped me realize that I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to contribute to some change in the world, even on a small scale, so I became interested in education and counseling psychology.

I am now a current graduate student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In May 2019, I will graduate with my Master of Education in Prevention Science and Practice, an area of research and in-school work that focuses on assessing risk factors for students and attempting to mitigate those factors by developing preventative interventions and leveraging students’ strengths. This year, I completed a year-long internship at a public charter school in Cambridge, MA, in their college counseling department that focuses on college access and success for minority students. Next year, I’ll complete another internship and year of coursework to meet the qualifications for school counseling licensure. I’m excited!

I always tell people that my degree in sociology provided an excellent foundation for the work I want to do in schools. Communication with people is key – I was onto something when I came to QU as a communications student – but sociology taught me to have empathetic eye towards all issues, as well as a critical eye. The status quo has held too many people back from achieving their full potential, so I hope to support students in breaking down those barriers as their future school counselor.

By Jeanette Cibelli
Jeanette Cibelli Graduate Student