The Department of Sociology would like to recognize our Outstanding Seniors and Scholarship Recipients for the 2022-2023 year.
Samantha is a non-traditional sociology major concentrating in social inequalities and minoring in gender, women’s, and sexuality studies. Over the last two decades, she has been an active member of the Boone community, especially in planning and organizing social justice initiatives surrounding reproductive freedoms, LGBTQ+ rights, and bodily autonomy. As a big creative, she is a successful photographer and enjoys playing guitar, piano, banjo, and harmonica.
In Fall 2023, Samantha will be applying to several graduate programs, with plans to obtain a PhD in sociology. Her research interests include sex and gender, sexual violence, historical sociology, and social movements.
Kazoua Thao is a student at Appalachian State University majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Social Inequalities, and a minor in Studio Art. She is a first generation student with passions in developing leadership skills, obtaining new knowledge, traveling, seeking environmental justice, supporting women's rights, and spending free time doing community services. Kazuou's goals post-graduation involve becoming a diversity manager and/or working for a non-profit organization and hopes that through this, she will be able to make some positive changes whether it be small or large.
Jordan Kelley is a junior student in Sociology and Psychology with a minor in French. She is club president of App State’s Best Buddies chapter. This summer Jordan am interning at Wine to Water, and is in the process of completing her Honors Thesis. Post-graduation Jordan plans to attend App State to obtain her Special Education teacher certification, and going on to get a Master’s Degree in Special Education, with the hopes of becoming a high school special educator.
Maddy will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in sociology (social inequalities) and political science (international and comparative politics). During her time in the sociology department, Maddy contributed to faculty research as a research assistant for Dr. Wright. She also completed an internship with the Borgen Project, a bipartisan nonprofit organization that seeks to make global poverty a focus of U.S. poverty.
After graduation, Maddy plans to take time off school to pursue employment in the nonprofit industry, specifically focusing on global inequality or political advocacy.
Morgan is a Sociology major with a concentration in Social Inequalities, and a Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies minor. She is both a transfer and a non-traditional student, and feels most appreciative of the mentorship and support she's received from the faculty within App's Sociology Department. She has held various leadership positions within the Sociology Club, assisted with faculty research, and has volunteered and interned with multiple community organizations. After graduation, she plans to find employment in the non-profit sector, particularly in the areas of food security and/or addiction recovery. Morgan is most excited by opportunities to connect, learn, and grow with members of her local community.
Gavi is a graduating senior originally from Ventnor, NJ. She came to Appalachian for the mountains, community, and for a change of pace.
Gavi has been heavily involved on App State's campus throughout her time here, and has led her to take advantage of so many opportunities that this campus has to offer. Gavi has chosen to pursue a M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs at University of South Carolina. She will be serving as the Graduate Assistant for Academic Integrity in the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. Gavi states that she couldn't have accomplished any of this without the support of the incredible faculty in the Sociology department!
My name is Jessica Kreider and I am majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Health and Aging. I am also minoring in Medical Humanities. Outside of classes, I am the Project Coordinator of the Watauga Dementia Project, as well as an intern with the High Country Area Agency on Aging. I have participated in research on family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's or other related dementia in the rural Appalachia region of our state. I have also conducted my own research on cognitive impairment and mental health in older adults. I am very passionate about working with older adults.
I haven't 100% decided what my plans are after college. I know I want to work with older adults, and I know I want to stay in the mountains.