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Senior: Sociology Department is a ‘Family’

05/04/16

Josh Hunter ’16 of Schenevus, N.Y., entered MCLA as a psychology major with the thought of a career in research. However, an “Introduction to Sociology” course he took during his first semester changed his mind.

“I remember when the professor said, ‘Time does not exist, clocks exist,’ I was blown away,” Hunter recalled. “This major has opened my mind up to many of the injustices that our society imposes upon people, while at the same time teaches me ways to think outside of the box.”

After living with his grandmother for two years, he decided to focus his social work minor on geriatric studies. His minors are in social work, as well as health and aging, both of which gave him a desire to learn more about Alzheimer’s, and the mental health of elderly people in general.

By the time he was a sophomore, Hunter knew he wanted a career in social work because it would allow him “to give people a voice.” He plans to use his degree to help the elderly in a nursing home setting, or as an advocate for senior citizens in need.

“I've always been a very outgoing and person who loves being around others. I knew social work would allow me to talk to people every day, and to go out of my way to help them if they were unable to help themselves.”

In addition to his academics, Hunter is an Admissions ambassador, and gives prospective students tours of the campus.

“I love sitting down and talking with families who are interested in MCLA, telling them my story, and watching their faces light up as I talk about all of my accomplishments and memories,” he said.

Being part of the Admissions team made Hunter a more “conscious learner,” he said. “The job made me realize just how important education is, and how important it is for every student to have the chance to attend college so they might reach their full potential.”

Also the president of Colleges Against Cancer for the past two years, Hunter recently was elected as the treasurer of the Sociology Society, a new club on campus. In addition, over the spring break, he traveled to Ireland (see photo, above) with his travel study class.

“I also am a tutor for many sociology classes, and am serving an internship at Williamstown Commons, a nursing home in Williamstown,” Hunter said. “The experience I am having is life changing: I know with 100 percent certainty that I want to work with the elderly.” 

According to Hunter, the professors and students in MCLA’s sociology program feel like a family. In addition to the camaraderie that exists among students, “All of the professors communicate, and get along,” he said.

Hunter said MCLA’s small classes have been vital in preparing him for success, because his professors notice whether or not he is in class and has done the work they assign.

“My academic experience here at MCLA has been amazing,” Hunter said. “I can't think of one course that I didn’t walk away from with a head full of knowledge. I was engaged every day. I came to class prepared because I knew what each of my professors expected from me.

“The professors show so much interest in their students, and in their futures,” he added. “Now, I’m considering a Ph.D because I want to change lives, just as many of my professors in the sociology department did for me.”