Meet Our Students

Based on faculty and instructor nominations to the Undergraduate Studies Committee, the department chooses one undergraduate major  to feature as our monthly Sociology & Criminology Student Spotlight. This program recognizes the extraordinary achievements, accomplishments, and activities of our undergraduate students.

Current Student Spotlight:

  • Harry Grupper photo.

    April 2021: Harry Grupper

    Harry chose sociology as his major because he sees it a way of creating real social change. Harry explains, “Sociology is amazing for answering big "why" questions which tend to feel like the most daunting questions when viewed through the lens of another discipline.”

    Harry works as an undergraduate research assistant for a faculty member in the Sociology Department. He describes the experience this way: “Getting to see the real life applications of what I had been learning in my classes was a challenging but great experience that I will always keep with me.”

    After graduation, Harry plans to continue on to graduate school. He describes his goal as “to become an advocate for incarcerated people and to try to make meaningful change in our country's deeply flawed criminal justice system.”



Previous Student Spotlights

  • 2/26/21
    Arufa explains that, as a child, her father owned a small deli and she was exposed to crime and violence in the neighborhood. These experiences made her “passionate about patterns, interactions, and a sense of ‘flow’ in society” and led to her decision to study criminology.
  • 1/29/21
    Vy says she chose sociology as a major because “I felt that I finally found something I was genuinely interested in and it helped me gain a better understanding of the world around me. Sociology played a great role in broadening my perspective on life.” During her time at UB, Vy studied abroad in London, completed an internship, and worked as a TA for a human growth and development course for two semesters.
  • 5/1/20
    Bahati says she chose sociology as a major because “studying sociology has not only broadened my perspective on life, it has also provided me with the ability to challenge the status quo and be able to think outside the norm.” She has particularly enjoyed the difficult conversations about “race, class and religion” that she has had in her sociology classes. She explains that if these topics aren’t addressed, “we cannot be able to reduce or solve inequalities."
  • 4/1/20
    Margret says the reason she became a sociology major was because she thinks “sociology deals with important issues that fundamentally relate to everyday life around us.” One of her favorite experiences studying sociology at UB has been studying abroad in the UB Semester in London program. She explains: “It was an experience that I’ll never forget and has provided me with memories and knowledge that have increased my appreciation for the major and the world around me.”
  • 3/2/20
    Kiana says she chose to major in criminology and sociology because she is interested in understanding “how institutions and other sorts of systems of inequality affect the people in my Latinx community, and how that plays a role in shaping their life chances.” Kiana is currently applying her criminology course work as an intern with Peaceprints of Western NY, a reentry program for those involved with the criminal justice system.
  • 1/31/20
    Uma’s passion for fighting social injustice led her to major in sociology. She explains: “The sociology department has given me the platform to speak about the issues that our society and country don't talk about. I'm able to speak with confidence and passion about the issues of White Supremacy terrorism, the issues of Criminal Justice reform, the issues of Public policy and common-sense reform.” Uma says she chose sociology at UB because “One leaves with not just academic knowledge but current knowledge and experiences encountered by students, and students of color, immigrants in America.”
  • 12/2/19
    Katy chose to become a criminology major because she enjoys “learning about how crime is perceived and facilitated by society.” One of Katy’s favorite experiences at UB was studying abroad in London through the Sociology Department where she “grew as a person” and also had the chance to get to know other Sociology majors.