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

  • 12/2/19
    Avery chose to become a sociology major because “the discipline is a way to directly interrogate disparities (social, economic, and health, etc.) within society.” In addition to majoring in Sociology, Avery is also majoring in Urban & Public Policy and minoring in Public Health and Environmental Design. Avery is also conducting research on food access and equity in the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab at UB. 
  • 9/30/19
    Allen chose to become a criminology major in the Sociology Department’s new Criminology BA program because he has “always been interested in the effects of crime in society and how it shapes law, especially focusing on substance use and the drug trade.”  He also picked criminology because of his professors. He explained that his professors “are all very passionate about what they teach and because of this, it makes learning the material much more interesting and rewarding."
  • 5/1/19
    Joe admits he didn’t know much about Sociology before starting at UB and taking Sociology courses.  He says “I find the content incredibly relevant to understanding life more fully and how to address the most complicated problems faced by people of all ages.” Joe has been a particularly active member of the department community, serving as a research assistant, a CAS ambassador, and an officer in the Sociology Club.  This summer, Joe will attend the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association to present his research.
  • 4/17/19
    Leah says she chose to become a sociology major because, as a sociology major, “I have the ability to see beyond the surface of society and really begin to be critical of social life. Inequality has always been a concept of interest and sociology has really helped me expand that understanding.” Leah has particularly enjoyed her criminology coursework at UB because “We viewed content and subjects at hand in the sociological lens which was powerful in my opinion.”
  • 4/2/19
    Mariama says she chose Sociology as her major because: “I’m very interested in how societies, and individuals in them, function as a living organism. I want to learn more about how different groups in societies interact with the institutions they live with on a daily basis.”
  • 4/2/19
    Sara started out as a Psychology major at UB but ultimately decided to add Sociology as a major. She describes her decision to doublemajor this way: “I found myself drawn to Sociology courses in my elective choices. With each successive class, my interest in the field grew. I began to feel a synergy between the things I was learning in Psychology and the wider application of many of those concepts to communities and human populations through Sociology. The questions that Sociology asks, the concepts that I learned and the research that I read drew me to the field.”
  • 4/2/19
    When asked why he became a sociology major, Bryan explained: “I am a sociology major because I am interested in the social justice problems that my community in Brooklyn, New York is experiencing, such as gentrification. Sociology is my way of understanding the reasons for and consequences of what my community is undergoing. It is through understanding that proper action can be taken.”