Meet Our Students

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

Current Student Spotlight:

  • Student headshot.

    December 2023: Jayda Holmes

    Pictured here is this month’s Student Spotlight award winner, Jayda Holmes, during her time studying abroad in London! Jayda chose to major in sociology because “gaining an understanding of society on macro and micro scales allows me to make the world a better place.” Following graduation, Jayda plans on pursuing a master’s degree in higher education.


    Congratulations on being our December Spotlight Student, Jayda!

Previous Student Spotlights

  • November 2023: Laraina Westcott
    We are pleased to introduce Laraina Westcott as our November 2023 Student Spotlight Award Winner! Laraina chose to major in Sociology because “I am passionate about social justice issues, and find the history and links between sociological aspects interesting.” Laraina plans on continuing their graduate education following graduation.
  • October 2023: Sam Daponte
    We are pleased to introduce Sam Daponte as our October 2023 Student Spotlight Award Winner! Originally unsure of a major, Sam found his calling after completing Introduction to Sociology. Sam notes, “the key concepts, theories, and ideas I was introduced to fostered a new chapter in my life.” In the future, Sam plans on pursuing a graduate degree in Sociology.
  • September 2023: Emily Sweeney
    We are pleased to introduce Emily Sweeney as our September 2023 Student Spotlight Award Winner! Emily is currently pursuing a degree in criminology and psychology, with an anticipated graduation date of 2025. Emily chose to major in criminology because “I was really interested in the way that individuals interact with each other and how the systems/institutions around us shape our behavior."
  • May 2023: Aaron Davis
    Our May Spotlight Student, Aaron Davis, hails from Albany, but wasted no time in forming a community here in Buffalo.  In his first year at UB he was already hosting open mic nights at the local Hillel.  Now wrapping up his sophomore year, he continues to be active in the Jewish community, while staying busy with his Sociology/English double major and Spanish minor (and rooting for the Mets!).
  • April 2023: Arufa Hossain
    Do you recognize the building in the background of this photo of Arufa Hossain, our April Spotlight Student?  Yes, that’s the U.S. Capitol Building!  Arufa, a UB Criminology major, is currently serving as an LGBTQ+ Victory Institute Congressional Intern in Washington, D.C., where she works in Congressman Adam Schiff's office at the House of Representatives. 
  • March 2023: Alexis Harrell
    If you read UBNow emails, then you’ve already heard about our March 2023 Spotlight Student, Alexis Harrell.  Alexis was recently awarded a super-competitive Marshall scholarship to do graduate work in the U.K.  She will pursue an MSc in Narrative Futures: Art, Data, Society at the University of Edinburgh, followed by an MSc in Psychology of the Arts, Neuroaesthetics, and Creativity at Goldsmiths, University of London.
  • February 2023: Will Escalera Pinet
    Our February Spotlight Student, Will Escalera Pinet, decided to major in Sociology because of her interests in how people interact in society, and how the urban landscape shapes society.  Will’s learning was not restricted to the Buffalo campus:  In spring 2022, she spent a semester abroad in South Korea.  She credits this experience, combined with a Sociology of Global Society class she took, with introducing her to a new perspective on social action.