Alumni Network

Our alumni apply their skills various fields in different places all over the world. By having a variety of careers, they help showcase how many different options there are for those who have a degree in Sociology & Anthropology. Those wishing to contact alumni should first contact the department.

Alissa Day

BS Sociology

FosterAdopt Connect
Resource Development Advocate

My info: The work I do now is due to the Sociology and Anthropology department faculty of MSU. The department faculty has a way of challenging you to get out in the community and to think outside the box. I am able to be an advocate for the families who are serving the children and to ensure the children are in the safest situation.

My advice: ...to current Sociology students is to go to the faculty, use them as a resource, and ask questions. Also, do no be afraid of research and be willing to volunteer.

Jessie Ferguson

BS Sociology

Operations Specialist 
BW Leadership Institute

My info: Getting a Bachelor's in Sociology and in Communication Studies from Missouri State University helped me understand that whether it's the people I'm working alongside or the people I'm serving, I am motivated to change, do better, and be the best version of myself that I can.

My advice: I believe true leadership takes courage, commitment, and compassion. It isn't easy...but it's worth it."

DeVon A. Douglass, J.D.

BS Sociology

Community Engagement Director, City of Houston, Texas

My info: The education I received at Missouri State University in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology laid a strong foundation for my post-graduate education and my career. Sociology gave me a lens through which to view and solve problems...and the tools to approach reconciliation with my eyes open."

My advice: "When you see a deep need in a community and your talents can meet that need: go there. Help solve problems that no one has thought to solve before in the way you would solve them."

Kyle Rieman

BS Sociology

Office of the Governor and State of Missouri, Office of Administration
Executive Director for the Joint Committee on Legislative Research: Oversight Division

My info: Statistics and theory skills acquired at MSU were of the most benefit to me in my current position. My position requires research and analysis on large scale budget and policy programs. 

My advice: "I recommend working toward something you enjoy. Try to take advantage of other opportunities outside of just classes and organizations that may provide some experience that is relevant to the goals you have."

Amanda Stadler

BA Sociology

Community Partnership of the Ozarks
Continuum of Care Coordinator

My info: Public Sociology has assisted me in many ways, from finding employment to making connections in my current job. The sociology courses that I took at MSU are what motivated me to get involved with the Springfield community.

My advice: Update your resume as you go- don't wait until you apply for a job. Be a volunteer, it lets you try something new without a huge commitment and also take the time to find out what makes you happy.

Kristy Coffin

BS Sociology

CityYear

My info: People should know that you can learn a lot from doing these programs and that you will get out of it what you put into it.

My advice: The experience you have depends so much on the program you chose to do, the team and leadership you get placed with, the school/grade level you are assigned... but I think it is still worth doing. No matter what career path you plan to follow in life, I think everyone can get something out of a service program like AmeriCorps or City Year.


Drew Geer

BS Anthropology & Sociology

Associate Program Director
The Bridge Fund: New York City, NY

My Info: Thanks to Missouri State I got to take courses that gave me a framework apply to my job, but it gave me a context to see the world though that helps me  understand the complex connections between homelessness policy. Most of all my Missouri State experiences imprinted on me a sense of community based learning and giving that keeps my focus and goals deeply rooted in a better future. My current position gives me the opportunity to see the direct results of my labor. I work hands on with people in eminent danger of being evicted from their homes and through my actions and efforts I am able to assist them in keep their housing and prevent another person from living on the streets of NYC.

My Advice: Don't be afraid to apply. Out of college it feels like you don't have any of the experience employers are looking for, but you'd be surprised just how much Missouri State prepares you, especially in ways you never expected. More specifically if you want want work in crisis services, case management, social service, etc. find ways in college to build a confidence in building relationship and effective communication.

Lexi Amos

BS Anthropology

Ozarks-Springfield Regional Organizer
Jobs for Justice

My Info: As the Springfield-Ozarks Regional Organizer for Missouri Jobs with Justice (MOJWJ), I work to build powerful reciprocal relationships between organizations representing faith, labor, community, and student groups in the Ozarks and Missouri to fight for economic justice in our workplaces, in our community, and in our government. My experience at MSU doing ethnographic fieldwork, conducting structured and semi-structured interviews, and my labor internship is utilized every day. I am able to design, execute, and analyze an end of program analysis for MOJWJ because of my time studying applied anthropology at MSU.

My Advice: Work to see all the time and energy you are spending as a portfolio of skills that are desperately needed, because they are desperately needed, in any workplace. Before you decide what you are going yo do, work to decide who you want to be, and see if you can make that your career.

Jeremy Lockett

BS Anthropology

Police Officer
Springfield, Missouri

My Info: After 7 ½ years as a police officer, I have had the opportunity to see how important societal norms and values within the Ozarks affect different behaviors. From domestic disturbances to traffic violations, I have seen firsthand how one side of town can be compared to another side of town as being in a different country. Understanding how and why individuals live the way they do aids in resolving conflicts when dealing with a patriarchal / matriarchal household, language barriers, or different social / economic status. My studies in Cultural, Biological, and Linguistic Anthropology have provided me with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to join the workforce and succeed.

My Advice: Life is a marathon; a person will experience the mosaic of societies moral and ethic values as they meander through life. That same person may not recognize they have been exposed to an experience, that may have occurred with a simple conversation in a convenience store, until years later due to their own reservations or bias from their values.

Matt Nowak

BS Anthropology
Certificate in Cultural Resource Management

Archaeologists
SEARCH, Inc

My Info: After graduating from MSU in the spring of 2018, I applied to several private CRM firms in the southeastern US. I received an offer from SEARCH, who informed me the offer was extended due to my prior experience and well-written resume, both a result of skills obtained at MSU. Since being hired at SEARCH, I have received two major promotions, which were a direct result of his technical writing skills, good work ethic, and knowledge of field practices. This combination of knowledge, practice, and writing were obtained through my work in the Anthropology department and the CAR (Center for Archaeological Research). The instruction and assessment of professors within the department and professionals at the CAR were pivotal in shaping me into a well-rounded professional archaeologist.

My Advice: Take advantage of the opportunities for professional development that are provided through the department, CAR, and MSU. These opportunities are equally important as the time spent in the classroom.

Felicia Baltzell

BA Anthropology

Adviser, Officer of Education Abroad
University of Alabama Birmingham

My Info: I am the Adviser for the Office of Education abroad. Before joining UAB, I worked in different capacities at Missouri State University such as teaching French as a per-course faculty member and serving students a a Global Ambassador in international education. I graduated from Missouri State University in 2017 with my B.A. in Anthropology and French, Minor in International Relations.

My Advice: If you have the means, study abroad!

Ann Maryniak

Ann Maryniak

BS Anthropology
MS in TESOL

Area Trainer
Amity: Okayama, Japan
My info: As a trainer, one of my primary responsibilities is helping to run programs for new teachers in Japan. I give presentations, counsel teachers, run workshops, and create new material for teachers throughout the country. I also provide guidance on life in Japan, and work with the other trainers to develop new curriculum for our company. Anthropology helped me to confront new situations with an open mindset, allowing me to successfully navigate cultural differences when I moved to Japan. I feel capable of greater flexibility because I’ve learned how to consider other cultural viewpoints.

My advice: As you look to your future try a little bit of everything. Take classes or go to events that sound interesting, even if they don't have an obvious bearing on your major.


Frank Burkybile

BS Anthropology

MA Public Health

President’s Malaria Initiative at USAID

My info: The skill sets and knowledge gained while pursuing a degree in anthropology, and the social sciences in general, have added real value to my ability as a professional. My background in social sciences helps me to understand the cultural, economic, and social context within which people live.

My advice: ...is to actively seek out new experiences and ask great experiences. Find something that lights that fire in your belly and pursue it with passion.