Name: Diana Cruz
Major(s) and Minor: Major in Sociology and Psychology
How did you choose Sociology as your major?
I have always been interested in working with others and knew that I wanted to pursue a degree in occupational therapy. After taking Introduction to Sociology as a prerequisite course for graduate school, I realized how interested I was in social interaction and behavior. Therefore, I began to take various sociology and psychology classes as a way to further understand why people act the way they act and what impacts feelings and thoughts. I took a particular interest to sociology after taking so many interesting courses with great faculty who were passionate and always open to discussion. The different theories and research methods allowed me to further understand and want to dive more into how the world around us works and how it all shapes who we are today.
What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?
Research within the field was what really appealed to me. More specifically studies on poverty and wealth really appealed to me because it has such a huge impact on individuals and communities, and influences the way one can understand people around us.
Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?
My favorite class was Introduction to Social Research with Professor Phillips because not only were we able to learn about research within sociology, we were also able to work on our own survey project where we implemented what we were learning in class into this project. It really expanded my research goals and interest and led me to go on to become a research assistant at Robert Wood Johnson’s Child Health Institute. This course really prepared me for this position, and if it weren’t for this course I would have never explored any research opportunities.
What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?
My favorite academic experience was a Culture and Community Health study abroad program I participated in, in Oaxaca, Mexico. I was able to fully immerse myself in the culture and learn more about the health care system in Mexico while also connecting what I learned in various sociology courses to the anthropology courses I took abroad. As I was volunteering at a horse farm that provides horse therapy for children with disabilities, having a background in sociology definitely enhanced my experience abroad.
What are your other Rutgers activities?
Through the Rutgers Youth Empowerment Club I volunteered as a tutor and mentor at Roosevelt Elementary School in New Brunswick, NJ in the Spring 2017 semester. I also volunteered as a S.T.E.M Ambassador from February 2016-2018. I am currently an executive board member for the Rutgers Allied Health Professions Club. I am also a research assistant at Robert Wood Johnson’s Child Health Institute.
What are your plans following graduation?
Following graduation I plan to go to graduate school for Occupational Therapy.