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Convocation

Meet some of the sociology and anthropology graduands!

October 05, 2021

Congratulations to those crossing the stage this fall! We caught up with a few of our top students to ask them about their experiences at SFU, advice for current students, and plans for the future. Read their interviews below: 

Emily Gee

BA Sociology (Hons.)

How did you decide to study sociology?

I chose to study sociology because I found it intriguing; it gave me a whole new lens to see the world through and it expanded my worldview. Sociology has given me the tools necessary to critically analyze my surroundings and society at large. 

What was your favourite course during your degree?

SA 450: Advanced Sociological Theory with Lindsey Freeman! I was honestly dreading this course because it looked incredibly difficult, but I learned so much from Lindsey and I am really proud of the work I did in that class. I was able to explore creative writing and incorporate it into my critical analyses and commentary on social theory. I would definitely recommend this class! 

What are your plans after graduation?

I have just taken on a new job as a research assistant up at UBC, and I start the same week as convocation! In my free time, I am taking a silversmithing course. 

What advice do you have for current or future students?

I would say to not be afraid of not knowing. The times that I leaned into and explored unknown subjects and classes were the moments that I learned the most and enjoyed myself the most. 

Katelyn Bohn

BA Anthropology

How did you decide to study anthropology?

After my first anthropology class, I was hooked! I had been taking a lot of religious studies courses and became very interested in this area. Anthropology is such a broad discipline that covers a little of everything. I think that it provides an interesting lens to see and understand the world, where there is always new ways and methods coming into play.  

What was your favourite course during your degree?

This is a hard one for me! SA 301: Contemporary Ethnography is high up on the list as we really dived into methods of ethnography and ways of writing ethnographies. When you read a good ethnography it’s like reading a really good book. SA 323: Symbol, Myth, and Meaning was also a favourite as we got to do a mini-ethnography of our own. My Introduction to Anthropology course that I took is also one that comes to mind. I remember sitting there listening to my prof and thinking that I could listen forever! 

What are your plans after graduation?

Right now I’m working towards getting into PDP to become an elementary teacher. This year I’m volunteering in schools to gain more work experience.

What advice do you have for current or future students?

Post secondary can be a really daunting thing. There are so many options and directions you can go, it can be overwhelming if you’re undecided! Take different classes and be open to trying new areas of study — you might surprise yourself! Follow what interests you and it will be a great experience! I also might be biased, but I think that everyone should take at least a few anthropology courses!

Manraj Samra

BA Sociology, Certificate in Social Justice

How did you decide to study sociology?

I took an intro to sociology course first year and fell in love with it instantly. My favourite part is asking critical questions about society and deconstructing seemingly mundane things using the sociological imagination.

What was your favourite course during your degree?

My favourite class was SA 302W: Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. It truly changed the way I saw the world around me.

What are your plans after graduation?

My goal is to attend law school in the near future!

What advice do you have for current or future students?

Take your time and soak it all in, the destination is important, but the memories of the journey are what you will hold dear to yourself in the future.

Hannah Weinkauf

BA Anthropology, Minor in Psychology

How did you decide to study anthropology?

My original plan had been to major in Criminology. However, after taking my first crim class I realized that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had thought I would. I remember panicking when I realized that I no longer knew what I wanted to study. Talking with my dad one night, he suggested I look at anthropology. Him and I have always loved watching shows and documentaries about different cultures, history, and current issues in the world which is why he thought I would enjoy anthropology. Fast forward to my second semester of my first year, I took SA101 and immediately fell in love with it. I was most interested by anthropology because it is so applicable to everyday life and also because it’s such a diverse field. It’s interesting to me how much this field can challenge you and your beliefs and prior knowledge. Although anthropology isn’t in the business of giving definite answers, I’ve enjoyed the way it has encouraged me to delve into the grey areas, rather than only look at things in black and white.

What was your favourite course during your degree?

I’d have to say that SA322: Religion and Society was my favourite course. I have always found religion interesting, I think partially because I don’t belong to one. I’ve always known that religion plays a large role in shaping our world, but this course really showed just how true that is. It was enriching to have weekly discussions with my peers and listen to them talk about how they related their own religion to each week’s readings.

What are your plans after graduation?

At the beginning of September I was accepted into the Justice Institute of BC (JIBC) and began working towards my Emergency Management certificate. Once I complete my certificate I hope to begin working as an Emergency Management Coordinator for an NGO, such as the Red Cross.

What advice do you have for current or future students?

There are two things that I learned during my university career that I try to pass on to other students. One, study what you enjoy. I think a lot of students go into university studying subjects that they think will guarantee them a good job, or make them a lot of money. Instead, find a subject that you are passionate about because that’ll make your university career a lot more enjoyable. Two, don’t rush yourself. There’s no benefit to finishing your degree in 4 years, so take your time. Give yourself a schedule that will allow you to see your friends sometimes and take care of yourself mentally. You could even take a semester (or a year) to travel or work abroad in the middle of your degree…it doesn’t matter! The more well-rounded you are coming out of university, the better off you’ll be in the job market. Give yourself the time you need to pursue extracurricular interests while in university.

In the lead-up to our Fall 2021 Convocation, we'll be sharing stories from across our eight faculties about some of our amazing graduands. 

SFU’s Fall 2021 Convocation will be held Oct. 5-8. It will be the university’s first in-person convocation since 2019. The ceremonies will be webcast on SFU’s YouTube channel for those wanting to join in from home and around the world. For more information about SFU’s Fall 2021 Convocation, visit http://www.sfu.ca/convocation.html. Read more about our exceptional graduands here.

Be sure to share your convocation experience on social media by using the #MySFUGrad hashtag.

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