Jae Ehlinger '21

Majors: Sociology - Social Work Track and Spanish
Minors: Psychology

Why this major?

I originally took a sociology minor because one of my friends, who is now an alumni, was a sociology major and he talked so highly about it. After taking Intro to Sociology with Dr. Pinter, I fell in love with the course and loved her as a professor, so I declared sociology as my major. 

How has what you’ve learned in your courses so far prepared you for your future?  

In taking sociology courses, you learn about all parts of society: gender, sex, ethnicity, race, class and so much more. From these classes I learned that no matter how hard someone will try, you will never be able to put someone in a box. You need to understand all parts of a person and can’t assume everyone will act the same. So, what I’ve learned most is to be aware of intersectionality and how different everyone is in the world.

Have you had opportunities to work closely with Carroll faculty?

I took my first sociology course in the summer, where there were five other students. So I spent a four-hour class period with my professor, Dr. Pinter. During those several weeks of class, I grew to love her and she quickly – without a doubt – became my favorite professor here at Carroll University. After that, I spent the fall semester in her course, and I’d talk to her before and after class. This spring semester I am not taking a course of hers, but I still have a strong relationship with her. I know I can, and I do, go to her office if I need help with anything or just want to talk.

What is the most memorable experience you’ve had in your education at Carroll?

My most memorable experience was during my gender and sociology class. We each had to present something related to our course in today’s media. I was super nervous about my presentation because I was connecting the topic to an actual part of me that I had never shown to anyone outside of my friend group before. But during my presentation, I was able to educate others about this issue in the world and show a piece of me. Afterward, I felt so much better because people were interested and showed so much support. They reminded me how caring everyone is here.

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person?

I’ve changed my major at least five times in the past three semesters, switching around my majors and minors. Despite that, it was still possible for me to graduate in four years. But more than that, I have the opportunity to put time into activities like Psych Club, which I joined during my first semester. This club has made such a difference, and being a member of the exec board gave me so much more responsibility. During my sophomore year, I became a part of the executive board for Social Justice League. There, I learned so much more about what’s going on in the world, ranging from 20 minutes away to across the globe.

What would you say to someone considering sociology?

I would tell a prospective student about all the different opportunities we have here. There’s an option for three different tracks with the major, depending on your interest, but having a track isn’t necessary. I’d tell them about our professors, because they are all wonderful and remember you. Even if you met them only twice, they will still say hi to you. And the department faculty will always send out emails to tell us about potential opportunities for volunteering or jobs. There are so many different ways you can work with this major, and the professors are here to help all of us out.

How has financial aid made a difference in your life?

I have received scholarships here at Carroll, and these have helped me so much in my studies. I don’t think I could’ve made it this far without the help. While Carroll’s tuition is higher than public schools, I pay way less to go here than others. This university helps a lot. I was struggling to pay for tuition and my mom wrote a letter to financial aid, and they awarded me with more aid and a scholarship. Carroll supports its students in anyway it can, and it helped me considerably.

What’s your favorite place to study on campus? 

My favorite place to study is in the basement of Shattuck. It’s nice because I have the chance to study sitting in chairs, on a couch, or just using the table. I enjoy it because everyone there is like a family and, for the most part, it’s quiet. There will be bursts of noise for 15 minutes or so, which is a nice study break for me. It’s one of the best places I've found to study.

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