A career in sociology can not only be rewarding and well paid, it can also command a great deal of satisfaction and respect. Michele Callwood is a program coordinator for Bay Area-based non-profit Raising a Reader, an early literacy program that helps promote family engagement and bonding with their children. With a passionate effort to work with people from all backgrounds, she shares some insight on her work.

(Photo Courtesy of Michele Callwood)

(Photo Courtesy of Michele Callwood)

What is your current profession and level of education?

“As program coordinator, I work with over 50 preschool and elementary classrooms, ensuring our early literacy program is running effectively in the classroom. I also coordinate workshops for educators and families around early literacy. Raising a Reader also provides families with bags full of books to be taken home and shared.

I went to UC Santa Barbara where I received my B.A. in Sociology. I took special education classes at Saint Mary’s College, where I obtained my Special Education credential. My goal is to return to Saint Mary’s to complete my Master’s in Special Education and obtain a second credential in multiple subjects.”

As a sociology major, what inspired you most with your studies?

“I think what I loved most about obtaining a sociology degree was the opportunity to study groups of people and different belief systems. One of my favorite classes was the ‘Sociology of AIDS.’ It was one of my most interesting and educational classes. Not only did I learn the history of AIDS, but I actually got to hear others speak who were directly infected with the disease.

I’m such a people person and enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds, cultures, etc. I knew that a sociology degree was right for me. In my entire professional career, my main goal has been to work with people of different backgrounds.”

What sociology programs can you recommend for employment?

“UC Santa Barbara has an outstanding program. Classes ranged from Sociology of Family to Sociology of Aids. If someone is interested in obtaining a sociology degree, a person can get into any type of field, such as an educator, social worker or manager. The doors are wide open.”

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.


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