Where are they now?

Ryan Butler

I graduated from VIU in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Sociology and Political Science.  Afterwards, I earned a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Victoria, specializing in the interdisciplinary Social Cultural and Political Thought Program.  And currently, I am a second-year student in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law. Throughout each of these experiences, my success has stemmed from the academic skills I developed at VIU, such as critical reading, purposive researching, time management, etcetera. Of these skills, the most useful has been the power of listening. By this, I mean a form of academic curiosity that compels engagement beyond the mere internalization of a course’s content. VIU fosters this curiosity by supporting an academic community that encourages students to meet directly with their professors to clarify concepts, discuss projects, or discover sources. This support from professors helped me develop the academic skills for effectively navigating through complex problems, whatever the context. I am grateful for my experience at VIU because these foundational skills have enabled my subsequent successes.

Lisa Marie Barron

Since graduating, I have been busy working in the field of community development in various capacities. I am currently working as Coordinator of the Oceanside Health and Wellness Network. I am also thrilled to have been elected as School Board Trustee for Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools and am now serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Education. 

In addition to these roles, I am halfway through my Master of Arts in Community Development at the University of Victoria offered predominantly through distance learning. 

I am happy to have studied at VIU for many reasons. Most importantly, attending VIU offered me small class sizes and engaged learning while I continued to raise my two children in Nanaimo. Studying at VIU opened up many opportunities for me to begin a career I love. 

Victoria Bowns

Studying Sociology at VIU has been an incredible and life changing experience. Considering the smaller class sizes, relationships that students are able to establish with their instructors creates a more comfortable environment that encourages students to explore their sociological imagination, which, in the end, allows students to gain a better grasp of the complexities associated with the study of Sociology.

Stephanie Pastro

To this day, I credit choosing to study Sociology at VIU as being on of the best decisions I have made. I find what I am learning to be incredibly very fulfilling, and I love that I am able to apply it to everyday life. Once you begin to see things from a sociological perspective, you will never work without it, you are constantly engaged on a deeper level. Sociology has pushed me to think critically about the changing world we live in, challenging me to go beyond my preconceived notions of how things are supposed to be within society and teaching me how to develop solutions to the problems that are present.

Beverly Hampson

I graduated with a degree in Sociology in 2012, and today I am working in Communications for Bulletproof 360, a coffee company out of Seattle. In March 2019 I am starting a Masters of Arts in International Communications at Royal Roads University. This degree, tied with my undergrad, will allow me to further my position at Bulletproof and grow into a more senior/leadership role. I loved completing my undergrad in Sociology at VIU because it was a very close knit community. I enjoyed small class sizes, seminar style classes and even the ability to complete independent directed studies in my final year. The flexibility and communication from instructors was great! The ability to be a student with a name and a face and not just a number gives an even greater sense of accomplishment. The bonds I created with fellow students and instructors have carried on post graduation. I appreciate the time I spent at VIU immensely. 

Daniela Zuzunaga

I graduated from VIU in 2015, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. In 2016, I started a Master’s Degree in Sociology at UVic, which I completed in December 2018. I currently work for BC Stats as a research analyst, where I design, plan, collect, and analyze quantitative and qualitative survey data. I believe VIU is a great institution to attend, because it is accessible and it has supports for students that are hard to come by elsewhere.  I am proud and grateful to be an alumni; the one-on-one time I got with Faculty, as well as the small class sizes that allowed me to engage actively in my education gave me the confidence and tools to pursue graduate school. Further, through classes that provided me real-life skills (such as the Community-Based Applied Interdisciplinary Research class) and a field school to London, UK, the Department of Sociology provided several opportunities to expand my skill set outside regular class-based education, making my undergraduate experience well-rounded and comprehensive.

Sherry Breckon

I graduated from VIU in 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology. I am presently working with vulnerable youth connecting them to healthy, positive activities in the community such as; education, employment, career-oriented training. I also work with families to support the youth and as part of a team with wrap-around services with counseling , culture, recreation , and community connections with workers that can take over when my role ends. I am glad I attended VIU because of the diversity of both students and staff and the quality of education I received there that I use everyday in one way or another in my work and personal life. Thanks VIU!