My name is Erin Hutchins and I am an ISU alumni of the sociology department. I am also a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer in the country of Ukraine. My education through the Illinois State University Sociology Department influenced my life in many positive ways, including making me a successful Peace Corps Volunteer. A successful Peace Corps volunteer has to connect with their community and adapt to a completely new culture alongside observing their environment and implementing positive and sustainable changes to help their community grow. Success in these tasks requires an understanding of people and society, which one can only gain from a having sociological perspective.
My time spent in the ISU Sociology department expanded the lenses through which I see the world. My professors pushed me to not only observe the way society was structured but also analyze why it was structured that way. Even though Ukrainian society was foreign to me when I started my service, I was able to use the skills I gained through my sociology degree to better observe and understand the society and culture as it was presented to me. I know that these skills helped me be successful in the Peace Corps, and that they will continue to help me succeed in my future endeavors.