Graduate Student Spotlight: Rachel Sparkman from the Department of Sociology

What department are you a graduate student in?

I am a Doctoral student in the Sociology department, with a focus on Demography through the Center for Demography and Population Health.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school?

I graduated with a master’s degree in 2012 and worked at a university until 2019. At that time, I realized I was finally serious about pursuing a doctoral degree in Sociology and enhance my research skills.

Did your interests change throughout your program?

My broad research interest in the vulnerabilities of rural populations has not changed, however, my program has helped me focus my research agenda to explore specific economic inequalities that small-town populations experience. Additionally, the Sociology program has equipped me with the methodological tools to best explore this refined research scope.

What do you want to do with your advanced degree?

With my advanced degree, I hope to have opportunities to continue to conduct research that will shed light on the economic inequalities of vulnerable groups in the United States, whether that be at a research university or a research organization.

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