Sierra Clear, 2015

At Lewis & Clark, Sierra Clear’s favorite class was called “Reading Ethnography” (now Theory Through Ethnography) which consisted of reading an ethnography a week and discussing the research methods and conclusions formed by the researcher/ author.  This class taught Sierra to love the research that sociologists/ anthropologists do and see herself as somebody who can contribute to conversations about sociology/ anthropology.  The book she read at Lewis & Clark that sticks with her today is The Pastoral Clinic by Angela Garcia because it is about culturally/ socially relevant research but is also presented in a way that is easily digested by the general public.  Sierra now works at Planned Parenthood in a clinical setting.  Sierra feels the SOAN major challenges students to explore relevant research, think critically about this research and develop their own opinions based on the research.  Sierra uses these skills in her job when interacting with patients in a non-judgmental way; she approaches patients with an empathy formed by her experiences with research in the SOAN department.  Sierra found her job at Planned Parenthood on using search words like “community,” “programming,” “assistant,” and “development.”  Aside from working at Planned Parenthood, Sierra is now applying for graduate school in “Human Ecology” programs that build on sociology/ social work backgrounds and public health and research.  In her experience, SOAN has been a wonderful major that balances practical information, theoretical research, and personal investment.