Kelly Aldinger, 2010
One of Kelly Aldinger’s favorite experiences at Lewis & Clark was writing her SOAN senior thesis with Professor Mechlinski. She received a SAAB grant to travel and conduct research in Senegal and felt that the process of writing a thesis helped her think deeper than ever before. SOAN taught Kelly to understand that society does not simply exist, but is affected by powerful systems that shape the world we live in. She learned how to question, analyze, theorize, and communicate effectively. In addition, she learned about the complexities of power and privilege and this has continued to inform her thinking since graduating. After graduating, Kelly pursued a Master of Social Work (and was able to waive two graduate courses because of her SOAN background). She is now pursuing a Doctorate in Nurse Practice as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at OHSU. In both of her careers, understanding social forces and systems has been incredibly useful. Kelly believes SOAN skills are applicable to a number of fields, including nonprofit and social justice oriented sectors. To find a job, Kelly recommends maintaining strong connections with previous supervisors, mentors, and colleagues, and keeping LinkedIn profiles up to date (she once obtained a great job opportunity from a LinkedIn recruiter)!