Dow Drukker '19 '21G

Sociology Major and M.A. | Research Fellow

What you are currently doing for work and what was your path?

Following the completion of my master’s degree in sociology in 2021, I have been working as a research fellow at the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation. The New Hampshire Women’s Foundation is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is committed to gender equity through grantmaking, education, advocacy and research. As a researcher, my work consists of conducting data collection and analysis, producing data-driven reports and briefs, and providing research that informs policy-making decisions and advocacy efforts. As an undergraduate, I developed a passion for social justice issues and the role that quantitative research can have in addressing institutional inequities. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate career, I interned with public health advocacy nonprofits doing policy and program research that provided me with the opportunity to apply what I had learned in my relevant sociology coursework to a workplace setting. My experience doing research for nonprofits and my passion for furthering social equity led me to my current position.

How did your education at UNH prepare you for life after college?

The skills and knowledge I gained as a sociology major throughout my academic career have been critical in my ability to be successful in my role as a researcher. The sociology courses I took taught me both the technical skills to conduct research, but also the communication skills to translate and contextual those findings in public discussion and for public dissemination. Furthermore, what I learned in my sociology courses helped me develop a strong analytical understanding of approaching complex and nuanced topics. Being able to recognize the many factors and variables that contribute to a particular topic or social issue has served me tremendously in my work, and that was a perspective that was always being reinforced in all my sociology courses.

What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?

It would be impossible for me to choose a single person from the Sociology Department that influenced me the most, because they all played a unique role in my development as a student. Although, the course that impacted me the most early on and set me on the path I am on today would be Class, Status and Power taught by Professor Brown. I transferred to UNH my sophomore year, and enrolled in Class, Status and Power that first semester. At that point, I was still new to sociology, but I knew I was interested in better understanding social problems and inequality. Class, Status and Power was the first time in my academic career that I was able to engage in dialogue with my peers in a classroom setting that explored systemic issues such as racism, sexism, classism, etc. and the ways in which these systems of oppression operate at an institutional and macro level. It was during my time in that course, where I made the decision to pursue a career path that was grounded in advancing social equity.

What advice do you have for students interested in your field?

Take advantage of the opportunities and resources available! The COLA CAPS program and the faculty in the Sociology Department are an amazing resource for getting connected with potential employers, finding internship and research opportunities, or if you’re simply interested in learning more about a particular career path. Also, do not hesitate to cold call/email organizations or individuals that are doing work that interests you. The internships I had as an undergraduate and graduate were a result of directly emailing an organization I admired and inquiring about available opportunities to get involved and learn more. You never know what is out there until you ask!