Evan England ‘21
What made you choose UNH?
UNH offers so much academically, socially and professionally. Since I moved to the seacoast area years ago, I knew I wanted to be a part of the UNH environment. In addition to being a student, I also work full-time at the UNH Institute on Disability. Whenever I can, I love walking through College Woods and exploring the campus buildings full of local art and history.
How did you choose your major and why?
I started my academic career by taking some classes at a local community college. At the time, I was a 29-year-old non-traditional, first-generation student without much direction regarding what I wanted to focus on. As I learned about the social sciences, I became more and more interested in studying sociology and gender studies. I've personally experienced marginalization as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and the academic study of social inequalities has helped me not only to understand my own experiences, but to contribute to social research that might benefit others as well. The staff and faculty in the Departments of Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies have provided me with incredible support and guidance every step of the way.
What do you enjoy most about being in the College of Liberal Arts?
Being a part of such an academically diverse college is so rewarding! Having a well-rounded perspective of the world is very important, and by tapping into the wide variety of departments included in COLA, from the humanities, to art, English, the social sciences and more, I've broadened my perspective and connected with others outside of my own discipline. I've learned to think critically and to appreciate different ways of thinking.
Have you undertaken any experiential learning (internships, study abroad, research, etc.)?
I've conducted a few independent research studies exploring the quality of healthcare for LGBTQ+ adults with intersectional identities and differences in queer self-identification for rural and urban men. I really enjoyed working one-on-one with my research advisors to design and implement these studies using research methods and statistical analyses I learned in class. Applying what I've learned about sociological and queer theory to the real data I collected myself has been incredibly gratifying. Presenting my research at the 2019 and 2020 UNH Undergraduate Research Conferences has helped me to develop my communication skills, and one of my papers was also published in Perspectives, the UNH Sociology Department's academic journal. I loved this work because it connected social issues that are important to me to what I've learned in class and to the rest of the UNH community.
Are you involved in any groups, clubs or organizations?
I've really enjoyed being a part of Stonewall Grads, the organization for LGBTQ+ graduate students that also includes undergrads. I'm looking forward to being more involved once I'm a UNH graduate student myself!
How is COLA preparing you for career and professional success?
There are so many COLA events and resources, mostly through Career and Professional Success (CaPS), that have been helpful. Participating in Resume Review Day, Sociology Speed Networking, and other speaker panels and events has boosted my confidence and has helped to build professional connections that will benefit my future career.
What are your post-graduation plans at this point?
I'm so excited to say that I've just been accepted to the UNH Master's in Sociology program for the fall! I was accepted to a few programs elsewhere, but my time with UNH Sociology as an undergrad has been so positive that I really couldn't imagine going anywhere else. I'm really looking forward to continuing my research alongside my peers.
What is one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
Being a non-traditional student, I've had a lot of different careers. I've worked in a coffee shop, a dental office, an organic café, a few banks and I've managed a medical office, all before joining UNH. Earning my degree has really helped me to learn more about myself and the kind of work I'd like to do.