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Sociology Majors Visit Cheyney Alumna at Columbia University in New York City

April 11, 2013

Social Relations students participated in a colliquium on their recent visit to Columbia University. CU grad, Brittaney Fox, was their host.

Social Relations students participated in a colliquium on their recent visit to Columbia University. CU grad, Brittaney Fox, was their host.

On Thursday, April 4, 2013, four students majoring in Social Relations visited Columbia University in New York City to visit with Cheyney alumna Brittany N. Fox, currently a doctoral student there in the Department of Sociology.  As part of the day-long excursion  juniors Patricia Bell and Eric Coney and class of ’13 members Tresa Gray and Fanta Murray met with the Assistant Director of the Office of Diversity, attended a graduate course “Topics in the Black Experience” where “Racial Disparities” was the topic of the session with Dr. Carla Shedd.
 
Students were next treated to a delightful lunch at the Columbia Faculty Club where they were able to dine and speak with Dr. Shedd and other Columbia faculty also engaged in Columbia’s African American Studies program: Dr. Josef Sorett, Religious Studies Department and Dr. Carl Hart, Psychology and Psychiatry.   Two other sociology graduate students, Devon T. Wade and Nicol Valdez also joined in the lively and enlightening conversation.
 
The next stop was an academic colloquium given by the Center for Wealth and Poverty Studies where they met Brittany’s academic advisor and Co-Director of the Center, Dr. Thomas DiPrete.  Along with other Columbia faculty and graduate students the group heard Dr. Adam Reich discuss findings from his recent book, G-d is on Our Side: Making the Moral Case for Labor Unions.  Dr. Reich is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the department and will be a full-time faculty member in the fall.  As an unexpected added bonus, the students witnessed the engagement of esteemed Professor of Sociology, renowned leader in poverty and inequality studies, Dr. Herbert J. Gans, also in attendance.
 
The day ended with a campus tour led by Brittany, a discovery of the owl in the Alma Mater statue on the steps of Low Library (ask one of the students about this!), a required stop in the university bookstore for some souvenirs, a stroll down Broadway, and a delightful dinner in Harlem where the group relaxed, shared the highlights of the day, and had some “CU” time with Brittany.  The day closed with a drive-by tour of Times Square as the group began their journey home; this was the first time all of the participants had seen Times Square lit up at night!
 
The students, chaperoned by their academic advisor, Cheyney professor in Sociology Dr. Lynn Green, shared these impressions of the day:
 
Fanta Murray, ’13:  “The greatest aspect of the trip was to sit in an actual graduate school class and that it was an Ivy League school made it even better.  I learned something from each person we met but I gained the most from the Columbia recruiter who stressed the importance of taking the GREs  multiple times if necessary to ensure that the best score is gained. The entire trip was amazing!”
 
Eric Coney ’14:  “Even though I was looking forward to sitting in on an actual graduate school course, I was slightly intimidated by the idea. However, Dr. Shedd was very open and encouraged our participation. Once the sociological discussion began, I felt right at home. It was a great experience.”  
 
Tresa Gray ’13:  “By visiting the Columbia campus, I now how a sense of what to look forward to in the future. I am thankful to have gained the experience.”
 
Patricia Bell ’14:  “Being able to see how graduate classes are conducted and speak with faculty and staff from an Ivy League school was an incredible opportunity. The trip to Columbia University has alleviated so many misconceptions I had about graduate school.”  
 
The students and Dr. Green also expressed their deep appreciation to Brittany Fox ’08 for her outstanding hospitality and event-planning services.  They give her an A+ in Cheyney networking!