Colleen O'Sullivan, MA 2014

MA Alumni

Before the Program

I was working for a large, local company and had realized that I had worked my way up as far as I was going to make it in the company, any local company for that matter. I decided I needed to return to school so I could work towards something I was passionate about as well as fulfilling. Completing my undergrad in Child Development, I had learned about the self and developmental stages, I was now curious on how society impacted that development and the choices we make.

MA Project

Needs assessment on the Humboldt County justice system, and the use of victim-offender mediation as an alternative to incarceration.

Methods Used

Focus groups, qualitative interviews using grounded theory.

Why HSU Public Sociology

It was a local graduate program that allowed for me to shape my learning outcomes. I felt I had a say in the direction my learning went and that I wasn't just fulfilling program requirements.

How HSU Public Sociology Helped

I grew a lot during the program, not only professionally, but personally. The program allowed for me to work towards the goal of a masters, something I never dreamed of, while providing me insight to professional opportunities I would have otherwise never known of.

Advice for new students

Stick with it. The first semester is a trying one and once you get through the first year it is all down hill.

Additional information

Emphasis

Teaching Sociology

Current Career

Colleen is a counselor at Miranda Junior High and South Fork High Schools in Southern Humboldt

Final Product

Victim-Offender Mediation in the Humboldt County Justice System