Epifani is First to Major in Sociology with a Civic Engagement and Social Change Concentration
Nicolette Epifani of Mantua, N.J., participated in the Exploratory Studies program during her freshman year at Widener. After spending a year taking a variety of courses, she sat in her advisor’s office considering her options for majors. Then, she stumbled across a brand new major in the catalog: sociology with a civic engagement and social change concentration.
Epifani had become immersed in service since arriving on Widener’s campus as a member of the Presidential Service Corps. The idea that she could also focus her coursework on making a difference appealed to her. Her instinct told her that this was the major for her. Now as a sophomore, Epifani is Widener’s first sociology major with a civic engagement and social change concentration.
“I’ve been very fortunate with the cards I’ve been dealt in life,” Epifani said. “Those who are born into poverty or dysfunctional family dynamics did not choose that life. They need help to rise above some circumstances. I have so much love in my life and want to give it to others who may need it.”
Epifani feels that through her coursework, she is already gaining skills that will help her make a career out of making a difference.
“Much of what I’m learning is helping to develop my character,” she said. “I’m learning how to lead, think critically and conduct research. I’ll apply those skills to any job. I never sit in class and wonder why I’m learning something.”
According to Dr. Stuart Eimer, associate professor and chair of sociology, a goal of the new civic engagement and social change concentration is to equip students with practical skills that will support them in their engagement efforts. In addition, he said that much of the coursework will help students understand social issues from multiple angles to provide more context for the civic engagement work they are currently doing and will do in the future.
“So many of our students are civically engaged, whether they are sociology majors or not,” Eimer said. “We think this new major meets a previously unmet demand for curriculum that allows our students to study social issues, think about how to create positive change and develop the skills to make that change.”
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