Since the beginning of my academic endeavors, I have long cherished a dream to be a member of the social science research community, which gives our society progressive insights into human ecology. I began my undergraduate studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey with a passion for ecological justice and with the intention of majoring in environmental studies. Ramapo College's progressive liberal arts foundation provided me with ample room to explore the multifarious array of social science courses. As I took more social science courses, however, my understanding of human social groups underwent a metamorphosis. As a result, I decided to pursue a degree in Social Science, with minors in the two fields I felt most passionately interested in, Women's Studies and African American Studies.
Two courses that were critical in my intellectual development were the Sociology of Social Movements and the Dynamics of Domestic Violence. In the Sociology of Social Movements, I designed a research project, "Women, War, and Resistance". In this piece I examined crucial issues surrounding wars on a global level, such as rape as a weapon of war, sexual trafficking, and various grassroots war-resistance groups formed by women on a local level. In addition, after taking the course on Dynamics of Domestic Violence, I had the opportunity of doing field work at a domestic violence shelter. For this independent study, I met with a professor of the women's studies department on a weekly basis to discuss my experiences and to receive assistance in my research project: "The Effects of Domestic Violence on Adolescents." My motivation to research, discover, and stimulate social change is rooted in my childhood experiences. As a young child I grew up in a household filled with domestic violence, which ultimately ended with the suicide of my father. I subsequently came to know a variation of the typical American nuclear family: a single parent household. As I began to study family...
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