Featured Students

Featured Students: Darcy Sullivan and Yesenia Huizar

Darcy Sullivan (left) and Yesenia Huizar (right)

Our Featured Students this week are representatives of the Sociology department: Darcy Sullivan, a Junior from Muhlenberg County, and Yesenia Huizar, a Senior from Mayfield. Darcy minors in Chemistry, and Yesenia minors in Theater.

General Questions:


  • Best movie you’ve seen recently: Deadpool
  • Favorite thing to get on campus: Coffee
  • I’ll never eat: I’ll try anything at least once!
  • I like to listen to: Everything from classical to rap to oldies. I love it all!
  • Quirky Fact: One of my favorite hobbies is riding motorcycles. I have a Honda sportbike.


  • Best movie you’ve seen recently: The Revenant
  • Favorite thing to get on campus: Tea
  • I’ll never eat: Sugar!
  • I like to listen to: Indie Rock – Mostly Mumford and Sons
  • Quirky Fact: I am terrified of rats and mice, but am perfectly fine with any type of reptile.

Tell us about yourself:


I have some family who are alums: my brother-in-law got a chemistry degree here, a cousin got a theater degree, and another brother goes here and is also studying chemistry. I play the oboe and I play in the wind ensemble. I began studying with Professor Erickson the summer I was going into my freshman year in high school.


I never thought I would want to go to college. I waited two years after high school and decided to do something that would be fulfilling. My parents’ dream was for all their daughters to graduate from college. I went to Murray State and my first class was sociology. I liked it immediately. I didn’t choose it as my major until last year. I kept taking classes but I never realized that it was what I was supposed to be doing. I took two sociology classes every semester. I fell in love with everything about it – it’s a major that not only talks to me, but it’s something I never thought I’d enjoy until I started college.

Why Sociology?


I never intended to study sociology – I came in as chemistry/pre-med and decided that majoring in chemistry wasn’t for me. During my Spring semester, I had Dr. Rosenberger in Intro to Sociology. I hit it off and I grasped the topic well, and I like to worked with people and observe them. The last day of classes I met with him, he suggested I looked into sociology. I kept my minor in Chemistry, and switched from Pre-Med to Sociology.


I really enjoy talking about inequality, especially gender inequality and social status. I think that it’s something that everyone can see but it’s hard for people to open their eyes and notice it even though they’re right there and some think they can’t change anything. I truly believe we can make a better world if we try. Studying sociology doesn’t mean we’re going to make the world better, but if more people are aware of what’s going on and try to do something better for the world as a whole and not just the individual, change can start to occur.

What have you been working on?


Last year we took a trip to New Orleans for a conference. My study was about health care interactions between physicians and sexual minority patients. I elaborated on how stigma plays a role in patient-physician interactions. This topic is particularly pertinent because new health care reforms are giving same sex partners the opportunity to seek out healthcare. Issues arise because a lot of the medical curriculum doesn’t address how to interact with your patients in regard to new cultural phenomena.

Over Spring Break, we went to Chicago and right now Dr. Rosenberger and I are working on co-authoring a paper studying how offenders are represented in media. I’m taking data from a content analysis he did during his graduate studies (Law and Order) and am comparing it to FBI data to see how media constructs the general public’s perception on who is a criminal.

Darcy presenting her work.


I had a poster accepted that was a proposal to define more about a sociology of work. Last summer, I went to Mexico and realized that many of the people who worked in the garbage disposal industry had started building their homes at the dump. The local people sometimes would say that those people are poor and don’t have jobs, but the people who live at the dump don’t see themselves as unemployed; instead, they see themselves as members of the society who clean the street and recycle the trash – plastic, metal, and glass. They see themselves as employees. My paper was a proposal for more people to see it as a profession because they’re getting a value from it, and using it to sustain themselves.

A picture that Yesenia took in Mexico of one of the dumpster sites, also known as “basueros” in Spanish.

What’s next?


When I graduate next May, I plan to attend graduate school – I really want to go to New York. I want to get a PHd and focus on criminology and medical sociology.

I think our department is great and our professors are really willing to work with the students and give us network opportunity, which prepares us well for the real world when we’re out doing sociology.


In the future, I would like to get a Masters degree either in culture or gender and inequality. Right now, I’m trying to get an internship at the United Nations, so that I could help not just locally but also help worldwide. I have a long term goal of working for “HeforShe.”

Click this picture to go to the HeforShe Website


About Darcy and Yesenia, Professor Jared Rosenberger writes:

It has been my pleasure to work with Darcy over the last few years.  She is incredibly driven and is one of the most independent students with which I have worked.  She can balance 100 things at once and never break a sweat.  She has a sociological mind and I am confident she will go on to do great things.

Yesenia has a commitment to social justice that is rare in today’s world.   She is an excellent student and a deep thinker.  I am always happy to see her on my roster, because I know the course will benefit from her insight.  


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