Psychology with a Minor in Sociology
Sonya is from Pembroke, North Carolina but currently resides in Lumberton, North Carolina. She graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. Since being a student at UNC Pembroke, she had the opportunity and pleasure of being a research assistant for Dr. Shilpa Regan. Sonya took a sociology of poverty service-learning class where she conducted research on food insecurity on UNC Pembroke’s campus. Along with two other students, she shared her findings at the Southern Sociological Society Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014. She said that this was a wonderful opportunity and a proud accomplishment. Being in the Esther G. Maynor Honors College has been a very rewarding experience for Sonya: “This has been one of the best decisions that I have made at the university. This program has challenged me and has made me the best possible student I could be.” For Sonya, being in the honors college gave her unique friendships, and gave her great opportunities: “This program made me believe in myself that I could excel in my academics as a nontraditional student. I can’t thank the faculty enough for all their support and expertise in their fields, and for helping me achieve my goals.”
For Sonya’s senior project she followed up on her initial research with Dr. Brooke Kelly about the high rates of food insecurity and poverty in Robeson County. She conducted her research on summer feeding sites in Robeson County by interviewing people throughout the county, including NC officials, about current feeding sites and potential feeding sites. These interviews investigate whether Robeson County has enough feeding sites in the county to meet the needs of the children, and to see what measures can be taken to meet their needs. She was excited to share her findings at the PURC Symposium, the Southern Sociological Society Conference in Atlanta, GA, and the Honors Senior Project Symposium.
After graduation Sonya started graduate school in the fall of 2016 at Francis Marion University in South Carolina in the Specialist School Psychologist (SSP) Program. Sonya advises any student that if they have the opportunity to join the honors college, to take it, and to enjoy every experience that comes with it. Her most memorable experiences at UNC Pembroke was when she was inducted into the Alpha Chi honors society, and being a student of the Esther G. Maynor’s Honors College.
Thesis: Food for Success: Promoting Summer Feeding Programs for School Children in Robeson County, NC
Faculty Mentor: Dr. E. Brooke Kelly