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Recent Sociology Majors

Colleen Palczynski '22

  • Major: Sociology and Hispanic Studies
  • On-campus involvement: President of Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Titan Athletics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Committee
  • Off-campus involvement: Volunteer with the Immigration Project

During her time Illinois Wesleyan, Sociology alumna Colleen Palczynski was featured in the Journal & Topics newspaper in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) spotlight:

"College is an opportunity for personal growth and discovery and that was certainly the case for Illinois Wesleyan softball student-athlete Colleen PaColleen Palczynskilczynski (Mount Prospect/Prospect HS).
During her time on the Bloomington campus, Palczynski discovered a desire to positively impact those around her. This coincided with the Titan athletics department creating an opportunity for her to put that desire into action.
Illinois Wesleyan athletics recently formed its own Titan Athletics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Action Committee with a stated goal to 'create a community of student-athletes, coaches and staff that is diverse, equitable and inclusive.' When she was approached about joining the committee, Palczynski, a sociology and Hispanics studies major, didn’t hesitate.
'When I changed my major, I was thinking a lot about what I wanted to do with my life and I realized that I wanted to impact those around me the best way that I could,” Palczynski said. “I took a class on race and racism and my professor did a great job of approaching these topics. And then, this committee gave me the opportunity to do something within my community. I wanted to influence change and this was a chance to do that.' "
After graduating from IWU, Colleen completed her master's degree in Secondary Education and is currently teaching in the Chicago area.  

Lety Hernandez '21

  • Major: Sociology
  • Smiling woman in front of a neon art backgroundMinor: Advocacy (Law concentration)
  • On-campus involvement: President of IWU RPG Club, Japanese Language and Culture Club, Titan Band, SALSA
  • Off-campus involvement: America Reads tutor at Horatio G. Bent Elementary School in Bloomington

Since graduation, Lety has completed the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence training program and is currently enrolled as an MSW/MBA student at Dominican University. Lety interns with Family Shelter Services (under Metropolitan Family Services) as a Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Intern in the DuPage County Courthouse. She expects to graduate with her master's degree in Spring of 2026 and hopes to move into nonprofit work afterwards. 

"The Sociology Department at IWU was amazing...Each professor I had in Sociology very clearly cared about the content they taught their students as well as the students themselves. I always felt very supported and I am very thankful for the advice they gave us as we navigated college and life. I really hope other students get to experience that same support and have fun learning and really dive into that understanding of sociology. It's entirely worth it."  


Courtney Irby - Associate Professor of Sociology

Department - Sociology & Anthropology