Five Minutes With: Sara Arcia, Graduating Class of 2016 and president of the SocioLights, the Sociology Department’s Student Club


Each issue of our newsletter includes an interview with a current student or member of our alumni network (which spans the globe). This issue features Sara Arcia, class of 2016 and president of the Sociology Department’s Student Club, the SocioLights. Sara, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to the Colin Powell School:

Sara: I am the youngest of three children and the first to go to college immediately after high. I was raised by a single mother and have an older brother and sister, who are all super supportive of me. I come from a working class family and was raised in the Bronx. College was really tough for me at first because I didn’t have anyone around who I could get advice from on what college would be like or how to navigate the application process. I wasn’t extremely confident when I sent my college applications because I didn’t have anyone to give me pointers on what was most important. When I came to City College for my campus visit, I really enjoyed the campus feeling and immediately felt a connection and started to imagine myself attending classes here.

After all of your time here on campus, you must be excited to start the next chapter of your life. Tell us a little about your plans and who has inspired you as you start to plan?

Sara: After graduation I hope to work for a non-profit organization that is focused on helping low-income families, especially in the area of education. My main goal is to obtain a Master’s degree in the Sociology of Education. When I think of this goal a few professors that inspired me come to mind: Prof. Norma Fuentes-Mayorga, Prof. R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, and Prof. Stephen Ruszczyk. I have learned so much from them and they have been extremely helpful in advising me in my studies and future endeavors.

You’re the president of the Sociology Club (The SocioLights) and, with your faculty advisor, Professor Gwen Dordick, you have worked to make great strides in building a strong network among your peers. We know that one of the most important things a school can have is a strong student club base. Tell us why you wanted to be involved and what you hope to leave to the next generation of SocioLights:

Sara: My involvement with the SocioLights club began during my junior year when I shared a class with the former president, Alejandro Lazaro, of the club. When I heard about the club I was thrilled because I know many other departments have student clubs but had no idea that the Sociology department had one. I decided to join and I really wanted to network with a lot of people from different backgrounds and learn new things through other people’s shared experiences. Now, being a part of the club for some time I really want to establish a community for future sociology majors and minors so they will have a place to pull resources from, to connect them with other people inside and outside the school, and so they have a sustainable support system to help them along their journey.

Sara, we’re at the end of our interview, but tell us, what types of projects are the SocioLights working on and how can students get more involved:

Sara: The club has a few projects that are important to use, including our public events series which was designed to connect students with professionals who majored in sociology as a way to help them learn about the many ways they can use their degree as they build their careers. We’re hoping more students will consider remaining in the field as they consider graduate degrees in the future.

A Note from the Colin Powell School: 

Student clubs are a driving force on this campus. Without the work of these clubs, and the leadership shown by our students, the life of our school would look a lot different.

To learn more about how to become involved in one of the many clubs on campus, visit: CCNY Student Clubs and for our alumni and friends of the Colin Powell School, if you are interested in learning how you can help support the work of our clubs, including offering mentoring, internship opportunities, or to support our public programming designed to enhance the role our students play on campus, please email:

Photo caption: Beatrice and Sara Arcia



Police Violence & Social Justice: A Faculty-Supported Student Dialogue

CPS_Logo_RGB_newsquare_small Dear Students,

Members of the faculty have grown concerned about how you are thinking about and coping with issues of police brutality, the response of our justice system, and the protests that have occupied so much of our attention and emotional energy these past few weeks. We've noticed many of you with deep concerns and questions. We also know that many of you have felt compelled to join your voice with others in protest.

We’d like to respond. Starting next Monday, December 15, we will be holding a series of meetings in the social science conference room (NAC 6/141) to discuss these issues.

We’re not calling the meetings talks or teach-ins, because we don’t imagine that we’d be in any way instructing you. Rather, think of participating faculty members as resource people: we’ll convene a conversation, be on hand to share whatever we know and answer questions, but mainly make some space for students to talk through some of these issues, and to meet others, like yourselves, who are concerned, have questions, or want to talk. We’ll post a roster of participating faculty, and the experience and expertise that they bring to the table—from knowledge of critical race theory, to legal expertise, to an understanding of the political context. And you will hopefully attend the meeting or meetings that best to fit your schedule or address your concerns.


Vince Boudreau

Dean, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, CCNY

Scheduled Sessions

(as of 12/15/14: check back for updates as we'll be adding sessions in the coming days)

Monday December 15: 

11:00 AM Leslie Paik, Sociology (Race, Justice, and the Law)

2:00 PM Cheryl Sterling, Director of the Black Studies Department (Critical Race Theory)

Tuesday December 16:

10 AM-12 PM Michael Busch, Associate Director, Office of Student Success

2:00 PM Stan Thangaraj, Anthropology (Cross-racial Possibilities for Solidarity Work Post-Ferguson)

Wednesday December 17

3:00 PM Jennifer Lutton, Honors Center (Race and Racism)

Thursday, December 18

11:00 AM Lotti Silber, Anthropology (Human Rights and Justice)