Six students graduating this May with a degree in Sociology/Anthropology - Nadia Al Hashimi, Matthew Chouest, Jane Fuller, Jennifer Gandy, Catherine Scott, and Katharine Veron - all successfully passed their comprehensive exams last week. The SOAN Department is very proud of its graduating seniors and wishes them the best of luck.
Jennifer Gandy, when asked to describe her comps experience, says, "it really teaches you how to properly prepare and work on a deadline, and it teaches you how to work with and rely on a group. Working with the group was, in my opinion, the most rewarding part since we were really able to get to know one another better. We learned to recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses and how we could best compliment each other in these respects so that our group would be more balanced and more prepared to build on each other's arguments during orals."
Students take Senior Seminar in the fall semester of their senior year, which acts as a tool to help prepare students for Comps. In January, seniors majoring in the department are placed into study groups, in which the students create a reading list as well as study questions for their selected readings. They then have the next two months to study and prepare to take their comps in March.
The comprehensive exams are composed of two parts, a written section and an oral section. The written section is completed individually based on each group's respective reading list, and the group takes the oral portion as a whole. Millsaps is one of the few colleges in the U.S. that requires their students to pass comprehensive exams to graduate, and the department's use of study groups is a unique approach to leads to some wonderfully interesting conversations between students and faculty.