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Spartans of UD - Sonia Gonzalez

By University Relations Staff
Sonia Gonzalez - Spartans of UD

Spartans of UD highlights what makes the University of Dubuque special - the people.

Sonia Gonzalez, of Des Moines, Iowa, is a senior sociology major and vice president of Gamma Phi Delta.

Why did you decide to major in sociology?

"I chose to major in sociology because it is something I feel as though I have always been interested in. Sociology, to me, explains a lot happening in the world and why things are the way they are. It also explains why individual people act the way they do. Personally, one thing that I am very passionate about is systemic racism and how it impacts everyone and how we can change these institutions to create a better and equitable society. One thing that lead me to major in sociology was my high school's motto of "For the Service of Humanity," which inspires me to do better and to be better not for myself but for others as well. One other reason I chose to major in sociology was Dr. Darr's Christian Social Ethics class, which really helped me to understand and speak up about the differences in everyone's lives and the impact we can all make."

In your senior seminar, you led a Justice Language Project based on a strengths perspective toward community health. Can you share what you learned through the project?

"In my senior seminar class, we led a Justice Language Project based on a strengths perspective toward community health, which I learned takes a lot of work. I don't mean that in a negative way. It is something that if you believe in and have the passion for, the work doesn't seem like work. This project showed that although some people may not always see eye to eye on the way things work, if they support the cause, they will come together. It is beneficial for those of us on campus to create a community, because only we are able to say we experienced the same things and to create that support that not all of us have on campus. The project brought that time for students to destress and create that community at the same time."

How has your experience in sociology classes impacted your life outside of the classroom?

"I think sociology is more based on outside life that has impacted the classroom, not just with the pandemic but the topics we discuss in class. Some topics we've discussed and I've done projects on, like Black Lives Matter, Black men's mental health, and human trafficking, are topics currently impacting our lives. I feel as though sociology classes show us the causes from the past that create the current social issues happening today and ways we can help and create changes."

You are an active member of the local University of Dubuque sorority Gamma Phi Delta, which was founded in 1936. What does being a Gamma mean to you?

"I am currently vice president of Gamma Phi Delta sorority on UD's campus, and, to me, that has meant so much. I personally took a big leap of faith into joining Gamma Phi Delta, but it was one of the best decisions. It truly changed me completely as a person for the better. Gamma Phi Delta is about creating that strong womanly character as well as that community and education-based infrastructure. It really has taught me the strength of community and individuality. Gamma Phi Delta and Mu Sigma Beta are my second family and that will never change. One thing that is important to note is that sororities and fraternities are not at all what anyone thinks, and truly it is about you and where you fit in and having that community you can have even years after you graduate."

One of your mottos is: Your success is inevitable. How has that motto helped you?

"One motto that has helped me in my journey at UD is 'Your Success is Inevitable.' Regardless of what lies in the way or any obstacle, I can still achieve that goal. I also like this motto because this does not require a time limit. One thing that adds to stress is thinking of time, but instead this motto shows how it is going to happen regardless of when and where."