Branna Elenz '17

Branna Elenz '17

Major: Sociology

Why did you choose a liberal arts education?

I wanted a school that had more one-on-one relationships between professors and students. A liberal arts education provided me this opportunity. I could also take courses in other areas besides my major that interested me.

Why did you choose to study sociology?

I took my first sociology course my first year here while I was still a psychology major. I learned how social norms and expectations influenced a person’s actions. After taking the class, I found that I wanted to continue pursuing sociology. The program pushes you to question the parts of society with which you are comfortable. Every class challenges you to view tough topics from different angles. It is an important way to look at life!

Have you been involved in a research project?

I am working on my senior research project. It evaluates prisoner reentry programs in Minnesota. My goal is to assess the efficiency of real programs and the effects they have on their participants and employees. It’s a work in progress, but it’s exciting to be researching the area in which I want to focus.

What do you hope to do with your degree after graduation?

My focus right now is criminology with an emphasis on prisoner reentry. I want to find a job on the coast working in a prisoner re-entry educational program.

What has been your most valuable experience at Luther?

Study abroad has contributed to my best memories of Luther. I knew I wanted to study abroad for an extended period of time, and Luther gave me that opportunity. I studied in Italy during my sophomore year and in Nottingham, England, my entire junior year. By being able to live in different communities, I was able to explore different cultures and meet new people. It was a challenge but I loved every minute of it!

In what service opportunities have you been involved?

I am a huge fan of volunteer work and the Alpha Beta Psi sorority focuses on doing just that. The projects we put on include Christmas Cheer, Letters to Veterans, Love Your Melon, and the Fun Run. All of the time spent planning and participating in these events is worth it. I am honored to be part of an organization that gives back to the community.

Having a small campus is close-knit and comforting. I can walk to any building on campus and see at least one person I know on the way.

Branna Elenz ‘17

Read Branna's blog post, "Am I a Sociologist Yet?" and learn how she intends to keep surrounding herself with the people and places that challenge her in her steps towards a career in sociology.