Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Sociology degree deepens experience abroad

Joseph Donahue ’10Since graduation, Joseph Donahue ’10 has been a Peace Corps volunteer in a rural Moroccan town called Ait Oumghar. “I had wanted to do the Peace Corps ever since learning about it in high school from a teacher who was a returned volunteer. When I graduated from Wheaton, I decided this would be the best time for me to do it.” He is working on various health- and youth-related projects, including teaching health and English classes and helping a women’s association write a grant to furnish a new workspace and support small-business training. “While the connection may not be outwardly apparent,” says Donahue, “I am constantly drawing from my experiences as a sociology major in my current work. The courses I took at Wheaton have enabled me to view things through a ‘sociological lens,’ which has proven invaluable while living in a foreign culture with different gender, race and ethnic dynamics. It has given me greater understanding of my current situation, and, as a result, more patience. Similarly, I frequently find myself using my sociological research skills (often subconsciously) to explore phenomena in my new community.” Donahue’s commitment ends in May 2013. “Immediately after the Peace Corps, I am not quite sure what I will do. This experience has opened me up to working and living abroad. However, I know that within a few years I want to continue my education and study clinical psychology.”