Daniela Griffin (MA sociology 16) is director of the North Mississippi Get2College (G2C) Center in Southaven, Mississippi.
How did your interest in studying sociology develop?
My interest in sociology came about while in undergrad at the University of Florida. I remember sitting in my Introduction to Sociology class saying, “this makes sense!” My professor was a graduate student so that made the class even better. I initially planned to major in Decision & Information Sciences but the College of Business was a lot more challenging for me in some areas. Once I realized the level of research I could conduct in the field of sociology, it was a no brainier when making the decision to attend graduate school. I couldn’t wait to expand my knowledge and get extremely hands on with topics I valued most.
Talk about your time at the University of Mississippi.
I always tell students that being in school as an undergraduate and graduate school are completely different. Undergrad you want to be involved, you want to display school spirit, you want to enjoy what your school and city has to offer. Well, as a graduate student at the university, my main focus was school. That’s it. I was a member of the Graduate Student Council, Senate and Student Affairs Committee for graduate students during my time there but nothing more. Being a graduate assistant for several sociology classes gave me the opportunity to meet and interact with other undergraduate students as well.
My work focused on the intersection of race and disciplinary policies in the school system. I basically conducted qualitative research to examine the school-to-prison pipeline. My Masters thesis was entitled “Funneled into Prison: Race and Behavior Modification in a Mississippi Alternative School.”
During my time working on my research I participated in the 3-minute thesis competition and made it to the final round (1 of 26 out of 100+ initial participants). I was also awarded the Summer Graduate Research Assistantship along with being selected for the Larry W. DeBord award for most outstanding sociology student.
Discuss your path since graduation and your career goals.
After graduating from UMiss in 2016, I returned to my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, and began teaching on the high school level. In 2017 after being selected as a research fellow in a week long, fully funded, program at the University of Michigan, I started my career with Get2College. Get2College is a Mississippi based nonprofit organization of the Woodward Hines Education Foundation. We specialize in helping students plan, prepare, and find ways to pay for college. For 4-years I was the Assistant Director and College Counselor at our Jackson location until recently, July 2021, I was promoted to Director of the North MS Get2College Center.
I love the work that I do now so I’m just basking in this moment, awaiting what the future could hold.
Anything else you’d like to say.
I have a 2.5 year old by the name of Dominic.