"I found a home here." HSOC 2021 Graduate Spotlight

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Though the School of History and Sociology has primarily been a digital home rather than a physical one for the past year, one thing has remained the same: our students’ unwavering positivity. As they navigated the transition from leafy green campus to online classrooms, their hard work, creativity, and passion never changed.   

Through an exceptionally tough year, watching the Class of 2021 adapt, grow, innovate, and excel has filled us with pride and optimism for the future because we know they’ll take the same spirit they’ve displayed here into all of the jobs, cities, and dreams they step into next.  

So, in the words of author Neil Gaiman, “Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for you being here.” 

Congratulations, graduates! We can’t wait to watch you change the world!  

Meet some of this year’s phenomenal class of 2021 below!  


Sooa Lee  

Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science (HSTS)

My favorite memory from my time at Georgia Tech is the time I spent with my cohort. It was great fun to share and discuss our thoughts in classes, have dinner together after classes, and join birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas parties. In my memory, our grad office, where we shared our daily news and feelings, is a space that is filled with pleasant moments. Also, I can't forget cheerful messages and gifts from friends in our school during my comprehensive exam.  

The topic of my dissertation, which is titled "The Emergence and Development of Cross-National Knowledge Sharing and Production: Case Studies of International Collaborative Projects in South Korea," is cross-national university knowledge sharing and production. 

Congratulations, Sooa! 


David Whiteman

B.S. in History, Technology, and Society with a minor in Psychology 

I have been accepted to the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience where I will be a student in their Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) program this fall. My plan is to become a clinical psychologist. I will specialize in child psychology once I complete the program.  

What was your most exciting or unique experience at Georgia Tech? 

Joining the Psychology Association at Georgia Tech as a history major. The information I received as a member helped shape the redirection of my academic and professional direction. 

Who or what inspired you the most during your time here? 

Dr. Amy D’Unger assisted me as an applicant, advisor, instructor, and with my grad school applications along with Professor Kera Allen. 

Who or what surprised you the most during your time here? 

The close-knit community of Ivan Allen College and the support of the professors. 

What was the biggest challenge you faced at Georgia Tech, and how did you overcome it?  

The depth of the research paper requirements. They required more preparation than in high school. I had to allow for more time, research, and effort to complete them, but this also allowed me to grow as a student and history major. 

What is your proudest achievement from your time at Georgia Tech? 

Being employed as a history tutor and having the ability to help others during their journey. Graduating with honor with a minor in Psychology from Georgia Tech as an Arts and Science pathway transfer student. It was a great opportunity that I was fortunate to receive! Also becoming a member of Phi Alpha Theta, a history honor society. 

Congratulations, David!


Charlotte Canavor

B.S. in History, Technology, and Society with a minor in Aerospace Engineering 

After graduation, I plan to continue working for Talon Air (a private jet company) and am considering going to law school. 

Charles Dickens sums up my time at Tech quite well, as it was definitely the best of times and the worst of times. In our "spring of hope," I'm grateful for the friends I've made and the professors I've gotten to know for sharing the best of times and making the worst ones a little better. Even though I didn't start out in the HSOC department, I found a home here and have been inspired by every class I've taken. I'm proud of my classmates and teachers for how well we've been able to adapt this year and can't wait to see where everyone goes. 

Congratulations, Charlotte!  


Elizabeth Welsko 

B.S. in History, Technology, and Society with a minor in Technology and Business 

Who or what surprised you the most during your time here?  

I was surprised by how much of a community I've been able to form on campus despite not being part of a large major. I feel as though I've met people through several different sectors of campus and feel so lucky to be continuing those friendships on beyond graduation!   

Post-graduate plans, I'll be working at NCR as an HR Specialist in Midtown.  

Congratulations, Elizabeth! 


Mariel Barnett 

B.S. in History, Technology, and Society and B.S. in Psychology 

Post-graduation plans

I will be taking a year to conduct research with Dr. Randall Engle at the Georgia Tech Attention and Working Memory Lab while applying to graduate schools to pursue therapy or education/academia. Ultimately, my goal is to help others and try to make my corner of the world a better and brighter place! 

What was your most exciting or unique experience at Georgia Tech?  

My most exciting experience was getting to go abroad for the first time in Summer 2019 through the Oxford program. Studying European art, music, culture, and history on-site and in-person was an unforgettable experience! 

Who or what inspired you the most during your time here?  

The people! I've been able to meet such wonderful people in my time at Georgia Tech and work with some amazing faculty as well. My peers and professors kept pushing me to be the best I could be. Special shoutouts to Dr. Amsterdam for mentoring me during my self-directed research, and for Dr. D'Unger for being the first faculty member at Tech I met, and for giving me a tour that ultimately convinced me that Georgia Tech was the right school for me. 

Who or what surprised you the most during your time here?  

I think I've been surprised at the number of opportunities I've been given and the amount I've been able to accomplish and achieve during my time here. I was uncertain at first whether I would succeed at an engineering school, but the smaller majors I chose to pursue (Psychology and HTS) allowed me to get to know my professors and peers better and to engage in activities like club leadership and research that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do otherwise. 

What was the biggest challenge you faced at Georgia Tech, and how did you overcome it?  

I think second-guessing myself and my ability to succeed during my freshman year was the hardest obstacle to overcome. I kept wondering whether I was good enough, smart enough, dedicated enough, and so on to succeed here at Tech. Through hard work, an amazing support group (thanks Mom, Dad, my family, friends, and everyone who believed in me!), and determination, I think I've finally proven to myself that I belong here. 

What is your proudest achievement from your time at Georgia Tech?  

Is it too early to say graduating? I'm super proud of myself for managing to graduate with two degrees in four years with highest honors from such a rigorous school. It was hard to imagine ever getting to this point! I'm excited to see what's in store for me. 

Congratulations, Mariel! 


Kierra Fletcher 

B.S. in History, Technology, and Society (HTS) 

Kierra is staying another year to start another Bachelor’s in LMC (Literature, Media, and Communication) and continue her basketball career. 


HSOC Class of 2021 

The School of History and Sociology is proud to award degrees to 17 students during the Spring 2021 commencement ceremony. Join us virtually for the Ph.D. and Master’s ceremonies on Friday, May 7th, and the Bachelor's ceremony on Saturday, May 8th.  


Class of 2021 B.S. in History, Technology, and Society 

  • Mariel Barnett (3H Honors) 
  • Charlotte Canavor (1H Honors) 
  • Atonneous Clayton 
  • Katherine Clowse (3H Honors) 
  • Kierra Fletcher (2H Honors) 
  • Meredith Hill 
  • Colby Morris 
  • Antwan Owens 
  • Breanna Roper (1H Honors) 
  • Dominique Washington 
  • Elizabeth Welsko (2H Honors) 
  • David Whiteman (1H Honors) 
  • Kendall Wilson  


Class of 2021 M.S. and Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Technology of Science  

  • Amber Brooks (M.S) 
  • Katherine Wilkins (M.S.) 
  • Li (Elise) Zheng (M.S.) 
  • Sooa Lee (Ph.D.) 

Amber, Katherine, and Elise will continue to pursue a Ph.D. in HSTS at Georgia Tech. Congratulations to all of our graduates!

The School of History and Sociology seeks to "Explore the Past, Engage the Present, Define the Future." Connect with us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn to keep up with our students, school events, and latest updates! 


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