Senior Hannah Hulshult is a sociology major from Elizabethton, TN. While her hometown is not far, it was a friend of hers who originally introduced her to Wake Forest. Hulshult and her friend were talking about Wake Forest, so she decided to come visit it for herself.
“I just fell in love with the campus when I came,” Hulshult said
While Hulshult is a sociology major, she is pre-med with minors in chemistry and biology. She wants to go to medical school, and while she initially planned to major in chemistry, everything changed for her freshman year.
“I took my first sociology class and fell in love with the subject and the study of people, and I thought it would be pretty helpful with medicine to have a different perspective,” Hulshult said.
One thing that Hulshult has found intriguing, yet challenging, is the connection between her major and being pre-med.
“I think the difference with the natural sciences versus social sciences, and figuring out how to write in sociology, how to talk in sociology and how to apply it more to my own life is challenging because natural sciences aren’t really as applicable to everyday situations as sociology is,” Hulshult said. “Bridging that gap and bringing the two together [is challenging].”
She also commented on the differences between the two areas she studies. “I think it has been interesting, all of the different people and perspectives I have met and had through sociology. All of the pre-med classes tend to be filled with the same people, and sociology allowed me to expand the people I was taking classes with and my academic ideas overall. I’ve really enjoyed it,” Hulshult said.
Dr. Amanda Gengler, a professor in the sociology department, has worked with Hulshult for the past few years. “I have had the pleasure of having Hannah in three classes with me during her time at Wake, and to have had her as my research assistant. She is one of the most grounded, mature, and thoughtful students I have known,” Gengler said.
Hulshult is involved with Alpha Delta Pi sorority, Campus Kitchen and works for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. For the hospital, Hulshult started as a research intern her sophomore year, and now works with a pediatric gastro intronologist. She has also done her own research as well.
Hulshult credits her involvement with Campus Kitchen to her major. Hulshult has served as one of the shift coordinators for Campus Kitchen this year, and has been a shift leader in the past.
“I took a Sociology of Food course, and as a part of that we got involved with Campus Kitchen and volunteered and had to write about our experiences. That showed us food insecurity in Winston-Salem and it related to what we were talking about in class,” Hulshult said. “That is what got me started in Campus Kitchen and now I am leading it.”
Looking towards the future, Hulshult will be spending a year in India on Fullbright. Hulshult first went to India her sophomore year for just over two weeks on a service trip.
“India was so impactful for me when I went as a sophomore and it got me thinking about public health and global health. I really wanted to do something abroad for my gap year,” Hulshult said. “I am going to be doing a public health project and looking at tuberculosis, looking at the structural barriers of people getting treatment, the social factors and stigmatization of tuberculosis and why certain outcomes are so much worse in India.”
“The sociology department is so proud of her, and can’t wait to see what she learns on her Fulbright in India next year,” Gengler said.