By Joey Gomez
WESLACO, Texas – Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley with Minnesota roots, Taylor Wurm said that her experience as a student of Applied Sociology at South Texas College, has fostered a deep appreciation for diversity and for the unique culture of the region.
With a family that starts locally, but stretches to all corners of the country, Wurm said attending STC began with a need to find a college that had a dynamic similar to what she experienced in her own upbringing.
“My family raised me with a different perspective; to appreciate the diversity and culture around me as well as value each culture for what it is,” Wurm said. “This influenced my preference for a smaller, more personalized educational setting, which led me to choose STC over a larger university, which I felt could be too impersonal compared to a smaller college environment.”
Beginning at STC in fall 2021, Wurm said like many of her peers, she was uncertain about her degree track at first, opting to pursue an associate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. It was through the mentoring of Sociology Instructor Jenny Chamberlain and her dedication to societal issues that influenced her education and future career track.
Chamberlain gave her the ability to match sociology with a future career in criminal justice, she said.
Now, two years later, Wurm plans to graduate from STC in May 2024 with her associate degree in Applied Sociology and then transfer to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminology with the hopes of entering a career as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst.
“Her (Chamberlain’s) unwavering support and guidance have propelled me beyond my perceived boundaries and serves as a testament to the massive influence she has had on my academic journey,” Wurm said. “I am drawn to this profession due to my interest in discerning the societal triggers that prompt criminal behavior. With my background in sociology, I can see myself conducting investigations and forecasting criminal activity, with the hope to make a positive change in our world. I aim to make a meaningful contribution to the field of criminology by using the insights and methodologies I have learned through the study of Sociology.”
Wurm was recently one of three students who attended the Association of Applied and Clinical Sociology (AACS) 2023 annual conference in Tampa, Florida and competed in the conference’s Client Program Competition for the first time in college history.
Wurm also had the honor to preside at the conference, introducing esteemed professors and clinicians as well as maintaining order throughout the workshop.
“What sustains my motivation though college is, and always will be, my family. Throughout my upbringing, my parents consistently emphasized their aspiration for me to attain greater opportunities than they were afforded,” Wurm said. “Neither of my parents holds a college degree, and among my immediate family only my grandfather pursued higher education. Each day I am driven to not only achieve academic success, but to also fulfill my parents’ wish for me to surpass their own achievements.”