Joe Donahue ’10 in Morocco

Since I graduated from Wheaton in 2010, I have been a Peace Corps volunteer in a rural Moroccan town called Ait Oumghar. During my service, I have been working on various health and youth related projects, such as health and English classes. I am also currently working with a newly-formed women’s association in my town on a grant to help furnish a new workspace and for small business training.

While the connection may not be outwardly apparent, 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: what makes certain groups in my town more vulnerable; why do some individuals seem to have a “thick” ethnic identity and others a very “thin” one; and so much more.