William Gardner

William Gardner
William Gardner, '17
Fellow, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
University of Washington in Seattle


What have been some highlights of your Sociology experience these part four years?

I think the biggest highlights for me have been interactions with faculty and the opportunity to do research. In my experience, all the sociology faculty are incredibly invested in undergraduates and always willing to meet with and help out undergrads with work/research/etc. I haven’t met a faculty member yet who wasn’t anything less than eager to meet with me about anything. Relatedly, I think the opportunities the department offers to get research experience working with these faculty are very impactful. Having the opportunity to work with a faculty member the last couple years (who then became my thesis adviser) provided me with valuable one-on-one mentorship that really influenced my development as a sociologist, researcher, and my future career plans. I really think the size of the department and the faculty we have make it an incredible place for undergraduate students to learn.

What are your post-grad plans and did sociology play a role in helping you select your job?

I’ve accepted a fellowship at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (www.healthdata.org) at the University of Washington in Seattle. As a fellow I’ll be a full-time researcher working on a number of quantitative research projects related to global health (their most famous project being the Global Burden of Disease study). In addition, as part of the fellowship I’ll be a student at the University of Washington School of Public Health studying for my Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Sociology definitely played a role in helping me select my job! My extensive research experience I’ve gotten over the past few years made me interested in a fellowship or job that was research oriented as I take some time before grad school. In many ways, I’ll be doing exactly the same type of work I was doing with my senior thesis (which was a huge bonus for me when applying to these types of research programs!). Even more broadly, sociology at Harvard made me very interested in a future career in academia and research.