Freshman Year Class Leads to Passion & Path

Danny Shea

For Daniel “Danny” Shea ’16 CLAS (Sociology, Spanish), a career path came pretty early in his academic career at Villanova. A Presidential Scholar, Danny started as a Biology major, but quickly realized a career in the sciences was not for him. Luckily, he was taking an Intro to Sociology class his freshman year.

Danny began to think of the world and society on a structural level and began to look at the way structures influences what people do. Guided by his advisors Rick Eckstein, PhD and Melissa Hodges, PhD, Danny began to work on his thesis “Human Capital: Philadelphia Work History of LGBT Adults and Access to Social Services.”

His research was also heavily influenced by a Sociology of Gender class where he learned not just about structural phenomenon, but also about shifts over time that influence the way people behave and how different identities intersect. Dr. Hodges is helping guide his research on gender, which came about after he wrote smaller papers on the subject. He is using qualitative and quantitative data which required Danny to conduct street surveys in Philadelphia.

Danny almost went to another school, but after visiting and sitting in on classes at Villanova he “saw the community aspect and I bought into the value of it.” A San Francisco native, Danny is looking at possibly attending graduate school or participating in AmeriCorps after graduation. He ultimately wants to do social work, but to take a policy approach in order to affect change.

Meaningful Success

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