Tieryn Bills

Tieryn Bills is Gonzaga University 2020 Award of the Sociology Award

2020 Award: Sociology Award
Major: Sociology and Psychology
Hometown: Ennis, MT
Extracurricular activities: Morris Undergraduate Research Fellow, Sociology and Criminology Research Group, The Walking School Bus, CCE's Logan House


More about Tieryn

Future Plans:
In September I'll be starting a Ph.D. program at the University of California, Los Angeles in their Sociology Department. I plan to continue researching urban inequality using ethnographic methods and participant observation. My long-term goal is to become a faculty member at a university to train future generations of sociologists, and continue the kind of humanistic ethnography I came to love in Spokane.

How has your major contributed to your professional or personal development?
I'd like to think my time in Gonzaga University's Sociology and Criminology Department has trained me to be a curious student, apt researcher, dedicated community servant, and excellent writer and communicator. I owe this to my advisors and instructors, who encouraged me to pursue both personal and professional projects that have prepared me to be a successful sociologist. My passion for sociology, cultivated in this department, has become a core part of my identity. As my friends and family can certainly attest to, I enjoy "nerding out" on symbolic interaction, embodiment, moral careers, and ethnography; I think they'll be thankful when I start graduate school and can talk about this stuff with somebody else!

What has been your proudest or most significant accomplishment during your Gonzaga career?
Of my four years at Gonzaga, I've spent two in the sociology department. I'd say these last two years have been a constant accumulation of proud (and joyful) moments, made even that more special by such a supportive department. If I had to choose though, my summer as a Morris Fellow was definitely a turning point in my career as a sociologist. It was during that summer that I learned how to think like an ethnographer, being trained in a sociological tradition very near and dear to my heart (thanks Professor Mike DeLand!)