Sociology Major Completes Degree in Three Years, Enlists in Army

Lebanon Valley College student Gavin Strauss

Gavin Strauss ’22 will graduate in May with his bachelor’s degree in sociology—a feat he completed in just three years.

He has enlisted in the United States Army and will leave in August to begin his career.

“I was offered the rare opportunity to become an engineer diver and could not pass that up,” Strauss said. “I will get to learn a very unique skill set, consisting of underwater welding, cutting, demolition, and salvage while specializing with these skills in either scuba or deep-sea diving environments. I have always had the desire to serve our country.”

Strauss is used to hard work, having taken classes during summer and winter breaks to stay on track for the early graduation. His advisors Dr. Barbara Prince, assistant professor of sociology, and Kelsea Gonzalez, associate registrar, as well as his sociology professors, mentored Strauss to help him achieve his goals.

As a sociology major, he learned principles that challenged his thought processes. He applied that classroom knowledge during practical experiences, such as the senior seminar partnership with the Youth Advocate Program in Lebanon.

During his first year at LVC, Strauss worked at Boger Concrete as a part-time mechanic due to his prior self-taught mechanical knowledge. Eventually, he received the opportunity to complete an internship with Boger’s parent company, Byler Holdings.

“With Byler Holdings, I learned how the larger company operates and exercised my education by independently conducting projects such as employee satisfaction surveys,” Strauss said. “I used almost everything I learned during my research methods and statistics for sociology classes to gather and interpret employee data and present them to the executive team at Byler Holdings.

“My experiences in the Sociology Program have been great. Some of my favorite experiences came from the opportunities to apply my in-class learning in real-world scenarios. Not only did I use what I had been studying, but I also had a very rewarding experience.”

Strauss also found the time to give back to the community and received LVC’s Gold Service Award for completing at least 250 hours of service. He completed volunteer projects with 5 Stones Gym in Annville and served as a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at Palmyra Area High School.

 

-- Josh Hildebrand, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant