Michael Esposito

Grad program: Sociology

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Undergrad institution: University of Missouri

Undergrad major: Sociology

Why did you decide to attend the UW?

It was, effectively, a flip of the coin. When applying, I didn’t realize how much “SOCIOLOGY” varied across institutions; department fit wasn’t something I was thinking about carefully. Instead, a friend told me that “Seattle was cool & UW was well-ranked;” that was enough motivation for me to apply. Luckily, things turned out well! I love the strange, sharp-minded, and productive work we do here.

Where do you hope your graduate education will take you?

Employment, but even more so: towards becoming a professor/researcher at a university. Doing research and mentoring—really!—underpins my “sense-of-self;” in my ideal life, I’d continue doing these things until I’m old, maybe-tenured, and gray

GO-MAP’s* motto is “Graduate Excellence through Diversity.” What does this mean to you?

That: working among diverse standpoints enhances knowledge production. That’s: there are blind-spots in any single perspective; achieving—and to an extent, I think, preserving—diversity among a group of knowledge-producers may help safeguard against, limiting, monolithic ways of thinking.

Who has been your inspiration or role model?

My family! The Paiges and Espositos are odd, wise, and (incredibly) institutionally-affected folks; I’ve learned a lot from them over the years.

Please provide one tip you’d like to share with UW undergrads or prospective graduate students.

Don’t fret about making “the wrong choice,” initially. (Please) plan a bit more than I did when choosing graduate schools but, don’t get caught up in trying to make the (singular) “right choice.” If you’re seriously interested in, and enjoy what, you study, you’ll—within some bounds!—be able to make where you end up work well.

*GO-MAP was the name of a program that is now called GSEE, the Office of Graduate Student Equity & Excellence. Learn more.