Staff Spotlights: Hilary Gossett (Lori Reeder) & Karina Havrilla (by Susan Hong)


Hilary Gossett, our Administrative Coordinator, is a relatively new addition to our department. Hilary’s official job duties require her to provide management of the Chair’s academic agenda and acting as a liaison between the Sociology department and other departments on campus or outside agencies.  She also manages development and alumni affairs for the department as well as coordinating department events. I had the pleasure of getting to know Hilary a little better when she agreed to be interviewed for our newsletter.

Hilary is from San Marcos, Texas (though she was born in Illinois). Her father, a playwright who wrote children’s musicals, was a professor of Drama at Texas State University. She grew up in the Texas Hill Country, which according to her is the most beautiful part of the state.  Hilary has a degree in interior design from Texas State University and a background in industrial technology (meaning she can work wonders in a wood shop). She is licensed and practiced interior design, specializing in high-end retail design for ten years before coming to the University of Maryland.

Outside of work, Hilary can be found most evenings and weekends out and about with her family in DC, enjoying all of the wonderful outdoor attractions in our area. She loves camping, canoeing and loves to paint and play guitar.  She has spent time working in South Korea, London, Tokyo and Australia and looks forward to traveling more in the future.
Hilary moved to Maryland in 2007 and joined the University of Maryland in 2010.  One of her favorite things about living here is watching the seasons change, which is quite a treat for a Texan.  She was very happy to join the Sociology department in the Fall of 2010 and wants to thank the faculty, staff and students for being so welcoming and wonderful to work with.


I had the pleasure of interviewing our department’s new Graduate Coordinator, Karina Havrilla.  Karina is a Maryland native; she was born in Maryland and grew up in Germantown.  Her family is originally from El Salvador, and they came to the States in January 1974.

Karina graduated from Northwest High School in Germantown, MD, and attended McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, where she double majored in Sociology and Spanish. Immediately after graduating college, she started working at the American Sociological Association (ASA) as the Minority and Student Affairs Program Coordinator.  Having worked at ASA for 4 ½ years, Karina had the opportunity to work with students and faculty in various departments, including UMD. Some of the people she had the pleasure of getting to know and work closely with were faculty and students in UMD’s Department of Sociology.  Karina is also huge Terps basketball fan and had always liked University of Maryland, so she was happy to join the departmental staff.  She enjoys being part of a new program in a discipline she’s really familiar with.

Some little-known facts about Karina… Karina is the oldest of four, and is the proud aunt of a niece who is turning 4 this year.  She is fluent in reading, writing, and speaking Spanish. She started playing the clarinet in 4th grade and transitioned to the tenor saxophone in high school when she joined the Jazz Ensemble. She continued to play the sax during college with Jazz Band at McDaniel and still picks it up from time to time.   Her hobbies include photography, running with her 3-year old German Shepherd/Rottweiler Winston, baking, and cooking.  She loves Indian food, Cuban food, and Salvadoran food (and she recommends Café Spice, Cuba De Ayer, and Chapala for great food in the area).

When asked what her favorite aspect of the department is, she immediately said the people!  She knew several of the people in the department already, and she was happy to be part of a place where people were so welcoming and friendly.  As mentioned early, she’s also a huge Terps fan and is excited to be on a campus with a big collegiate team.

Karina also noted that it is inspiring to see students in our department working to achieve their academic goals, and she plans one day to also go to graduate school and study Sociology or Educational Administration and Policy in the near future.  Her interests lie in Sociology of Education, gender studies, and race relations.

Please stop by Karina’s office if you haven’t met her yet!  She loves to meet new people and looks forward to working with all of you!

Lori & Susan are both 2nd year graduate students.

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