I recently had the pleasure of learning more about one of our newest additions to the sociology department, Erika Hoff, when she agreed to be interviewed for our newsletter. Erika is the department’s Administrative Coordinator and her official job duties include providing management of the Chair’s academic agenda and acting as a liaison between the Sociology department and other departments on campus or outside agencies. Erika manages development and alumni affairs for the department and is responsible for coordinating various events for the department.
Erika is a DC native who has lived in DC, Maryland, and Virginia at various points in her life. Her mother worked for the State Department, which moved the family to Ecuador when she was 14 years old. She really enjoyed going to high school in Ecuador, having a graduating class of 44 students and going on trips in the jungle and to the Galapagos Islands. Erika definitely has the travel bug and mentioned Thailand, India, Nepal, and Australia as top places on her list to visit (if she can muster up the courage to take those long flights).
Erika went to college in Williamsburg, VA getting her degree in psychology from William and Mary. Since college she has worked in UMD’s psychology department, gotten married (met her husband on a ski trip, he was the ski instructor- so cute!) and has tapped into her creative side, taking photography classes, and starting her own photography business mainly doing portraits and weddings. She loved her business and the flexibility it gave her, especially with a young daughter. But Erika missed the work environment and is happy to be back to regular working hours.
Even though she’s only been with the department for a short time Erika really enjoys seeing what goes on behind the scenes of the department. She has even taken an interest in the field, especially the area of Gender, Work, and Family because it relates so much to her own life. She’s hoping to go to more talks given in the department to learn more about sociology. Erika is excited to be working with the department after getting such a positive vibe from people during the interview process. She is looking forward to putting her creative and organizational talents to use!
Joanna is a third year PhD student.