Alumna Profile: Ella Bitman '11

Ella BitmanEver since she was 12 years old, Ella Bitman knew she wanted to be a therapist for children and teenagers, but she wasn't very sure what to study in college to achieve her goal. After experimenting with psychology, business and English in a small specialized school, she decided to transfer to UMass to broaden her range of possibilities, and after taking three sociology classes she fell in love with the subject and made it her major. "I loved sociology because it was all about how one's environment, upbringing, gender, sexuality, race and socio-economic status determines one's challenges and oftentimes dictates what they  will go through, which I think is really helpful in counseling", she recounts.

Ella currently works as a school adjustment counselor in the Lynnfield school system here in Massachusetts. "I consider myself kind of like the school therapist", she replied when asked about her job description. "Students come into my office because they have family issues, social conflicts, challenges with friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, sexuality... and I work with them to find solutions to their problems". Ella finds that having sociology as her undergraduate degree is quite useful when it comes to solving her kids problems. "Everything I studied in sociology made so aware of what others' are going through and why they may act the way that they do. So when I am with a student, I think about all the factors that might be contributing to their current challenge, and that allows me help them a lot more. That's invaluable knowledge sociology gave me."

Ella, who graduate with a B.A. IN 2011, remembers her time at UMass very fondly, as I am sure all of us do. "It's such a great group of progressive, open minded folks that made me feel so at home and welcome in a big school where I didn't know anybody.  Christin, Dr. TD (Barbara Tomaskovic-Devey), Wendy, I love all of them and five years later, still think about them often."