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Education Career Track Alumni


Mayra Guzman Orozco graduated with a B.S. in Sociology and a minor in Spanish and Honors in May 2014.

She moved to the United States with her family eight years ago from Mexico when her father, a chemical engineer, accepted a job with AGC Glass Company. She graduated from Boone County High School in 2010 and came to NKU on a diversity scholarship.  To earn a diversity scholarship applicants can be of any social background but must demonstrate excellence in academics and a record of community service. In addition applicants must show that they bring unique experiences and perspectives that contribute to a vibrant and positive campus environment.

Mayra was a student worker in the Office of Latino Affairs and active in the Latino Student Organization.  She is a past president and now member of the NKU chapter of ELKF (Educating Latinos for Kentucky's Future) and is also a member of the NKU chapter of the League of the United Latino American Citizens. Mayra served on the NKU Wellness Student Advisory Committee charged with working to reduce stress among the student population and addressing its health and wellness needs. In addition, she was a student member on the search committee for a chair to head the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Philosophy. Mayra has earned a certificate from the NKU Leadership University program and taught a session for that program n Spring 2013. 

For four summers Mayra worked as a mentor at the Latino Leadership College and Experience Camp sponsored by Blue Grass Community and Technical College. This one-week summer program, held on the UK campus, is designed to assist Latino/Latina high school students in planning for college and to provide them with information and opportunities to become involved in service and leadership.

Mayra decided to major in sociology after taking an intro to sociology class during which she learned “things are not what they seem.”  She believes that a degree in sociology will help her realize her career goal of working in a hospital, university or corporate office that serves populations with distinct needs. Whatever the population (Latinos, women, veterans), Mayra wants to do work where she can play an advocacy role and help break through stereotypes and misunderstandings that interfere with high quality service. The sociological perspective gives her concepts for thinking about the role of culture and organizational structures in shaping experiences and interactions. Sociology also cultivates sympathetic understanding for all parties involved in a process.

Marya is currently working as the District Interpreter for the Covington Independent Public Schools.

For relaxation, Mayra enjoys watching romantic comedies. One of her favorites is P.S. I Love You.

Shawn Parker

Shawn Paker is a sociology major with concentrations in history and communications. He is a 2009 graduate of Oldham County High School in Louisville, Ky. where he played varsity soccer. Shawn’s dream since childhood was to play college-level soccer. That dream was realized when he accepted an athletic scholarship to play for NKU men’s soccer team, a team that went on to win the 2010 NCAA Division II national championship.

The sociological perspective has informed many of Shawn’s efforts outside the classroom including his 4-year involvement with the NKU athletics mentoring program, a partnership with Newport public schools in which athletes visit classrooms and socialize as well as mentor the students. Shawn also works to promote adoption. He speaks on behalf of local orphanages with the goals of sharing his story of being an adoptee to inspire others, and of educating people about the importance of changing a child’s life whether that be by donating money to an orphanage or adopting children of any age.

Currently Shawn works at the Ohio Elite Soccer Academy where he coaches under age-12 boys and also works to cultivate positive life skills. In his role as a youth coach Shawn has opportunities to travel to South America in the summers 2013 and 2014 to coach and to learn from established South American coaches. In the summer of 2012 Shawn attended Elmhurst College in Chicago where he obtained his National Diploma for Coaching. To earn this diploma a person must take a week-long course that involves at least 56 hours of evaluation on the soccer field and in the classroom. This experience left an indelible impression on Shawn fueling his desire to further his education as a soccer coach and to eventually obtain a master’s degree in sociology.

Shawn believes that sociology helps him to understand and appreciate team dynamics and to interact with adults and children of culturally diverse backgrounds who are part of the global sport of soccer. For these reasons Shawn also believes sociology will give him an added advantage in realizing his dreams to play professional soccer and eventually become the head coach of a college team.