Sean Stryker (1991)

Software Engineer, GE

My connection to the sociological profession was always tenuous at best. When I spoke with Theda Skocpol at Harvard, she told me that Habermas really wasn't an important sociologist, so I decided to study at Berkeley instead. I also had the good fortune to marry Elizabeth, another sociology graduate student at Berkeley, whose commitment to the discipline could not be shaken. It was therefore inevitable that, once I finished, the dilemma of securing two appointments in the same location would compel me to jump ship.

Drawing on skills in C++ that I had refined as an excellent technique for procrastination, I surfaced in the waters of software engineering. I am currently employed by the Indiana Proteomics Consortum, where I write software for group of analytical chemists who build time-of-flight mass spectrometers to analyze cell proteins. My knowledge of biochemistry is limited, to say the least, but I have plenty of opportunities to learn about things like enzymatic digests and laser deabsorption and ionization.

When not otherwise engaged cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, or taking my kid to soccer practice, I find time to revive forgotten calculus and study the fundamentals of physics, chemistry, and biology. After I make millions in biotech (or at least put Aaron through college) I intend to revisit some of the issues that inspired me at Berkeley and may eventually be able to contribute something of a new perspective on the relationship between the natural and social sciences.

Dissertation Title: 
Building the Progressive Republic: Political Culture, Social Mobilization, and the Growth of California Government