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Phil Davignon

Phil Davignon
Phil Davignon wanted to find out what social factors influence whether adolescents adopt the religious beliefs of their parents. "I always wondered why some of my peers from high school chose to remain religious, while others did not," the third-year doctoral student says.

Baylor's emphasis on the sociology of religion led Phil to apply to Baylor. "While the sociology of religion initially drew me to Baylor, I eventually realized that the Sociology Program also offers an emphasis in applied sociology, which has taught me skills that will provide me even more prospects on the job market."

Phil's research interests still include religion, specifically religious transmission and the role of Christian higher education in the faith of college students. "The Sociology Program at Baylor is unique because in addition to the emphases on religion and applied sociology, there are also faculty members who also specialize in areas from criminology to social psychology, and everything in between."

Phil has also been blessed with many opportunities while in the Sociology Program. "The program is setup to encourage collaboration over competition," Phil says. "It is common for professors and students to work together in teams on articles for peer-reviewed journals."

Phil isn't sure whether he would like to pursue a career in academia or in industry, but he feels well prepared for whatever career path he chooses. "Being given the opportunity to teach a course during my third year, as well as my experience creating and administering surveys have prepared me for both careers paths," he says.

Outside of his work as a graduate student, Phil enjoys visiting his fiancée in Dallas and spending time with other students from the graduate program. Being from Michigan, Phil is thankful for the community that exists among the sociology graduate students. "Our program is small enough that you get to know other students very well," Phil says, "and my fellow students are people who I genuinely enjoy spending time with outside of class."