Alumni You Should Know: Natalie Ingraham
When Natalie Ingraham graduated from USAO in 2006 with a degree in psychology, she had a clear vision for her future in academia.
After completing a master’s degree in public health at Indiana University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at San Francisco, she accepted a full-time faculty position in the sociology department of California State University at East Bay.
“At this point, finishing my Ph.D. and landing a tenure-track position at a university I already loved has been my greatest accomplishment,” said Ingraham. “I love the students at CSU East Bay and feel very lucky to get to work with them.”
Ingraham previously worked as part-time faculty at CSU East Bay while also teaching at UC Berkeley and contributing to UC San Francisco’s collaborative research group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health.
“The interdisciplinary core classes at USAO really primed me for a career of working and thinking across professional disciplines,” said Ingraham. “I’ve worked with colleagues in a variety of disciplines and continue to pursue interdisciplinary and collaborative research because I love delving into big ideas and big problems as a team.”
Her current research focuses on intersections of gender, sexuality and health with a particular focus on the LGBTQ community and reproductive health.
She credits her involvement with Big Moves Bay Area with “keeping me sane during graduate school.” Founded in 2000, Big Moves is the only service organization in the world dedicated to getting people of all sizes into the dance studio and up on the stage.
Ingraham’s advice to current USAO students or any student considering the university is to “take advantage of the small class sizes and access to professors.”
“I assumed that everyone could and did just drop by during a professor’s office hours to chat about course topics or other interesting ideas,” said Ingraham. “Once I was at a big state school, I realized how rare this was and how lucky I was to forge lasting relationships with many of my professors. I also felt very lucky to find a community of wonderful, weird people who shared my interests and ideas and challenged me to be a better person both in and out of class.”