My name is Daneen Goncalves, formerly Bergquist, and I am a past student of the Applied Sociology program at St. Cloud State University (2007). During my undergraduate degree, the SCSU Sociology department provided many opportunities to explore and experience what I was learning in my studies. By the time I graduated, I had traveled to over 10 different countries. My studies combined with my travels helped add to my understanding and appreciation for different cultures, languages, and society. This was especially helpful in my quest for a career in nonprofit management and advocacy, and just two weeks after my graduation I accepted a grant-funded position as an International Projects Coordinator with an human rights organization in the Netherlands.
After the position was complete, I moved back to Minnesota and became an Executive Director of a hunger relief organization in the St. Cloud area. I worked in nonprofit management for three years and then decided to make the shift to the education field. I felt as though education and awareness was the foundational element in all people and is the most effective path towards alleviating social issues. Therefore, I pursued the most rigorous, socially-focused educational approach I knew and in 2010 began the Association for Montessori Internationale elementary teaching diploma course in St. Paul along with a Master’s of Education from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD.
I am currently a 1st-3rd grade elementary Montessori charter school guide in North Minneapolis and work with a diverse group of students and staff. My journey from when I first started my undergraduate degree to where I am now has been exciting, to say the least, and I am still able to rely on the solid foundation I received from the SCSU Sociology department. It continues to play a significant role in my ever-evolving perspective of society, people, and the social issues faced by many today.