Sociology ProgramDepartment of Sociology and Anthropology
Sociology Program

Sociology Alumni

Melanie G. Fisher

Degrees: B.A., 1986
Majors: Applied Sociology

Organization: St. Cloud Children's Home
Title: Cottage Supervisor
E-mail Address:

Job History and Responsibilities:

I work at the St Cloud Children's Home in the Assessment Unit and my position title is Cottage Supervisor. I have worked at the Children's Home for fifteen years. Prior to my current position at the Children's Home, I worked as a youth counselor in a unit specifically dealing with educable, mentally handicapped teens.
In my current job my major responsibilities include hiring, training and supervision of the youth counselors in the Assessment Unit. The other part of my job is to assist the other supervisors in doing orientation training for all new staff. I am a certified instructor through the Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc. I teach Non-violent physical crisis intervention. I am also certified by Boy's Town Nebraska to teach the Boy's Town Model of behavior management.

I have worked at the Children's Home since completing my internship there in November 1986. I've not worked professionally at any other job.

How I use sociology in my job:

I use sociology in my current job on a daily basis with the students in assessment by observing behavior, interpreting how that behavior impacts the individual and how it impacts their family as well as their peers in the unit. I assist staff in understanding the group dynamics among the students as well as their dynamics with co-workers. Using what I observe I teach the students social skills and I train the staff how to modify negative behavior with individual students and the group as a whole. Some specific skills I learned in the sociology program were observation and interpretation skills. I learned theories on why humans interact as they do and how those theories can help professionals modify undesirable behavior. It's been a very long time since I was in school so its pretty hard for me to remember specific courses. Although, I do remember taking a Marriage and Family course that probably reflects closely what I do on a daily basis at my job in regards to dealing with families and their dysfunctional ways of interacting and communicating.