Undergraduate Spotlight

The Department of Sociology has selected Dalton Cardoso as an Outstanding Senior of 2024. During his time at WSU, Dalton has become known by many as an outstanding undergraduate student, assisting professor Sarah Whitley and graduate student, Steven Cassidy, as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the past two years.

Faculty members praised Dalton for his passion for education, exceptional classroom performance, and enthusiasm for learning, recognizing him as an outstanding representative of the sociology department. Learn a bit about Dalton, his interests, and his future plans below.

Dalton Cardoso in his WSU marching band attire.

Shekinah: Tell me a little about yourself.

Dalton: I’m from Vancouver, Washington. I’m a fifth-year senior, and I’m earning dual degrees in history and sociology with a focus on at-risk youth. I’ve also been in the Cougar Marching Band all five years that I’ve been at WSU. I play the sousaphone, baritone, and trombone. I was section leader for three years. In my free time, I enjoy playing video games and cooking.

Shekinah: Why did you minor in at-risk youth?

I want to go into teaching. The at-risk youth minor seemed to work well with my teaching goals and helped me gain a better understanding of the modern issues youth face. I enjoyed all the classes that the at-risk youth minor offered. Drugs and Society was one of my favorite classes at WSU. It was my first real introduction to sociology. I liked learning different ways we can approach addiction and understanding why it’s both a public issue and a private trouble.

Shekinah: You want to go into teaching post-graduation. Please tell me a little more about that.

I would love to teach high school history, government, or any social science. I want students to learn how to think and read critically and engage in thoughtful conversation as opposed to reciting facts that are drilled into their heads. I’m not going to just teach history, but also help students become better thinkers.

Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than helping others learn. That’s why I decided to assist Dr. Whitley and Steven Cassidy as a teaching assistant the past two years. I wanted to be a resource for students that may feel more comfortable approaching a peer for questions. I think being a student makes me more approachable.

I’m also the vice president of membership education for my sorority, Tau Beta Sigma—Theta Delta, which is the national sorority for collegiate band members. We serve to help the WSU Cougar Marching Band and the WSU music program in general. I help educate current and prospective members about our traditions and history.

Shekinah: What are some of your proudest accomplishments as a leader in Tau Beta Sigma?

One of my proudest accomplishments was organizing a memorial service for a sister who passed away last year. It was nice bringing all her friends and family together to commemorate her. I also helped raise funds for suicide awareness and gift green ribbon pins to show solidarity for those struggling with mental health and illness.

Shekinah: Do you have any advice for prospective WSU students?

Find a club. I chose the marching band because I found a community that I really loved. I think one of the best things you can do at college or university is find something that you love. You can grow your skills by just doing what you love. Also, find a teacher that you really enjoy and talk to them after class. While I was at WSU, if I really enjoyed the lecture, I would wait until after class to talk to the professor. This opened a lot of doors, like my experience as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the department of sociology.