From job interviews to first dates to diplomatic meetings, social interactions shape people's lives. At the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland, we study the micro and macro, from family organization to globalization, to better understand how society functions. We conduct one-on-one interviews and analyze massive data sets locally and around the world. We're bringing greater clarity to sociological processes as well as recommendations for policymakers to improve human welfare. Our proximity to Washington, D.C. gives our students rich opportunities to research and intern at government agencies and institutions, including the World Bank. The National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health, among others, fund our research to help veterans returning from war, families struggling during recessions, and hurricane victims rebuilding their lives.