Alumni Profile: Nassi, Mastaneh

Name: Mastaneh “Massie” Nassi

Graduation Year: 2004

Major: Sociology

Current occupation and field of work:

Currently, Massie works at the Los Angeles Unified School District and owns her own practice at Speech With Us. As a Speech-Language Pathologist for LAUSD, she works in different schools servicing children with speech impairments. She sets up sessions to meet with children who might be suffering from a speech impairment such as stuttering or a lisp. After the child is observed, she will determine if the child qualifies for her services. If the child does qualify, she will consult with the parent(s) or guardian(s) in order to create an action plan for the child. As the owner of her own practice, she works with children and adults that are in need of a larger variety of communication services. Her services will vary from working with adults whom have suffered a stroke to foreign students seeking to improve their accents.


Work experience:

Previous to her current role, Massie worked in private practices, in home therapy, hospitals, outpatient rehab centers and early intervention programs for young children. Before that, she worked with the homeless community. She spent a lot of her time volunteering as she was trying out different fields of work.


What do you do in a typical day? What problems do you deal with?

“A typical day varies a lot. On different days you take care of different stuff. In my private practice, actually both, I work with a client and the sessions are either one on one or group sessions. The day involves a lot of testing on both children and adults to see if they qualify for any services that I provide. I create reports for doctors or clinics, I identify observations, I look at why my client is doing what they do and if it is a child, I review my observations with their parents. A typical day involves a lot of advertising for my company. Another thing that is typical is scheduling. Client scheduling is the larger part of my business. The problems I deal with in my work are when my clients do not agree with my recommendations. When this occurs, I come up with a new action plan or provide more clarification.”


How do you think sociology is connected with your current profession?

“If you think about it, Sociology and my profession go hand in hand. Sociology is the study of society and one aspect of it is social interaction. Social interactions happen through communication. I help with communication whether it is verbal or non-verbal or written communication. All these play a role in society. If someone can’t communicate with the rest of society then that is where I come in. This is how individuals participate with their social surroundings.”


Why did you choose Sociology as your major?

“I came in as a Sociology major and initially I didn’t know what I wanted to do. My friend had already taken so of the Sociology courses and she encouraged me to stick with Sociology since she had enjoyed the classes so much. I took some of the classes and as I began to take more classes, the more engaged I became. I connected with the studies and I knew it was going to help me in something because I loved social interactions and social patterns so much. I knew that it would be helpful one way or another.”


How has Sociology empowered you in your professional and personal life?

“Sociology opens your eyes to social interactions. It helps you identify human behavior and I use it every day with the science and communication aspect of my profession. With my profession, I need to find out my client’s social status to determine why and how they need communication services. I learned how to identify other people’s social surroundings, how they make sense of them, and how they communicate towards different social surroundings. Studying social interactions has helped me learn that societies act the way they do because of sociological patterns.”  


What was the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in a Sociology Class?

“I had a class where we learned about breaking social norms. One of the assignments was to break a social norm, so I had to stand in an elevator facing the people in the elevator and not the elevator doors. I was so nervous because I was not sure what the people would think about me. I built the courage to finally face the people in the elevator. I began to realize that the people in the elevator seemed more uncomfortable than I did. I then realized that I was able to see how other people’s social backgrounds made them act a certain way. I realized that there were social backgrounds that made me think it was wrong for me to face the people in the elevator. This pushed me to notice what is really going on in society. Also self-awareness and what I bring to society.”


 What advice would you give to a Sociology student?

“I would suggest that they stick to Sociology because it helped me find what I wanted to do in life. You may not know what to do in the field, but it can help you in anything later in life. You will benefit from the major no matter what. Also to absorb as much information and to learn from it.”


What are some fun facts about you? What are your hobbies/interests?

“Well, I love to dance and paint but I am not good at either one. I also love to travel! I love to see new places, meet new people and try new foods!”  


Any Significant achievements?

“Having my own practice is a huge achievement for me.”



Conducted by Alejandra Tavarez

UCLA Sociology Class of 2018