Sophomore Crafts Stellar Research – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Sophomore Crafts Stellar Research

At HWS, students often surprise their professors with the depth and nuance of their insights. In their class discussions and in their research. But there are always those research papers that come off of the page and exceed the intentions and expectations of even the professor who assigned them. That was the case for Professor of Religious Studies Susan Henking when she received a thesis from Julia Hoyle ’11 in her Introduction to Women’s Studies course last semester. In her paper, Hoyle looked in to what is rape and why it happens in addition to researching what HWS does to keep its students safe. Throughout her work, Hoyle explained that, “I look at rape as a general topic, and then focused on the HWS community and the issue of rape.” “Julia produced a well written, thorough exemplary paper,” said Henking. “The assignment was to write an essay researching local data on a topic taken up by Joni Seagar in The Penguin Atlas on Status of Women in the World.” “The assignment both gets them to know the local and situate in the global but also asks them to do research and become knowledgeable about a specific topic and connect that to course readings,” Henking explained. Hoyle adds that, “My paper is directly connected to women’s studies because rape is something that affects all women.” So what was the most rewarding part of the project? “Turning in the paper,” Hoyle joked. “I researched a lot for it and read it over several times. By the time I turned it in I was glad not to look at it for a while, but I was also proud of my work.”