William Smith Sociology Students Present Original Work at National Conference – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

William Smith Sociology Students Present Original Work at National Conference

Four students in Renee Monson's research methods course share a rich academic experience

(March 11, 2004) Geneva, N.Y. — Four William Smith students presented original research at the Eastern Sociological Society's annual meeting in New York City February 19 — 22. The four students, Catherine Cragg '05, Gretchen Lasda '04, Angela Marinucci '06, and Selva Mason '04, are all members of Assistant Professor of Sociology Renee Monson's research methods class.

Monson selected the women from among the top students in the class based largely upon papers they had written in class on the research they conducted on factors affecting differences by race and gender in retention patterns at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Students used a variety of methods, including surveys, in-depth interviews and content analysis, to investigate the topic.

The presentations were titled:

• “Sweaters and Magnets: Theorizing the Effects of Gendered Friendship Networks on the Decision to Transfer,” by Cragg (from Churchville, N.Y.);

• “'Well, What Did You Expect?' Comparing Images of the Student Experience in a College Viewbook and Yearbook,” by Lasda (from Camillus, N.Y.);

• “Community vs. Amenities: Conceptualizing Differences by Race in College Students' Reasons for Transferring,” by Marinucci (from North Tonawanda, N.Y); and

• “Explaining Race and Gender Differences in Rates of Involuntary Withdrawal from College,” by Mason (from Bronx, N.Y.).

The student presentations were shortened versions of the papers and were part of a session organized and presided over by Monson titled “Teaching Research Methods to Undergraduates.” Raymond Swisher, a Cornell professor, was the discussant for the session.

“I am certain that these women's presentations, given as undergraduates at a professional conference, will be among the highlights of their careers,” said Monson. “I was very proud of them and the work they did both in class and in preparation for this experience. And I'm happy to have been able to offer them this opportunity.” Monson noted that Hobart and William Smith encourages both natural and social scientists to involve students in original research and to offer them enriched classroom experiences when appropriate.

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a hi-res photo is available for download here