Senior Honors Students Present Research

Senior Honors Students

Ten School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) seniors in the undergraduate honors program presented posters of their research projects on June 7. All are students of Penelope Peterson, SESP dean, and teaching assistant Eleanor Anderson, a doctoral student in the Learning Sciences program. Assistant Dean Susan Olson coordinated the event. Following is a description of each student's research.

Bonnie Alexander
Bonnie Alexander
Social Policy

Millennials at Work: Gendered Vocational Aspirations in the Social Sciences of an Elite University

Alexander examined the career aspirations and values of members of the “Millennial generation.” She offers a picture of the “idealistic Millennial” and indicates how gender and race the contributions Millennials hope to make to society.

Adviser: Simone Ispa-Landa, PhD
Reader: Lonnie Dunlap, PhD

Aria Fiat
Aria Fiat
Human Development and Psychological Services

Mind Your Mood: The Role Of Self-Focused, Temporal and Task-Unrelated Thinking in Onset Adolescent Depression

Fiat’s study found that compared to non-depressed adolescents, future depressed adolescents used more self-focused, past-focused and future-focused thinking. They also reported “thinking about nothing” significantly less.

Adviser: Emma Adam, PhD, and Lindsay Till Hoyt, MA
Reader: Robin Nusslock, PhD

Sari Hernández
Sari Hernández
Secondary Education - English

What Makes a Reform Successful?: An Analysis of Socio-Political Factors in an Urban, Latino School

This study focused on a predominantly Latino, public high school that was able to successfully carry out reform. Through interviews with administrators, Local School Council members, and community members, this research concluded that success came from stable leadership, a strong LSC, support from local politicians and a positive community relationship.

Adviser: Carol D. Lee, PhD
Reader: Frances R. Aparicio, PhD

Mallory Mattimore Malan
Mallory Mattimore Malan
Social Policy

Morality, Conflict, and Identity: The Role of Professionalism and Self in the Stories of Teachers on Strike

This study explored teachers’ professional identity construction following the Chicago Teacher Strike of 2012. The study found that the strike resulted in an emphasis on morality as fundamental to teachers’ selves and actions, an antagonized sense of self versus others and a diminished sense of professional esteem.

Adviser: Dan McAdams, PhD
Reader: James Spillane, PhD

Erica McLin
Erica McLin
Learning and Organizational Change

The Steepest Learning Curve:  An Analysis of Discourse Before, During and After the 2012 Chicago Teacher Strike

This study analyzed discourse around education reform and labor disputes before, during and after the 2012 Chicago Teachers Union strike in the press releases of the Chicago Board of Education, Chicago Office of the Mayor, and Chicago Teachers Union. The dispute characterized in the press releases was only partially associated with the issues actually under negotiation.

Adviser: Jeannette Colyvas, PhD
Reader: Jonathan Guryan, PhD

Levi Mele
Levi Mele
Social Policy

The Mormon Effect: Exploring Religion, Family, and Class Influences on Human Capital in an Energy Industry Dependent Community

Based on the survey results, despite the appealing economic advantages of the oilfields and being members of a conservative Christian religion, many individuals in the study elected to continue their education. The study concludes that exposure to Mormon doctrine and culture has positive outcomes related to educational attainment.

Adviser: Lilah Shapiro, PhD
Reader: Jonathan Guryan, PhD, and Mesmin Destin, PhD

Morgan Purrier
Morgan Purrier
Social Policy

What (and Who, When, Where, and How) Is Coming Out?

This study analyzes how gay men and lesbian women come to disclose their sexual identity and navigate their membership in larger communities. Gay men described a greater “social cost” related to their decision to come out, as compared with their lesbian counterparts, and were more likely to describe an individualistic identity.

Adviser: Simone Ispa-Landa, PhD
Reader: Edd Taylor, PhD

Victoria Romba
Victoria Romba
Human Development and Psychological Serivces

The Roaring 20s and Sturdy 30s? How Millennials Traverse the Path from 25 to 35

Open-ended interviews of 16 men and women aged 24-26 and 34-36 found that experience in the 20s is one of liminality, experience in the 30s is one of reevaluation, and transition out of emerging adulthood is one of trial and error.

Adviser: Regina Lopata Logan, PhD
Reader: Lilah Shapiro, PhD

Rose Sloan
Rose Sloan
Social Policy

Labeled as Disabled? The Effects of No Child Left Behind on Students with Disabilities Rates in Florida Middle Schools from 2000-2005

Under No Child Left Behind, test scores of students with disabilities (SWD) not only count, but if schools meet the minimum threshold, these scores count in their own subgroup. This study found that Florida middle schools likely tried to fall below the threshold for counting a SWD subgroup.

Adviser: David Figlio, PhD
Reader: Diane Schanzenbach, PhD

Alexander Straley
Alexander Straley
Learning and Organizational Change

Engaging the Competitive Advantage: Perceived Interpersonal and Inter-Organizational Competition and Its Relation to Employee Engagement

Based on a survey of 154 employees, this study results found that as perceived inter-organizational competition increased, so too did employee engagement. As perceived interpersonal competition increased, employee engagement decreased.

Adviser: Gail Berger, PhD
Reader: Kimberly Scott, PhD

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 6/24/13