Senior Honors Students Showcase Research

Senior Honors Students Showcase Research

2017 SESP Undergraduate Senior Honors Students

Eleven School of Education and Social Policy seniors in the honors program presented their research projects in Annenberg Hall after being recognized at the monthly faculty meeting. All are students of Dean Penelope Peterson and teaching assistant Sarah White, a Learning Sciences PhD student. Assistant Dean Susan Olson coordinated the event.

Here’s a snapshot of each student’s research:


Abigail Durgan

Abigail M. Durgan

Human Development & Psychological Services

Violence, Conflict, and Families: Do Parental Experiences of Violence Bleed into Home Life?

Durgan’s honors thesis looked at associations between parental exposure to violence, conflict in parent-child and inter-parental relationships, and negative relational outcomes for children. She found that conflict in family relationships -- not exposure to violence -- is linked to worse outcomes for children.

Advisers: Emma K. Adam, PhD and Jennifer A. Heissel, PhD candidate
Reader: Claudia M. Haase, PhD


Garrett Goehring

Garrett M. Goehring

Learning & Organizational Change

Can You Teach Entrepreneurship? Examining the Relationship Between Entrepreneurial Learning and Student Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy

Goehring looked at the relationship between entrepreneurial learning in undergraduate entrepreneurship courses and student entrepreneurial self-efficacy. He found a relationship exists for certain entrepreneurial activities. These relationships are most likely the result of the instruction provided by the entrepreneurship courses.

Advisers: Jeannette Colyvas, PhD and Mindy Douthit, PhD
Reader: Michael Marasco, Farley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science


Caroline Gold

Caroline Gold

Human Development & Psychological Services

Trauma as a Framework for Understanding Student Behavior Patterns: A Close Examination of a School-Based Trauma-Informed Care Approach

Gold used both background information on trauma and classroom observations of a therapeutic day school with a trauma-informed approach to describe the student behavior patterns that contribute to a student’s success or failure. The findings suggest there is a spectrum of success at the school which means implementing new policies and practices might better serve a wider variety of students. 

Adviser: Dan Lewis, PhD
Reader: Simone Ispa-Landa, PhD  


Maggie Graham

Maggie Graham

Social Policy

Opening Opportunities for Adult Education: The Role of Supportive Elements Within an Adult Career Pathway Program

Graham’s project focused on some of the supportive elements of a free healthcare education program called CareerAdvance® and how those supportive elements contribute to the participant's experiences. She found that when those supportive elements helped foster an environment of warmth, accountability, high expectations and emotional support, it positively influenced the experience of program participants.

Adviser: Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, PhD
Reader: Teresa Eckrich Sommer, PhD


Meredith Green

Meredith Greene

Social Policy

Civil Rights Policy in Practice: Provision of Language Assistance Services in Health Care

Greene studied how language assistance services policies are implemented at Chicagoland hospitals. She found that a healthcare provider interest in practicality and lack of awareness of civil rights laws governing the provision of language assistance services coupled with hospital administrators' and compliance officers' secondary interest in the law led to the subpar implementation of these policies. 

Adviser: Quinn Mulroy, PhD
Reader: Candice Player, PhD, JD 


Jenny Halpern

Jenny Halpern

Human Development & Psychological Services

"It is Who I Am:" A Qualitative Study on The Formation of and Impact of Identity for Professional Modern and Jazz Dancers

Halpern looked at the connection among identity, the body, life story, and dance for professional and pre-professional modern and jazz dancers. She argued that many dancers within the professional dance world view dance as a calling, rather than as a career.  Through dance, they form their identities and they structure their lives around their need and ability to dance. It is a primary way through which these men and women communicate with and make meaning of their worlds. 

Adviser: Lilah Shapiro, PhD
Reader: Susan Lee, PhD


Subin Hwang

Subin Hwang

Human Development & Psychological Services

The Public Health Response to the Refugee Crisis in Germany

Hwang studied the public health response to the refugee crisis in Germany. Her findings suggest that when a welfare state is faced with a crisis that strains resources and causes policy ambiguity, doctors and hospitals have the autonomy to assert discretion in the decision to provide health care for refugees.

Adviser: Galya Ruffer, PhD
Reader: Quinn Mulroy, PhD


Emily Kahn

Emily Kahn

Social Policy

Kahn compared the development of education in the U.S. from a general historical perspective, which tends to be heavily eastern-centric, to a regional perspective by using Minnesota as a proxy. Her research begins to fill existing gaps in the historical narrative of educational development in the U.S., contributes to policy development theory, and points out further areas for regional exploration in educational literature.

Adviser: Henry Binford, PhD
Reader: Heather Schoenfeld, PhD


Margaret Parker

Margaret Parker

Social Policy

Post-Industrial Neighborhoods and their Fight for Policymaking Influence: An Environmental Justice Organization’s Battle Against Industrial Toxins

Parker studied and analyzed an environmental justice campaign in a Midwestern city. Her work provided greater context to Clarence Stone’s framework on the way neighborhoods should respond to contamination threats and how the framework could be modified for the benefit of neighborhood organizations operating in the post-industrial era. 

Adviser: Dan Lewis, PhD
Reader: Lilah Shapiro, PhD


Jacob Rosenblum

Jacob Rosenblum

Social Policy

Predicting Chicago Veterans’ Returns to Homelessness after Housing Placement

Chicago service providers wondered if it was possible to predict which veterans were likely to become homeless after receiving a housing placement. Rosenblum’s methodology suggests a future for the role of analytics using Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data to improve homeless services provision.

Adviser: Dan Lewis, PhD
Reader: Jonathan Guryan, PhD


Shoshana Shapiro

Shoshana Shapiro

Learning Sciences

Facilitation in Informal Makerspaces

Shapiro studied the role of facilitators in three Chicagoland informal makerspaces. She found that despite the difference in making activities and types of programs offered, three universal themes of facilitation suggest that there may be best practices to facilitating a makerspace.

Adviser: Marcelo Worsley, PhD
Reader: Mike Kennedy, PhD

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 6/6/17