Summer Was Rich in Research for Social Science Faculty

This past summer, 16 School of Social Science faculty members received $1,000 each to help fund their proposed research topics as part of the 2013 Summer Research Grant program. Research findings are being presented this semester at the Brown Bag Lecture Series hosted by the School.

Recipients include:


Dr. Stephen Bittner - History
"Whites and Reds: Wine in the Lands of the Tsar and Commissar"


Professor Bittner traveled to Tbilisi, Georgia and St. Petersburg, Russia to consult tsarist-era collections containing materials on the history of winemaking in the valleys of the south Caucasus after Russian annexation at the end of the 18th century. In Russia, he consulted material that will illuminate the cultural and legislative events leading up to the passage of Russia's wine-purity law in 1903. The research is central to his book-length study on the history of tsarist and Soviet winemaking.


Dr. Cynthia Boaz - Political Science
"Depictions of War and Peace in Media Coverage of Palestinian Crisis"


Professor Cynthia Boaz is using frame analysis to examine the competing narratives used by conventional media to discuss the ongoing conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Her research considers the two dominant sets of frames on the conflict: one that emphasizes violence, repression, and terrorism, and the other that emphasizes civil resistance, people power, and the quest for unity across borders.


Dr. Maureen Buckley - Counseling
"The Impact of Parental Involvement on the Academic Achievement of Latino Students"


Professor Maureen Buckley conducted a literature review on the impact of parental involvement on the academic achievement of Latino students. Latino students are particularly at risk for problematic academic outcomes such as low grades, absenteeism, lower test scores, and high school drop-out. Buckley hopes that through this research she can devise concrete suggestions to help our local school committees address this issue.


Dr. James J. Dean - Sociology
"Gay Ghetto Straights? Anti-homophobic Practices, Gay Normalization, and the Growing Presence of Straight Residents in San Francisco's Castro District"


Professor James Dean's research asks the question: how do straights who live in the Castro district enact their straight identities in their interactions with LGBT persons who still compose the majority of the neighborhood's residents, visitors, and patrons? And which neighborhood characteristics, resources, and cultural values do straight residents define as central in their decisions to live in a historically famous gay ghetto? Dean is using his summer research grant to conduct 30 in-depth interviews with straight residents of the Castro District.


Dr. Steve Estes - History
"Too Proud to Whitewash: Charleston Since the Civil Rights Era"


Professor Steve Estes traveled to Charleston, South Carolina to complete the research and revisions of his book manuscript: "Too Proud to Whitewash: Charleston, since the Civil Rights Era." In Charleston, Estes had access to several archives including Charleston Post & Courier and the Avery Research Center and may be able to conduct some final oral history interviews.


Dr. Diana Grant - Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies
"In the Shadow of the Jury"


Professor Diana Grant plans to examine how the political role of petit juries manifests in this era of massive pretrial publicity and media creation of 'moral crises' relating to crime. Her research focuses on contemporary cases, which appear to illustrate this phenomenon.


Dr. Mary Halavais
"Seafaring in the Spanish Empire


Professor Mary Halavais traveled to Simancas, Spain to access the Archivo General de Simancas. Her research focuses on several aspects of seafaring in Spain in the early 17th century. The research encompasses the Spanish Empire as well as outside of Spain with the Morisco pirates.


Dr. Patrick Jackson - Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies
"Foster Children Involved in Animal Assisted Therapy"


Professor Patrick Jackson is continuing his work with foster children at Forget Me Not Farms, a non-profit where children learn how to care for and manage abused and abandoned animals. His research uses photo elicitation procedures to interview the foster children involved in animal assisted therapy and mentoring programs about their relationship with animals as well as their human mentors, and exploring how these relate to breaking the cycle of criminality.


Professor Lena McQuade - Women's and Gender Studies
"Concieving Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care: The Santa Fe Maternal Health Center, 1937"


Professor Lena McQuade continues to trace the development of the first free birth control clinic established in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the late 1930's. Her research helps provide historical context for contemporary questions about reproductive freedoms and the role of birth control in comprehensive health care reform.


Professor Melinda Milligan - Sociology
"In the Interest of the Past: Organizational Identities and the Historic House"


Professor Melinda Milligan continues her research on historical preservation issues by conducting fieldwork (observation and interviews) on historic house museums and historic house tours. With this additional data she will be able to continue her analysis of preservation ideology as presented by preservation advocacy organizations as a means to continue assessment of these groups as social movement organizations.


Professor Kathleen Noonan - History
"Gasoline and Unrest: The 1915-1916 Bayonne Refinery Strikes and the Balm of Employee Housing"


Kathleen Noonan traveled to Bayonne, New Jersey to conduct research into the Standard Oil refinery strikes there and the development of the first "garden apartments" for the Standard Oil employees as part of an experiment in urban planning underwritten by John D. Rockefeller.


Professor Gerryann Olson - Psychology
"Diaries, Letters, Scrapbooks and Journals: Crafting a Visual Autobiographical Self"


Professor Gerryann Olson is studying a variety of Professor Napoleon Reyes' Criminology and Criminal Justice 
approaches to documenting one's life through scrapbooks, diaries, letters, individual and group journals, and the more recent use of online blogs and confessional sites such as Postsecret. She hopes to propose some reasons why scrapbooks and diaries remain enduring and compelling as private hobbies, and to collect data on the increase of their use as a therapeutic method.


Professor Napoleon Reyes -Criminology and Criminal Justice
"Big Brother in Reverse? A Cross-National Study of the Impact of Social Networking on Government Corruption"


Professor Napoleon Reyes continues his research into the correlation between transparency and integrity in government organizations. His work will specifically focus on social networking's role in the public's participation in governance.


Professor Julie Shulman - Counseling
"Women's Self-Objectification"


Professor Julie Shulman continues her work on women's body surveillance which is the tendency to view one's own body as though one is an outside observer rather than from the subjective, phenomenological experience of self. Body surveillance predicts several interrelated clinical symptoms among women including body shame, body consciousness during sexual activity, sexual dissatisfaction, and sexual dysfunction.


Professor Cindy Stearns - Sociology
"Breastfeeding Professionals Study"


Professor Cindy Stearns continues her research into interviewing lactation professionals in order to develop an understanding of their work and its consequences for mothers. Her orientation questions include: How do lactation consultants talk about the embodied practices of breastfeeding in the U.S.? What are the prevailing ideologies concerning proper motherhood and breastfeeding practices shared by breastfeeding professionals and how are these enacted in their work routines and practices? What social and economic resources do these professionals believe are necessary to make breastfeeding successful?

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