Month: December 2021

Meanings of “America” Contest Winners

The Meanings of Democracy Lab directed by Ruth Braunstein, Associate Professor of Sociology, is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Meanings of “America” Multimedia Contest. They received a large number of high-quality submissions, but these finalists distinguished themselves with their originality, creativity, and the overall quality of their work. Congratulations in particular to undergraduate Sociology majors Nicholas Xenophontos (winner) and Emma Parente (honorable mention), and Sociology PhD candidate Rianka Roy (honorable mention)!

We invite all members of the UConn community to join us in congratulating them, and to stay in touch with the Meanings of Democracy Lab on Twitter and Instagram for updates on future events where they will be sharing their wonderful submissions. 

First Place Prize Nicholas Xenophontos, “Meanings of America” Honorable Mentions Srivani Agnihotram, “America” Emma Kathryn Parente, “A Student in America” Lisbeth Peguero, “Everything but Apple Pie” Rianka Roy, “Coming to America” Jenna Trott, “Because of the Brave” Exhibition Finalists Kyra Arena, “Fly Away” Cassandra Barrow, “Envy” Matthew S. Dentice, “American Hope”

First Place Prize

Nicholas Xenophontos, “Meanings of America”

Honorable Mentions

Srivani Agnihotram, “America”

Emma Kathryn Parente, “A Student in America”

Lisbeth Peguero, “Everything but Apple Pie”

Rianka Roy, “Coming to America”

Jenna Trott, “Because of the Brave”

Exhibition Finalists

Kyra Arena, “Fly Away”

Cassandra Barrow, “Envy”

Matthew S. Dentice, “American Hope”

UConn Students Selected for Millennium Fellowship Program

Check out UConn Today’s recent article titled “UConn Students Selected for Millennium Fellowship Program” where Caitlin Dadonna ’22 (Sociology) is recognized as one of the directors for the Millennium Fellowship Program. Only 6% of universities were selected by United Nations Academic Impact and the Millennium Campus Network. Congratulations Caitlin!

***Excerpt from article***

“The Millennium Fellowship leverages the energy and creativity of young leaders around the world in hopes of advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” says UConn Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Carl Lejuez. “UConn’s 13 Millennium Fellows, who join students representing 136 campuses in 30 different countries, are working actively advance these goals, and I’m pleased to see their hard work recognized through their selection to be a part of this global network of young leaders.”

Sociology Majors Win 2022 SHARE Awards

Congratulations to  Madeline Doyle, Samantha Gove, and Nicholas Xenophontos who were selected to receive the 2022 Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Research Experience (SHARE) Award!

Madeline Doyle ’24 (Political Science & Sociology) will be working with faculty mentor Dr. Matthew Singer (Political Science) on "Presidential Approval in a Pandemic - Evidence From U.S. States."

Samantha Gove ’24 (Sociology & Human Rights) will be working with faculty mentor Ryan Talbert (Sociology) on “Police Killings of Native American People: Examining Variation Across Space, Time, and Status Characteristics.”

Nicholas Xenophontos ’23 (Mathematics & Sociology) will be working with faculty mentor Dr. Ruth Braunstein (Sociology) on "Monetary Fungibility and Political Context: Comparing Church Statements About Abortion and Catholic Schools."

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Kristen Kirksey: A Social History of Racial Disparities in Breastfeeding in the United States

Check out graduate student Kristen Kirksey's article, "A Social History of Racial Disparities in Breastfeeding in the United States," which discusses differences in breastfeeding rates in White women and Black women as well as racial disparities and the impact of public policy and social movements.

Excerpt from abstract:

"I found that the persistent racial disparities were actually comprised of three distinct types of changing racial disparities: (1) increases in racial disparities that derive from improvements for Whites not captured by Blacks (1973–1982); (2) decreases in racial disparities that stem from improvements for Whites captured even more strongly by Blacks (1995–2006); and, (3) leveling off of racial disparities (2006–2015). Placing results of this quantitative analysis within the context of public policy and social movement history, I identify three distinct mechanisms that drive the different trends in racial disparities in breastfeeding. This paper contributes to the literature on motherhood, race, and health a more nuanced understanding of the social historical mechanisms that pattern breastfeeding, and more broadly, racial disparities in health."