Undergraduate Highlights

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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Bench Project


Our class, Society and Climate Change is a course designed to shift our thinking from the scientific way that the climate is discussed in our society to a much more emotional context that will truly energize is to make change. This bench project came as a result of our understanding that there is a disconnect between one another as people and if we cannot connect with one another then we cannot connect with the Earth. Our campus did not have any outdoor benches that faced one another. So, we decided that we would make two benches and deliver them to President Tom Katsouleas as a welcome gift and as gratitude for making a statement about his commitment to helping the climate. We split up into three groups, networking, promoting, and building to ultimately achieve the creation of our beautiful benches. Our hope for the future is that our two benches, which we call the Climate Conversation Corner will facilitate deep connections with one another as students as well as with our environment. .

Candace Tang: Phi Beta Kappa Electee

Please join us in congratulating undergraduate Sociology major Candace Tang, who has been elected to join the UConn chapter of Phi Beta Kappa!

Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most widely-known academic honor society in the United States. Only about 10 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher education have Phi Beta Kappa chapters. UConn’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Epsilon of Connecticut, was chartered in 1956.

Each Phi Beta Kappa chapter invites up to 10% of its institution's liberal arts graduates to become lifetime members of Phi Beta Kappa, making this one of the most selective invitation processes in the nation. The ideal Phi Beta Kappa member has demonstrated intellectual integrity, tolerance for other views, and a broad range of academic interests.

Undergraduate Sociology Students Create Academic Journal

Read UConn Today's article on the inaugural edition of The Mirror, the undergraduate Sociology journal. The first edition of The Mirror has six articles selected from approximately 30 submissions, and the plan is to publish a new version each semester.

***Mission Statement***

The mission of The Mirror is to provide undergraduate students a platform to showcase their work and educate the community on sociological issues. We strive to expose students to the process of publication and assist them in reaching their full potential, while also pushing them to engage with critical thinking, creativity, intersectionality, and their sociological imagination. The Mirror aims to create a space where undergraduate students can have their voices heard and to learn from one another

Congratulations 2021 Alpha Kappa Delta Inductees!

Congratulations to the 2021 Alpha Kappa Delta inductees!

  • Archana Ajay
  • Kayla Crucetts
  • Lyndall Goudemond
  • Jordan Kubik
  • Samantha Stuyniski

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) is the International Sociology Honor Society. AKD was founded in 1920 at the University of Southern California by Dr. Emory S. Bogardus and became affiliated with the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) in 1967. Alpha Kappa Delta is also affiliated with the American Sociological Association (ASA). AKD seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in the scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition.

Become a Sociology Honors Student!

Are you a Rising Sophomore or Junior Sociology Major with a GPA of 3.40 or above?  If so, we  encourage you to apply to be an Honors program student as a sociology major!  Deciding to do so is pretty straight-forward.  Below are information and links about the Honors Program application timeline and process.

Next Deadline: April 1, 2021 (Timeline: https://honors.uconn.edu/admission/admission-timetable/)

Forms: A link to the online Honors Program application in the UConn Quest Portal can be found at https://honors.uconn.edu/honors-admission-forms/

Approval and Invitations to Apply to Honors as Rising Juniors (Class of 2023):

  • Junior applications require approval of the Honors advisor via the online Honors preliminary plan of study process.

Rising Sophomore Applicants (Class of 2024):

  • All parts of the Honors Program application, except the Honors preliminary plan of study, must be completed by rising sophomores;
  • Honors admission is based on available space for sophomores as determined by the Honors Program;
  • Departmental approval is not required for admission into Honors as sophomores, but you will have to seek departmental approval via the Honors preliminary plan of study to continue in or join the Honors Program as juniors next year.

Professor Matthew Hughey is the incoming Sociology Honors advisor and would be happy to answer any questions that you have about the application process (matthew.hughey@uconn.edu).  Or feel free to email the Honors Program (honors@uconn.edu) if you have general questions.

Refugee Advocate Irene Soteriou Named 2021 UConn Newman Civic Fellow

Congratulations to Irene Soteriou, '23 (CLAS), who was nominated by President Thomas Katsouleas for a Newman Civic Fellowship for her investment in collaborative changemaking. The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who are changemakers and public problem-solvers at Campus Compact member institutions. Read the full article here.


***Excerpt from the article***

As a student, Soteriou has founded the annual UConn Human Rights Symposium, serves as Deputy Speaker of the Undergraduate Student Government, and works at the Center for Career Development, where she lean effort to help non-native English speakers, formerly incarcerated individuals, and others from historically underserved or marginalized communities better prepare for employment opportunities. She formed the Student Coalition for Human Rights to facilitate collaboration among human rights groups on campus, and is bringing together student groups from universities across the state to advocate collectively for refugees during the pandemic.  

“I’d like to give a special thank you to Dr. [Bradley] Wright, professor of sociology, whose work has inspired me to pursue deeper reflection, introspection, and growth, especially within the context of my identity,” Soteriou said. “I’d also like to thank Kristen Soprano, a career consultant in the Center for Career Development, who has challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone, and who has supported me through obstacles I’ve faced.