Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Sociology & Anthropology

Sociology Capstone & Honors Projects

Sociology Capstone Projects and Honors Theses

Fall 2015

Shelby Alvarez “We’re Just a Drop in the Bucket”:  The Experiences of Student-Parents at Southwestern University

Monica Miller  “I’ll Be Honest, These Are Not Bad Kids”: Judges’ Perceptions of Juvenile Rehabilitation Through Teen Court 

Marta Selby  “All You Need are Shoes, Shorts, and a Shirt”: Women’s Experiences in Youth Running

Bethany Lewis “That’s the Spark I Want to See”: Mentorship and Empowerment of Girls in STEM

John Semlitsch Creating an “Egalitarian” Privileged Space: Displaying Works by Artists of Color in the Modern Art Museum

Mitch Petersen Fraternities, Campus Hegemony, and Safe Space Reconfiguration

Wed, Dec 2nd 4:30-6:45 Prothro Room, Second Floor, Smith Library Center

Jennifer Breaux “More Than the Label: Understanding and Performing of Identity by Gay and Lesbian Students at Southwestern University”

Kaitlin Vincent “‘You’re Our Face, Our Profit’: Gender Discrimination Against Female Bartenders in the Service Industry and Overall Bar Climate”

Guillermo Alvarado “‘That Gay Gangsta Shit’: Identity Construction and Community Membership in Queer Rappers’ Musical Careers”

Claire Blyth “I’m All About Girl Gangs”: Sorority Women’s Perceptions of Rape Culture on a Small Liberal Arts Campus

Sophie Strang “ In Search of Individuality and Community: The Nontraditional Business Culture of Silicon Valley Startups ”

Daryan Green “‘It is a festival first’: Organizers and the Apolitical Collective Identity of Austin Music Festivals”

Fall 2014

Victoria Flores, “‘My Education Played a Role’:  How a Liberal Arts Background Influences Teach for America Corps Members”

Joanna Hawkins, “A Risky Act of Social Justice:  Health Care Workers Responding to Outbreaks of Ebola in Africa”

Jessica Jones, “‘This School Just Isn’t Set Up For Me!’:  The Experiences of Transfer Students from Community Colleges at Southwestern University”

Tara LeDay, “Is Justice Colorblind?  Racialized Spaces and Discursive Strategies During Felony Court Proceedings”

Taylor Moore, “#BMXBabes:  Reinforcing and Challenging Gender Norms in Austin’s BMX Subculture”

Jordan Richardson, “‘It’s All Fun and Shade’: Identities, Community and Culture of Drag Performers in the US”

Fall 2013

Laurie Avery, “Planting Seeds of Social Justice: How a Liberal Arts Education Fosters Activism in the Organic Agriculture Movement”

Brianna Billingsley, “‘Waiting tables will make you lose your faith in humanity’: The Racialized and Classed Dimensions of Emotional Labor Among Restaurant Servers”

Heather Burns, “The Privilege of Helping: Middle-Class Volunteer Ideology and Experience”

Lucero Castillo, “Shattering Invisibility and Rethinking the American Dream: Undocumented Students as Agents of Educational and Social Change”

Julian González, “Motivation to Volunteer for the Homeless”

Nicole Hewitt, “Becoming a Good Citizen:  English as a Second Language Volunteers Reinforcing Social Hierarchies within Adult Education”

Julia Hollingsworth, “Being Upward Bound: Analyzing the Program as a Vehicle for Social Mobility among First Generation College Students”

Kelsey Kisor, “‘Protect and Serve Each Other’: Collective Action and Contentious Politics in a Police Accountability Organization”

Audrey Loukota, “Constructing the Garden: How Race and Religion are Fostered in Community Spaces”

Carley Taylor, “Why We Do Good: Biographical Availability and Motivation Associated with Volunteering”

Nathan Tuttle, “It’s a Man’s Man’s Sport”: Masculinity and Coming Out in American Football

Fall 2012

Andrew Cantu, “’A Call For Change: Motivations behind Volunteer Work at a Fair Housing Organization.’”

Lorenza Cigarroa, “Leading Occupy Austin: Framing an Alternative Conception of Leadership Through Direct Democracy and Collective Action”
Anna Fetchick, “Don’t Bring it Home: How Emotion Work and Individual Identity Affect Activist Participation”

Casey Hatfield, “Advocacy without Borders: How a State-Wide Coalition Builds and Maintains Collective Identity through Critical Pedagogy”

Charlotte Law, “’The Wheelchair is a Symbol:’ How a Disability Rights Group Redefines the Disabled Identity”

Victoria Phillips, “Emotions Are What Bring Us Here Together, Today: The Importance of Emotion Work in the Shaping of Collective Identity”

Megan Robinson,I’m Feeding the World Tonight:’ The Impact of Moral Identity Standards on Mobile Loaves & Fishes Homeless Outreach Ministry”

Laura Wooden, “‘Eliminating Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness:’ A Representation of Activism through One Kitchen”

Caroline Wright, “Friendship, Brotherhood, Sisterhood, and Family: Collective Identity, Social Ties, and Free Space as Motivation for Volunteers at the Ride On Center for Kids” 

Fall 2011

  • Alex Barnes, “Ephemeral Aid for Chronic Problems: Emotions and ‘Voluntourism’ in Short-Term Medical Mission Recruitment and Retention”
  • Katy Hicks, “Obligations and Incentives: The Basis for Activism for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”
  • Ethan Lane-Miller, “You and I Will Change the World:  Jewish Values, Identity and Social Activism”
  • Krystina Maloukis, “‘We Are ADAPT:’ The Role of Collective Identity within a Disability Rights M
  • Kristen McCollum, “The Art of Collective Identity: How an Art from the Streets Program Fosters a Sense of Community Among the Homeless”
  • Abby Morales, “’I’m a Youth who Wants my House Back:’ An Analysis of How a Free Space Becomes Unsafe”
  • Marcella Orozco, “Growing for a Sustainable Future:  Looking at Volunteerism and Community at an Urban Farm”
  •  Lauren Rundell, “Looking Down with Love: Volunteering, Religion, and Paternalism”


Fall 2010

Alexandra Brown, “‘We’ll Do the Best We Can:’ How Volunteers Overcome Frustrations to Stay Motivated and Involved in the Animal Welfare Movement”

Amy Crook, “Cultivating Change:  The Complexities of Coalition Formation in the Movement for Affordable Housing.”

Cameron Duggins, “Bridging the Divide: Volunteerism in Providing Equal Access to Technology” 

Mayra Garcia, “Somos Una Familia/We Are a Family: A Community Within a Homeless Shelter”

Robert Hanley, “Stand Up For Your Rights: Exploration of Criminal Justice Activists in Texas”

Carissa Nash, “In the Lack of ‘We’: An Analysis of a Free Space without Collective Identity”

Toni Nietfeld, “‘Welcome to Hell’: The Role of Framing and Recruitment in Saving Souls”

Alexandra Overton, “‘They Laughed at Me:’  An Analysis of Men in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Movement”

Callie Paige, “Until We are No Longer Separated by Concrete and Barbed Wire:? The Motivations That Drive Participation at the Inside Books Project”

Megan Renneker, “The Struggle for Equal Access: An Investigation of a Grassroots Pro-Choice Organization” 

Kate Roberts, ““In the Name of Injustice: The Role of Moral Shocks in the Texas Anti-Death Penalty Movement.” 

Whitney Rodriguez Rominger, “‘It Lets Me Be Me. It Lets Me Be Both:’  A Study of How Queer People of Color Create Community through Free Space”

Megan Satterfield, “Just Living Our Truth”: Emotion Work and Collective Identity in the Fight For Transgender Right”


Fall 2009

Laura Burrow, “Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: Why Advocates Work to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault”

Jessica Herbst, “‘Sometimes You Have to Sell Your Soul a Little Bit:’ Maintaining Meaning and Identity in the Midst of Non-Profit Politics”

James Surface, “Serving the ‘Lost Kid’: A Study of Free Space, Teaching as Activism and ‘Activist Mothering’ in After School Care”


Fall 2008

Tristine Baccam, “‘Stand Up Straight’:  The Significance of Networks, Framing, and Collective Identity in Building a Straight-Gay Coalition”

Nicole Powell, “‘Little Gay Ghandis’:  Providing a Safe Space and Empowering Sexual Minorities”

Grace Stafford, “From Bra Burning to Bible Study:  Motivation for Political Activism and Polarization Among Local Women Activists”


Fall 2007

Phillip Cantu, “Activist on the Margins: High Risk Activism in a Local Needle Exchange Program”

Megan Collins, “Bureaucratic Traditions, Consensus and the Role of the Media in the American Civil Liberties Union Central Texas Chapter”

Zach Copeland, “Help Me If You Can, I’m Feeling Down: Coalitions and Group Identity in the Ending Community Homelessness Organization”

Lauren Cox, “¡Trabajadores Unan!: Leaders, Collective Identity, and Conflict Resolution among Latino Immigrant Workers”

Rachael Die, “Communities of Color Fighting Toxic Contamination: A Case Study of Grassroots Environmental Justice and Community Advocacy”

Sarah Fankhauser, “Guardian Angels at the Grassroots: A Study of the Factors that Shape Individuals Into Activists”

Cody Faulk, “Fighting the Religious Right in Texas: How Political Activist Organizations Recruit and Maintain Members in the Fight for a Division Between Church and State”

Jacque Holden, “What Are You Doing After Work? Why People Continue To Volunteer at the Inside Books Project”

Erin Kamin, “The SARAH Project and the Hidden Homeless”

Carly Morris, “Freedom From Homosexuality: The Power of Faith in a Local Ex-Gay Ministry”

Anne Olson, “Which Side Are You On? An Examination of the Recruitment Tactics of a Local Education Union”

Lydia Rudy, “Pounding the Pavement: Passion, Collective Identity, and the Modern Day Foot Solider”


Fall 2006

Amos Bean, “‘American Identity and Attitudes Towards Immigrants: An Analysis of Letters to U.S. Newspapers”

Alice May Berthelsen, “From Romance to Self-Realization: How College Women Construct a Self Through Romantic Relationships”

Helen Brakebil l, “Hidden or Just Backstage? Examining How Adoptees Discuss and Perform Their Identities”

Lauren Contreras, “Coming Out and Coming Home: The Journey to Identity Acceptance for GLB Young Adult Christians”

Meagan Elliott, “Locating Jewish Identity in Poland: Thoughts and Photographs”

Jenna Hardy, “Retired and Refreshed: Women’s Collective Identity in a Retirement Community”

Kathleen Matthews, “Before and After: Volunteers’ Identity Work at St. Mary’s Maternity Home”

Andy Morrison, “(This is You): Identity Construction on Facebook”


Fall 2005

Kelsie Alstead, “‘You Must Be a Very Special Person’: Special Education and Identity Work”

Lisa Kay Foster, “The Playboy Advisor: Sex Talk from Venus and Mars, or Are We Finally on the Same Advice Column Page?”

Annie Garcia, “How Different Are They? Friendships in a Home School Support Group”

Ashley Heck, “‘We’re Not Special Anymore’: Identity Creation, Identity Loss, and Coping Strategies among Gifted/Talented Students”

Ali Hendley, “Barreras del Lenguaje: Children’s Negotiation of Adult Created Exclusionary Structures”

Narda Hernández, “Get Ready! How African American Women are Empowered While Preventing HIV/AIDS”

Mary Stinson, “Drug Education Videos: Teaching More Than You Think”

Krys Wyatt, “Finding Friends Like Me: The First-Year Student Struggle to Create and Maintain Identity and Friendship”


Fall 2004

Ray Altman, “Coalition Crisis: Mobilizing Diverse Interests for Political Action”

Meagan Bialostosky, “Genesis and Continuation: A Case Study of Community Activism with the Georgetown Community Clinic”

Tricia Davis, “Getting It Done: A Study of the Texas Alliance for Life”

Kevin Donovan, “On Campus Activism: Recruitment and Activism In A Student Run Animal Rights Organization”

Dene Granger, “Power of the Rhizome: Intentional Living and Activism”

Bethany Gregg, “Texas Moratorium Network: Private Motives, Public Activism”

Casey Heideman, “Let’s Grow! The Sustainable Food Center and Local Activism”

Melanie Kurtz, “Rich Man’s War, Poor People’s Fight: An Exploratory Study of the Activist Group, Austin Against War”

Ariel Reynolds, “The Facilitative Foyer: Frames, Free Spaces, and Collective Identity in Non-membership Organizations”

Robin Schwartz, “Fighting Broken Windows: Radical Activism Through Collective Facilitation of Networks”

Nicole Scott, “Open Hearts, Open Hands: Participation in the American Friends Service Committee”

Jessica Story, “Peace Train: Religion and Spirituality in a Local Peace Movement”

Jessica Tonahill, “Marriage Equality: A Pursuit for Social Justice”


Spring 2004

Amber Callaway, “Product Placement in Hollywood Films”

Katie Kroll, “Media High: The Effectiveness of the Television Campaign on Marijuana Use”

Salvador Lopez, “Islam in the Media”

Russell Pavillard, “A Pyrrhic Victory for Hip Hop Music: The Cultural Cost of Mainstream Integration”

Emily Stewart, “Jessica Lynch: Hero or Victim? A Critical Analysis of the Media Portrayal of the Jessica Lynch Story”


Honors Thesis

Angela Stroud, “‘Black Sinners, White Saints’: Hip Hop, Country Music, and the Construction of Race in the U.S.” Committee Members: Dan Hilliard, Ed Kain, Maria Lowe (thesis advisor), and Shannon Winnubst. Spring 2003.