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Sociology Presentations

Presentations are listed in alphabetical order by the presenter's last name.

Muslim-American Experience Post 9/11
The United States is a melting-pot for various immigrants who migrate to the U.S. for many different reasons. Certain immigrants migrating from certain places in the world have been racially profiled or oppressed due to their religion. As of today, 3.45 million Muslim immigrants live in the United States. Despite that the majority of these Muslim immigrants come from Pakistan, many of these immigrants originate from various countries located in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Muslim immigrants are racially and ethnically diverse; some of these immigrants are Black, White, and Arab. Yet, Muslim immigrants face greater challenges in the post 9/11 era because of the stereotypes, media, language barriers, identity, and cultural differences. Not only will this project discuss the challenges Muslim immigrants face in the United States, but also explore how they benefit American society. My goal is for the reader to have a better understanding of immigrant lifestyle in the United States and how they face challenges for acceptance in American society. This project relies on qualitative research, conducting a total of 10 semi-structured interviews of Muslims that I know who lives in the United States, including three Muslim immigrants. Participants have stated that society in America has not been kind to them but they are still grateful for the opportunity to migrate to this wonderful country. Themes in these interviews often address the racial strategy or phrase of “Islamophobia,” which will be addressed in connection with the discrimination Muslim migrants often encounter. As a son of immigrants, I have learned about different customs through various places. This project will not fully solve the problems Muslim immigrants endure in the United States but it can help bring awareness to racial issues that have been plaguing the United States since her early beginnings.
Presenter: Gueh Barchue / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Prevalence of Assisted Reproductive Technologies
With the falling fertility rate comes the falling total population. Never has the human population experienced total population decline on a global scale. Fertility rates are declining and soon enough the world will have to face declining population, which some countries are already dealing with. There are some methods that are being used to assist those who have complication conceiving known as Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Using information from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), and other sources aim to explore is the prevalence and use of ART, such as which demographic uses it the most and whether this a resource that may change the falling fertility. I hypothesize that there is a correlation between the rising age of couples starting to have children and the growing use of in-vitro fertilization. If this is true, then we may see a growing use of ART and a growing need to expand research and resources to assure fertility decline is halted or slowed.
Presenter: Alec Bonvetti / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Human Trafficking; Which Countries have the Highest Risks?
Human Trafficking destroys many lives and has only recently been garnering the attention of the general public thanks to high profile court cases in the news. Yet, day after day, thousands of women are trafficked from less developed countries to more developed countries. This project explores the factors at the national level that correlate with the risk of being trafficked from approximately 100 countries around the world. I rely on data from, Estimating Human Trafficking into the United States [Phase I: Development of a Methodology]. More specifically I will be looking at the data from the, Country-Specific Risk Indices for Female section. This specific data includes information on corruption perception, gender related index, percentage of population living in urban areas, composite index and finally country specific risk. With these different variables I expect to find that, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela have the largest percent of Country-Specific Risk Indices for Females. The largest implications of my research are the idea that is no way of telling how many people have ever been trafficked due to a few different reasons. One, a lot of people that have gone missing are still missing and nobody can say for certain the reason as to why they are missing. Next, those that escape is too scared to come forward and tell their story. Lastly, trafficking often is a crime that goes undocumented and unreported so even the data that is present for the public eye it is not 100% accurate because of all the cases that are not reported.
Presenter: Kendall Bresee / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Title IX and Sports: Where Are We Now?
Title IX has developed over the last 48 years, but has enough changed? Title IX originated from the need to protect equal rights and enforce equal treatment of men and women under the Board of Education. This study uses existing data from the U.S Board of Education Equity in Athletics customized data set. The data is over 4 different schools affiliated with collegiate sports to analyze the different revenue, student aid, salary, and recruitment among schools from different conferences and divisions. The goal is to see the differences between the salaries and funding of men’s and women’s programs, how they differ, and how the programs themselves have changed over time. The research analysis is based off of existing data which is compared through charts and graphs. While analyzing I found that Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball team receives more money than the women’s basketball program with staggering record differences. The data displayed throughout my project will have numerous different meanings and I will summarize them into results that will answer the previous stated question.
Presenter: Jordan Butcher / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Aggression Prevalence in Sex in 225 Minutes of Cartoons
As the world advanced to easier ways to entertain themselves, this brought a wave to the world of streaming. Making it easier for parents to calm their children by putting on their favorite cartoon, cartoons however can have an aggressive nature. To determine how violent these cartoons can be, I looked at three cartoons in a well-known streaming service Netflix. Breaking these cartoons down into the 5-7-year-old age group then choosing a cartoon for each age 5, 6, and 7 age range. I coded several episodes of each show looking specifically for instances of violence such as assault, assault with a weapon, any violence that happened accidentally, and finally any actions that resulted in anger or showed anger toward someone marking that specifically as behavioral aggression. After marking each action down then added each coded item together to determine the mean. The results suggest that male vs. male is more common in cartoon violence and that assault is the most likely aggressive action. These results suggest that children’s cartoons can contain an amount of violence and parents should monitor what their children watch more closely.
Presenter: Joshua Clark / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Mass Media Involvement With the 2007 Virginia Tech Mass Shooting
My major research project looks at the involvement of mass media coverage within the 2007 Virginia Tech Mass Shooting. The project takes a qualitative approach and its purpose is to look at the detrimental effects mass media has on affected communities. According to author Jennifer Murray in “Mass Media Reporting and Enabling of Mass Shootings,” there are seven present stages within mass media coverage of mass shootings. These seven stages are as listed: 1) Tragic Shock, 2) First Witness Reports, 3) Identification of Shooter, 4) Reports of Character of Shooter, 5) Media Branding: The Packaging of a Massacre, 6) Official Response and Official Report, and 7) Return to Stage 1, and Begin Cycle (Murray 2017). My hypothesis is that these seven stages are present within the mass media coverage of the 2007 Virginia Tech Mass Shooting. Through my qualitative research of photos, news articles, YouTube videos, and the Virginia Tech Review Panel, I was able to locate all seven stages, shedding light on the increased detriment mass media coverage brought upon the Virginia Tech community. I also detailed how each stage relates to the themes of social solidarity, traumatization, or an increase in social media. This research is very important because technology and mass media are continually evolving, and we live in a day in age where mass shootings can occur at any time, and any place. Further understanding their impact on communities along with the increase in social media is crucial for the betterment of affected communities.
Presenter: Thomas Carter / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Children's Social Media Use in Different Household Structures
Social media impacts the world whether we as humans like it or not. It is an ever evolving modern norm that puts another possible stressor on parents to establish boundaries on what can affect their children as they grow. Children’s minds are learning and trying to adapt to new things every day so items such as social media plays a huge impact on a developing mind. This project will examine whether household structures have an impact on how parents regulate social media access for young children through adolescence. The research will also examine the rules and regulations within the household whether they are motherless, fatherless, or living with both parents. I will use qualitative research I have conducted through a series of interviews. I have asked five married couples, three female-headed households, and two male-headed households 12-13 questions on how they have raised their children. The single headed households could be from a divorce or single parenting. I will be focusing on families raising generation Z children which is described to be born between mid 1990’s to the early 2000’s and also generation alpha which is late 2000’s to today. My initial findings suggest that motherless households will have less regulation on social media access for their children while fatherless and married households will have more regulation.
Presenter: Chalys Caruth / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Immigration and the Assumptions of the Human Person
Few topics evoke heated debate like immigration policy. However, such disputes rarely focus on what those policies say about the human person. In my research I will look at the trends of immigration throughout the United States and the policies that shaped those trends. In particular, I draw on the definition of human personalism as developed by noted sociologist Christian Smith to explore how immigration policy creates challenges for immigrants themselves and challenges governments encounter while choosing how to regulate immigration. Methodologically, I will qualitatively examine the immigration policies that are in place in the United States using content analysis, especially the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Dream Act to see how language in those policies describe the human person. In sum, my research explores how our assumptions of what it means to be human relates to immigration policy thus shaping our trends in migration, particularly in light of Catholic Social Teaching.
Presenter: Haley Chainay / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
How differences in Human Nature affect what Makes Sense for Human Rights
Every person in this world possesses rights. But what are they really? In order to discover a definitive answer, several fields were cross-examined in a pursuit to uncover in what capacity these rights exist and how they impact the human beings who possess them. These various fields have been examined through literary works, studies, and observational analysis sourced from experts within their respective fields. The three major disciplines include: psychology from the perspective of behaviorism, primarily from P.F Skinner; sociology from the perspective of personalism, primarily from Christian Smith; and political science, primarily from the view of George and Glendon. These three fields have contrasting views on what rights are, how they function, and to what capacity humans possess them; as such, the three competing views serve as a fantastic foundation to build a better understanding of how exactly human rights make sense given human nature. In order to acquire information, their respective studies and essays will be examined to deduce their overall position and evidence. Moreover, more individuals that hold the respective positions within the respective fields will be utilized in the same manner. In fine, these fields produce a look at rights that is unique, one that challenges human rights by asserting that rights are inseparable from human nature.
Presenter: Trey Cook / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D., and John Larrivee, Ph.D.
Role of CCLS in pediatric in patient settings
The Association of Child Life professionals was established as a nonprofit in 1982. The role of a child life specialists is to help ease the anxiety experienced by pediatric patients and their families while enduring the hospitalization process. Child life specialists encounter patients in many different settings and units throughout hospitals, including outpatient situations. As a child or teenager, being hospitalized can be a very intimidating experience. Having access to the services provided by the Child Life Specialist, my research aims to look at the perceived satisfaction rate between inpatient pediatric patients who are served by a team of CCLS versus patients who do not receive their services. I conducted this research by completing qualitative phone interviews with five certified child life specialists who are currently practicing. My research explores how CCLS view their role in the overall hospitalization process and healthcare industry.
Presenter: Maeve Davis / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Homelessness: How Service Should Be Approached Through Personalism
How many people go without shelter every night? According to the Council of Economic Advisors, over 500,000 Americans in the United States go without shelter on any given night. In Maryland alone, 6,561 people and 603 family households experience homelessness according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, composing 1.16% of the total state population. Many program and institutional services that respond to this nationwide issue, such as Section 8 housing vouchers and homeless shelters, focus on the material needs of those it attempts to provide for, rather than focusing on the individual or person themselves. Numerous narratives from those who are attempting to “get ahead” using the limited resources available to them attest to this detached attitude. This takes a very materialist and behaviorist approach, using operant conditioning to change the circumstances of those in need in an attempt to fix their situation. What is really needed for actual change and true service is a more personalist approach to service that allows for personal autonomy, giving them a level of agency. Moreover, person-oriented service focuses on the conditions needed for true human flourishing, tending to both body and soul rather than just the physical body. Comparing the views of personalism and materialism, examining how they relate to service, and analyzing their impacts on society show how personalism is more constructive in tending to those in need.
Presenter: Christopher DePiazza / Mentor: John Larrivee, Ph.D.
The Darkness of a Post-Christian Society: Secularization in America
Currently in America, we face before us the reality that religious belief is on the decline in society in both public and private life. As Christians, declining numbers of Christians is disturbing and finding the cause is necessary to fix the issue. Almost every metric that indicates religiosity points to decline. According to Pew Research, studies done covering 2007-2018 show that church attendance decreased from 54% to 45%, people identifying as religious Protestants fell from 51% to 43% and prayer frequency of “never” increased from 18% to 23%. There are some that say differently however and would even say that religion is growing in America. T. This will be analyzed through the lens of the view of the human person mostly in government and local communities and their relationship with individuals. Does the view of the human person affect how people live their lives and how is secularization affecting that? The answer is, society is increasingly becoming less Christian and this is important because the view of the human person is shifting to hard, unfettered materialism leaving society confused and in darkness to reality.
Presenter: Ethan Fiery / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Children's Consumption of Violent Media
In my research I examine if violence in media has a significant impact on children. From violence in video games, television, music, etc. media has a huge impact on kids especially with heightened screen time. I did research through Monitoring the Future study done by Michigan University. They interview kids grades 8-10, and ask about things such as drug intake, hours spent watching television, and happiness of child. I analyzed different characteristics that relates violent media and children such as, how much screen time do these children have, do the parents allow the children to further their access, etc. Through my research I was able to find that ample amounts of screen time do not lead to a damaging impact on children. This finding can now reverse the findings of violence in media leads children to live a life of crime/violence. It has been an argument that some school shooters have had an extreme linkage to violence through video games, stating that video games are the problem, but this cannot be the case these specific individuals are special cases.
Presenter: Sean Jefferson / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Misogyny in Music
Music has a very important impact on our lives, whether we’re walking to class to listening to it in our cars, we’re constantly playing music and listening to the songs lyrics. But what happens when the song gives off a negative message? Several studies have shown that how frequently an adolescent listens to music and what type of music they listen to can impact their behavior. Misogyny in music is muddled within each genre however we only ever hear rap and hip hop talked about as negative genres; we tend to praise other genres of music while tearing down rap as if other genres are not full of the same kinds of misogynistic messages. For my research I created a survey to gauge student’s perceptions of misogyny across various genres of music; to do this I compiled a survey with 9 different lyrics across rap/hip hop, country, R&B, and pop. Respondents were asked on a Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, whether or not the lyrics were misogynistic and asked to guess what genre the song came from. Overwhelmingly I found the majority of respondents believed rap to be a misogynistic genre and rap got the most guesses despite only two of the nine lyrics being classified as rap. Ultimately my research shows that we need to change the way we think about certain genres of music; we have come to almost demonize rap in a sense with parents not allowing their children to listen to it or even some radio stations editing out rap verses of a song before playing it on air. However, as a whole, if we as a society decide we are not ok with this level of misogyny, we need to treat all genres that way and move to screen all forms of music. Often people associate country music with feel-good emotions, even though the lyrics are just as misogynistic, if not more. No matter the genre of music, the impact it has on our relationships and mindsets is the same and we need to look at all genres before casting aside only a few.
Presenter: Amara Jerome / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
The Effects of Interracial Relationships on Generation Z
The world as we know it, both outside and on the Mount campus, is crowded with different viewpoints on interracial interactions, especially dating and marriage. In this project, the effects of outside influence on interracial dating will be examined. In a survey that was sent to students, they were asked about their own daily and romantic interactions with people of other races/ethnicities, as well as their family and friends’ romantic interactions with people of other races/ethnicities. To date, I have received 220 responses. I hope to be able to identify common roots that influence Mount students’ thoughts on interracial dating that will spark a conversation on the Mount about how people interact with each other and/or how different groups on campus can be more inclusive so that we actually form one student body – a family.
Presenter: Laura Danielle Johnson / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Should There Be A Line Drawn For The Advancement Of Woman In The Military?
From the very existence of the military, the question of females being integrated arose. Throughout history females slowly progressed in making their presence known within the military until a decision made in 2015 changed the dynamic of the military forever. Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that beginning in January 2016, all military occupations and positions will be open to women, without exception. This brings up the question, “Should there be a line drawn for woman within the military?” This question is targeted at the combat/infantry positions recently opened that put a new physical and mental challenge on females trying to pursue a career in this field. Through research and nine in-depth interviews with future members and leaders of our military here within Mount Saint Mary's ROTC program I looked at the previous question posed. Questions regarding their experience within ROTC, issues regarding comradery, sexual harassment and their overall opinion on the topic has given me a great insight on what the answer to that question could be. My findings showed the expected differences in answers between male and female members but also showed some similarities such as reason for joining and a good number of positive attitudes towards the advancement of woman within combat/infantry positions in the military. With females becoming more and more present within our military, especially our combat/infantry roles, everyone who enjoys their daily freedoms and liberties should care about this topic and have an educated opinion on it.
Presenter: Kirsten Mumma / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Reaching the People: Emergency Management and Disaster Relief
This paper explores the inner workings of emergency management in regard to large scale disaster relief while exploring the interpersonal perspective. I focus on the poor response to hurricane Katrina and explore better avenues to how the response could have been coordinated if time was taken to identify each individual, their plight, and their needs. One conclusion is that a better understanding of emergency preparedness, federal, state, nonprofit private organizations assists with disaster relief. I compare New Orleans pre-Katrina to post Katrina to see the socioeconomic impact of Katrina on businesses, culture, and the individual on the interpersonal level and culture as a whole. I also compare and contrast faith-based relief services and their tendency to focus on individual people and needs and how that compared to secular and governmental organizations. Finally, I consider the full needs of the person and what needs are most pertinent when recovering from a disastrous event.
Presenter: Patrick O'Hanlon / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D., and John Larrivee, Ph.D.
A Cohort Analysis of Happiness
As the years progress and new generations are being acclimated to the world, do they find themselves happy? The purpose of this research is to answer this broad, and very vague, question to see how time affects the wellbeing of a society. To go about measuring happiness through time, I will employ an analysis between the two largest generational cohorts that have been born in America, the Baby Boomers, and the Millennials. The data being used comes from the General Social Survey (GSS), with a focus on the years of 1973 and 2004, since both generations were around early adulthood. As the question may seem just too broad to attempt to answer, this research will include measures on education, income, family life, and job satisfaction, as I, and many other researchers, have deemed these life factors as some of the most troublesome in terms of overall happiness. I expect to find a clear generational difference in happiness levels, along with other defining features highlighted that could conclude as to why one generation has been deemed happier than the other. If the outcome reveals that they are both equally as unhappy in all the above-mentioned aspects of life, then it will be concluded that our society has not changed for the good to ensure the overall wellbeing of its citizens, and therefore changes must be put into place.
Presenter: Keli Stewart / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.
Technology in the Aviation Industry
In my presentation "Technology in the Aviation Industry" I will be discussing how technology could be taking over flying and coming to replace humans in the flying business. Technology has been great for the aviation field however there are certain qualities that humans possess such as thinking and/or critical thinking that can not be obsolete in this industry. Then I will give important context of the airline industry as a whole to give people more of an understanding of it. After that, I will discuss the roles of piloting and flight attending and why it is important that humans are in more control of flight than automation is. Moreover, I will explain how technology has also enhanced our capabilities but also explain where technology lacks and give examples throughout flight history that automation has failed. Major questions for my presentation are how does what is true about us as humans control how we work/live/make decisions in the airline industry? To what extent has technology helped the industry and to what extent could it create problems for the industry. To what extent does being human matter in society and how do our assumptions of the human condition shape how we engage within this field. Wanting to fly commercially after college I believe this is a great project for me and I am excited to discuss why the human person is critical in this industry and how technology can help while explaining why it can never outdo/takeover human capabilities/capacities. I believe this presentation will flow very nicely and I will be able to give people much insight into why humanity has to be in control of the airline industry and why and where technology lacks. Major themes over my project will be but are not limited to materialism, personalism, industry, and what it means to be human and why it matters in this industry.
Presenter: Jackson Wood / Mentor: Layton Field, Ph.D.

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Faculty Presentations