2014 Honors Theses

Beatrice Abraham (below) wrote an honors thesis was titled "'Refugee Resettlement in St. Louis: The Social Impacts of Resettlement Through the Eyes of St. Louis' Local Non-Profit Organizations.' Saint Louis has a long history of hosting refugees from around the world including from Vietnam, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Nepal. Beatrice's project examined the social impact of influx of refugees on St. Louis. This was done by examining the role of non-profit organizations that aid in resettlement and how their role has changed with the changing demographics of incoming refugees since the 1990s. In-person interviews with employees from six local non-profit organizations were conducted and data analysis from the interviews is expected to highlight the challenges and changes these social service providers have faced over the past 20 years." Beatrice is shown with her mentor, Dr. Jason Windett.


Kirstin Palovick (below) titled her honors thesis 'The Impact of Identity formation, Cultural, and Political Conditions on Open LGBT Representation in State Government.' This research examined the impact of identity formation, cultural, and political factors predicting the election of openly LGBT state legislators. Kirstin argued that an individual's prior experiences, as well as the contextual indicators of their environment, concerning LGBT individuals or rights can impact their political attitudes and, in turn, influence their political behavior. She demonstrated this relationship through a quantitative analysis to gauge the connection between the previously listed factors and openly LGBT representation. She also utilized a qualitative analysis of the different methods that states have utilized to legalize same-sex marriage and how this impacts openly LGBT representation." Kirstin is shown with her faculty mentor, Dr. Jason Windett.


Kalina Kutriansky wrote an honors thesis on "The Influence of Gender and Issues on Electoral Behavior and Congressional Campaigns." Prospective voters respond to a variety of factors, including issue availability and heuristic codes. By manipulating the gender and issue platforms of hypothetical candidates in a survey experiment, Kalina examined the relationship between gender (both respondent and candidate) and issue-type ("easy" or "hard"). Specifically, she examined the extent to which voters employ heuristic gender cues as a response to issue-type: whether voters make inferences about a candidate's competence on issues as a result of gender stereotypes tied to the issue-type highlighted by the candidate. Her mentor was Dr. Jason Windett.

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