Student researchers shine at Sociology and Political Science Poster Conferences

Students had the chance to show off their mentored research projects and win prizes in poster conferences held by the departments of political science and sociology during Fall Semester 2021.

The political science poster conference is held annually, with up to 100 participants each year, depending on the year.

“This is a great opportunity for students to present and receive feedback on the work they have done with faculty over the fall semester,” Jay Goodliffe, professor and chair of the political science department, says. “Creating and making the presentation is experiential learning for students, and the conference is an exhibition of the experiential learning in the department.”

The sociology poster conference was the first of its kind. Lance Erickson, associate professor of sociology remarked that the conference gave fall semester students an important chance to showcase their research, when in past years only winter semester students had that opportunity through the Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Student Research Conference held each year in April.

The poster conferences also provide opportunities for fellow students to ask their peers about the research process and get inspiration for future projects of their own.

The conferences were held Dec. 9 in the Wilkinson Student Center.

Sociology Poster Conference 2021 Awards

1st Place Winner:

Amber Ashby, “The Key to Maintaining Cognitive Functioning: The Relationship Between Word Recall, Subjective Well Being, and Education” with Lance Erickson as faculty mentor

2nd Place Winner:

Jaimi Mueller, “Community Experience and Bears Ears National Monument” with Michael Cope as faculty mentor

3rd Place Winner:

Jordan Coburn, Hannah Dixon, Morgan Duffy, Brianna Moodie, and Taylor Topham, “Classrooms and COVID: Experiences with Pandemic-Related Online Learning among BYU Students, 2020 vs. 2021” with Carol Ward as faculty mentor

Political Science Poster Conference 2021 Awards

1st Place Overall Winner:

Ashlan Gruwell, “Evangelical Protestants: Friend or Foe?” Awarded $300

2nd Place Overall Winner:

Madison Sinclair Johnson, “Tried and Prejudice: Using Hate Crime Sentencings to Disprove the Rise of Right-Wing Terrorism in the United States” Awarded $250

3rd Place Overall Winner:

David Clove and Abigail Ryan, “Be Thou Sexist? Hostile & Benevolent Sexism Among Latter-day Saints” Awarded $200

Ashlan Gruwell presents her research at the 2021 poster conference for political science (Aaron Barnes )

Subfield Winners

Awarded $150 each

Best comparative paper: Elliana Pastrano, “How do Emigration Rates Affect the Democracy Score of the Home Country?”
Best IR paper: Peyton Lykins, “Tanks and Missiles: The Only Counterterrorism Strategy?”
Best American paper: Kelsey Eyre, Jordan Gygi, and Kesley Townsend, “To Guide Us in These Latter-days: When partisans disagree with the Church’s guidance”
Best Race and Ethnicity Paper: Suzy Yi, “Intersectional Constituents: How Minority Elected Officials Respond to Minority Constituents”
Note: There were no theory posters.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Grant Baldwin & Chris Vazquez, “Ideologues in the Political Pipeline: Measuring the Ambition of Local Elected Officials” 
  • Kesley Townsend, “Are Supreme Court Decisions Congruent with Public Opinion on Campaign Finance” 
  • Jeremy Pratt, Clara Cullen, and Hannah Forsyth, “Polarization Through a Generational Lens” 
  • Elle Diether, Megan Cann, and McKell McIntyre, “Does Clothing Make the Candidate? Identifying the Impact of Traditional Immigrant Clothing on Elections” 
  • Abby Woodfield, Morgan Rushforth, Meg Price, and Sam Ames,“The Failure Effect: Gender and Benevolence in Sports” 

Read about the Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Student Research Conference.