Two Department of Sociology students took part in presenting research for the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies’ Science with Practice poster presentation on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 in the Kildee Hall Atrium.
Science with Practice is a program the provides experiential learning and work experience to students who have an agricultural focus in their studies. Students gain skills in data collection, research procedures, written and oral communication, human resource management, teaching and critical analysis. One requirement of the program is participating in the presentation of research at the end of the semester.
Katie Stringer (’19 sociology) and Alexis Freund (’20 agricultural business and agriculture & society) each presented posters at the event under the mentorship of Carmen Bain, associate professor of sociology.
Stringer’s poster, “Soc 350X: Women in Agriculture and Food System Teaching Assistance,” addressed her work as a teaching assistant for one of Bain’s courses.
“The course Soc 350X uses a sociological framework to examine gender inequity in agriculture,” said Stringer. “Working as a teaching assistant for the class allowed me to view the work of a social scientist firsthand and develop an understanding of the issues associated with women in agriculture. ”
For the next portion of her work in the Science with Practice program, Stringer conduct an independent project concerning gender and gender inequality in Uganda.
Freund’s poster, “Identifying Gaps in Public Trust and Governance in Gene-Edited Foods,” explored sociological research associated with the governance of gene-edited foods.
Both students have gained valuable skills from their projects, particularly related to sociological methods.
“I have been able to develop my sociological skills such as using the sociological lens, keeping an accurate record of my tasks so it can be replicated and patience,” said Freund.
But the program has provided more than a boost in research skills to the students.
“Conducting undergraduate research allowed me to develop my professional communication, writing and editing skills, as well as knowledge of the issues surrounding women in agriculture.”
Freund and Stringer both felt that the program was an excellent opportunity for them, and was made possible by their on-campus support networks.
“The [Department of Sociology] and Dr. Carmen Bain have been instrumental to my success throughout the semester. Dr. Bain provided me with excellent feedback and was a delight to work with,” Stringer explained. “I have gained a large network and knowledge of research methods throughout the semester that would not have been possible without their support.”