Sociology students selected for ASA Honors Program in Montreal

When the American Sociological Association (ASA) convenes its 112th annual meeting in Montreal this August, The University of Maine will be well represented. Juniors Alli DellaMattera, Julianna Ferguson, and Sam Saucier have all been selected into the ASA Honors Program and will be presenting research projects at the annual meeting.

“The ASA Honors Program is one of the best academic experiences an undergraduate student can have,” says Interim Chair of Sociology Steven Barkan.

Competitively selected from across the nation, the ASA Honors Program brings sociology students to the annual meeting to participate in a range of activities, including the presentation of research projects in a roundtable setting. This year all three of UMaine’s applicants were accepted into the program based on the quality of their research projects.

The Department of Sociology at UMaine prides itself on the opportunities for deep research it provides for undergraduate students. Sociology majors assist faculty with research projects, participate in internships and service projects, as well as complete their own independent research projects.

Alli DellaMattera, a Sociology and Spanish double major and Honors College student, worked with Professor Barkan on an independent study looking at family influence on problem drinking amongst young adults, which she will present in Montreal.

From Belfast, Maine, DellaMattera appreciates the many opportunities she’s found at UMaine to develop her interests. On top of her research, DellaMattera has interned for a psychiatrist, taught English in Mexico for the last two summers – and will be returning this summer, too – and participated in alternative spring break where she worked in a homeless shelter in New York.

Julianna Ferguson’s research project, which she also worked on through an independent study with Barkan, focuses on adverse childhood experiences and the predictors of juvenile violence. A Sociology major from Massachusetts with minors in Spanish and Political Science, as well as a UMaine softball player, Ferguson’s interest in crime and law began with her father, who is a DEA agent, and was further developed through an internship last summer with the Secret Service in Boston, an experience she’s not allowed to talk about.

Ferguson is looking forward to another internship this summer with the crime intelligence unit of the Boston Police Department.

Sam Saucier, from Saco, Maine, will be presenting her research on the social constructs learned through consuming pornography. A double major in Sociology and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and an Honors College student, Saucier’s project encapsulates her Honor’s thesis and the research she’s done in her majors.

Saucier’s research also reflects her activist work on campus where she is the President of the Student Alliance of Sexual Health (SASH) and the Co-Chair of the Student Women’s Association. She is also involved in the campaign to bring back the Women’s Resource Center.

If you would like to learn more about these research projects, all three students will be presenting their research at the Student Research Symposium at the Cross Insurance Center, April 24.