2021 Paper Competition Winners

Undergraduate Paper Competition Winners

First Place: Alessandra Ahlmen, Colorado College
Paper Title: “The World is Stopped, but We Keep Going: Nurses’ Processes of Emotional Labor During the SARS-COVID19 Pandemic”

“Nursing within a pandemic context has been seldom studied. Past studies have concluded that, in ordinary times, nursing requires a substantial amount of emotional labor. Using qualitative, semi-structured interviews of nurses working during the CoVID pandemic, I conclud that the nurses perform a different version of emotional labor than what has been conceptualized in past literature. In this process of emotional labor, the suppression of feelings forms the main action
that is taken to meet external expectations that include a healthcare worker’s duty to care. Further research should examine the duty to care in additional populations of healthcare workers including doctors and CNAs and analyze its role in those populations’ performance of emotional labor at work.”

Second Place: Charlotte Matthews, Georgetown University
Paper Title: “Fertility Day 2016: the Cultural Construction of Italian Fertility Marketing Campaigns”

“In an effort to boost fertility, the Italian Health Ministry launched a marketing campaign called “Fertility Day” in 2016 that spurred a multitude of negative responses. My thesis examines the implicit and explicit cultural repertoires that Italian journalists have used to frame their reactions to the Fertility Day campaign. Ultimately, my research seeks to expand conversations of maternal health, and provide a link for how interconnected structures of sexism, racism, and classism are coded within Italian fertility politics.”


Third Place: Abigail Williams, Colorado College
Paper Title: “Street Perspectives: How Street Roots Vendors are (Re)Creating the City of Portland”

“Due to the steadily increasing rate of unsheltered homelessness in Portland, Oregon, the city has declared a homelessness state of emergency. However, often missing from discussions of homelessness in Portland is input from people with lived experience of homelessness. An alternative media source that prioritizes the experiences and insights of unhoused people is Portland’s street newspaper—Street Roots—sold by and for vendors experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty. This study is a qualitative analysis of the advocacy role of Street Roots vendors in the city. It reveals the ways Street Roots vendors resist exclusion and create spaces of representation in the city.”

Graduate Paper Competition Winners

First Place: Michelle Williams, University of Montana
Paper Title: “‘Its Own Little City’: Customer Service in Truck Stops”

“My paper is based on the research I conducted for my master’s thesis at the University of Montana. It details the ethnographic and interview data that I collected at truck stops across Montana. This research was conducted during the summer and fall of 2020, so my data contain many interactions surrounding COVID-19, mask mandates, and political events like Black Lives Matter protests and the presidential election. Additionally, I examine the gendered and classed nature of interactions between employees and customers truck stops in both rural and urban Montana.”


Second Place: Ayrlia Welch, Ball State University
Paper Title: “The Link Between Collegiality and Job Satisfaction Among Faculty: Exploring Variation Across Race, Gender, and Rank”

“This paper explores how different members of the university community (i.e., ranks of faculty) define collegiality, whether collegiality significantly influences job satisfaction, and whether there is variation across race, gender, and faculty rank in relation to this trend. By determining how different faculty define collegiality, and what constitutes a collegial department, we can further understand if increased collegiality leads to increased work satisfaction and the impact it has on academic success for non-tenured faculty and women and racial and ethnic minorities.”


Third Place: Belal Hossain, Oklahoma State University
Paper Title: “Gender Differences in Hypertension: A Context of Groundwater Salinity and Climate Change in Coastal Bangladesh”

“Previous studies have reported a greater prevalence of hypertension among people living in coastal areas of Bangladesh, largely related to climate-induced water salinity. However, little is known about how socially vulnerable groups, particularly women, disproportionately shoulder health burdens of salinity such as hypertension. Using data from the World Bank’s ‘Poverty and Groundwater Salinity Survey, 2016’ with a sample of 4,401 individuals and 1497 households in three Upazilas (Sub-District) of coastal Bangladesh, I employed multilevel logistic regression to examine gender differences in self-reported hypertension, net of other socio-demographic characteristics. Results reveal that women had higher odds of hypertension than men and that the protective role of education is stronger for women than for men, suggesting that observed gender disparities in hypertension can be mitigated through adequate social resources for women such as access to educational resources. This research highlights the importance of addressing gendered social vulnerability, the reduction of which, through social protections and the transformation of gender norms, must be integral to social policies for community resilience of coastal population.”