Sociology paper by Alondra Castillo ’23 places second in statewide competition

Alondra Castillo ’23, a sociology and Spanish major from Northlake, Illinois, has placed second in the Wisconsin Sociological Association’s undergraduate student paper competition.

She won for her Senior Seminar paper from last spring, “Building Community in Gendered Ways in College Basketball.” Her research is based on participant observation of two collegiate basketball teams, as well as semi-structured interviews with players and coaches. Her work shows how players and coaches build community in gendered ways.

Professor of Sociology Jacqueline Clark served as her faculty advisor. “Alondra’s paper stood out because it was based on first-hand data collection, was well-written and represented original qualitative data analysis,” Clark says.

Clark says more than 10 students from Ripon have placed in this competition since 2012. “Ripon students have done well in this competition because all students in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology complete a qualitative research project for the Senior Seminar class. Typically, students do participant observation research, conduct semi-structured interviews and complete an original research project based on this data collection process

“This is an experience that is not very common for most undergraduate sociology programs. And our students have polished papers that they can submit to undergraduate paper competitions, like the Wisconsin Sociological Association’s one, upon completion of the Senior Seminar class.”


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