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Department ofSociology

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Sociology Awards 2020

Angelica Navarro

Witold Krassowski Sociology Award Winner: Angelica Navarro

Paper Title: “The Impacts of Psychological Intimate Partner Violence and Street Harassment on U.S. Women’s Mental Health”

Brief Paper Description: This paper explores how experiences of psychological intimate partner violence (IPV) and experiences of street harassment affect U.S. women’s mental health, both in the short and long-term. Using a mixed-methods approach, a regression analysis of data from the 1995-96 National Violence Against Women Survey is supplemented with a content analysis of women’s responses to StopStreetHarassment’s open-ended section of a 2019 self-administered online survey investigating street harassment and age. This study explores in particular the multiplicity of voices and feelings that may be present in a single experience of street harassment.

Brief BIo: I am currently a senior graduating with degrees in Ethnic Studies and Sociology, and minors in History and Spanish. Throughout my years at SCU, I have been part of the SCU Wind Ensemble, worked on campus in Media Services, and been an active member of Campus Ministry where I led various retreats and participated in Misa en Español music ministry. During my last 2 years I worked as a Research Assistant for the Ethnic Studies department to track the apprehensions and deportations under the Trump administration that have disproportionately targeted Latinx communities, and am currently interning at the Northern California Innocence Project. I am very grateful for my Sociology education as it has given me the framework to understand and articulate my own experiences, and I have learned how social change must be historically informed and oriented towards dismantling inequitable structures. After graduation, I am looking to apply my education in community-based non profit work and supporting community-based solutions to inequities.

Juliana Barranti

Krassowski Sociology Award Honorable Mention Winner: Juliana Barranti

Brief Paper Description: This paper, "Child Well-Being: Impacts of Family Structure and Stability," explores the impact family structure and stability has on the mental well-being of children who have been involved with the child welfare system. Using a mixed-method design, analysis of secondary survey data from The Second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW II) was supplemented with a content analysis of blog posts written by youth who have come in contact with the foster care system.

Brief Bio: I graduated SCU in Winter 2020 with a degree in sociology and minor in urban education. My academics at Santa Clara have greatly enhanced my cultural awareness and broadened my understanding of the plethora of social problems that plague our world. Most importantly, however, I’ve learned how to analyze complex problems and think critically about possible solutions. Whether it be through education, social programs, policy, or research, there are ways to advocate for marginalized communities and create real social change. I am very thankful for SCU for helping me discover what I am most passionate about and know that because of my undergraduate education I am well prepared for my future academic and career endeavors. Looking forward, I hope to obtain a master’s degree in social work and become a child welfare social worker where I can dedicate myself to helping children suffering from abuse and neglect.

Award Description: Each year, sociology seniors can ask to have research papers they wrote in a sociology course considered for the Krassowski Award. A clean non-returnable review copy must be submitted with a letter of self-nomination. Nominations must be submitted by students to the Sociology Chair. The exemplary senior paper in sociology is designated by the faculty, and a cash award is granted. Submissions may also be eligible for an honorable mention, at the discretion of the faculty.


Andrea Peña

Sociology Academic Excellence Award Winner: Andrea Peña

Brief BIo: I am graduating with a double major in Ethnic Studies and Sociology with a minor in Spanish. Throughout my four years at SCU, I have worked to find home and community on campus. I am grateful to the Multicultural Center, SCU faculty, and my peers for cultivating a critical understanding of the world around me and for instilling in me a sense of radical hope. I am thankful to the Sociology department not only for creating a positive classroom experience, but also for caring for us as scholars and collaborators outside of the classroom. I am enthusiastic about my upcoming graduate program studying Social Sciences and Comparative Education at UCLA. I will take with me a depth and breadth of knowledge through a sociological lens.

Annalicia Anaya

Sociology Academic Excellence Award Winner: Annalicia Anaya

I graduated from SCU in Winter 2020 with a Sociology Major and double minor in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. In my time at SCU I was heavily involved with the Multicultural Center (MCC), serving as the Director my Junior year, the Youth Empowerment Program Director my Sophomore year, and as a volunteer Youth Empowerment Facilitator all four years. Additionally, I was a Research Assistant in the Environmental Studies and Sciences Department working with an interdisciplinary team to better understand food, water, and climate insecurity among smallholder farmers in Nicaragua. I am very thankful for my Sociology education because it has taught me to see the complex ways that social problems are influenced by structural inequalities and by legacies of racism. This was particularly helpful during both my internship with the International Rescue Committee and the International Institute of the Bay Area. With both of these organizations, I had the privilege of supporting immigrants and refugees to not only work towards their desired immigration status, but also to set them up for success in the US. Currently, I am looking for job opportunities in the nonprofit sector that will allow me to continue supporting my local community.

Sociology Academic Excellence Award Winner: Erika Rasmussen

Brief Bio: I am graduating with my Bachelors in English and Sociology this June, 2020. As a creative writer and journalist originally from Denver, Colorado, I am driven by a thirst to connect deeply and to love authentically. I devoted much of my undergraduate career to my love of words, serving as poetry editor for the university’s literary and arts magazine, the Santa Clara Review, and have enjoyed reporting on human interest pieces as well as arts and culture in Silicon Valley. I worked with alt-weekly newspaper Metro Silicon Valley for five months in 2019, and by analyzing it in a sociology internship course, was able to deepen my sociological perspective within the newsroom itself. Further practicing sociology in this setting, I completed a capstone in data analysis for alumni publication Santa Clara Magazine. All of these experiences and my time immersed in social science at SCU have prepared me to be a systemic and holistic sociological thinker in my writing. Because every life matters, every story matters, and I hope to bring passion and justice to any story I help to tell.

Award Description: This award recognizes academic excellence and is granted to the seniors with the highest sociology GPAs. The recipients are determined by the faculty of the Department of Sociology, and a cash award is granted.


Emma Hmelar

Sociology Alumni Service Award Winner: Emma Hmelar

Brief BIo: I graduated from Santa Clara in December of 2019, with a degree in Sociology and double minors in Music and Japanese. During my time at SCU, I interned at a local bay area non-profit that provides vocational resources for adults with disabilities. I completed two projects there, one in which I created a fully adaptable curriculum for a baking class and the second, my capstone, in which I designed and implemented a literacy and basic math skills assessment. The data from my assessment has been used by the organization to secure funding from local and statewide governments in order to improve the services they provide. I am now employed by the same non-profit, where I use my sociological background to improve programming, and provide resources to the greater Bay Area Community. I am honored to be granted this award, and I would like to thank my Professors for their constant encouragement and support!

JJ Burwell

Sociology Alumni Service Award Honorable Mention Winner: JJ Burwell

Brief Bio: I am a graduating senior with a sociology major and minors in ethnic studies and international business. On campus, I was involved with Residence Life first as a Community Facilitator, and this past year as an Assistant Resident Director. I was also an active member of the MCC and served as a Youth Empowerment Program facilitator, while participating in music ensembles such as SCLOrk (SCU Laptop Orchestra). I am grateful for the sociological analysis and research skills I have gained through the department; last summer, I am interned at a Bay Area early literacy non-profit called Tandem where I conducted focus groups and program evaluations. After graduation, I will continue my work at Fastly, a tech company in SF, as a Revenue Operations Specialist. I hope to continue learning about social inequalities and structures so I can address injustices at community levels.

Annalicia Anaya

Sociology Alumni Service Award Honorable Mention Winner: Annalicia Anaya

I graduated from SCU in Winter 2020 with a Sociology Major and double minor in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. In my time at SCU I was heavily involved with the Multicultural Center (MCC), serving as the Director my Junior year, the Youth Empowerment Program Director my Sophomore year, and as a volunteer Youth Empowerment Facilitator all four years. Additionally, I was a Research Assistant in the Environmental Studies and Sciences Department working with an interdisciplinary team to better understand food, water, and climate insecurity among smallholder farmers in Nicaragua. I am very thankful for my Sociology education because it has taught me to see the complex ways that social problems are influenced by structural inequalities and by legacies of racism. This was particularly helpful during both my internship with the International Rescue Committee and the International Institute of the Bay Area. With both of these organizations, I had the privilege of supporting immigrants and refugees to not only work towards their desired immigration status, but also to set them up for success in the US. Currently, I am looking for job opportunities in the nonprofit sector that will allow me to continue supporting my local community.

Award Description: In honor of our alumni, we award graduating seniors who have exemplary records of service or service-related research with the Sociology Alumni Service Award. The research must have taken place as part of a sociology course at Santa Clara University. To be considered for the award, students must submit a statement that describes the service provided or related research and its impact on the Sociology Chair by the first Friday of the spring quarter each year. The recipients are determined by the faculty of the Department of Sociology, and cash awards are granted.