Honors Thesis Contest

Honors Thesis Contest

Each year, CSI holds a contest for the Best Honors Thesis on an inequality-related topic. All seniors completing the Minor in Inequality Studies and writing an honors thesis in their home departments are eligible to apply. The undergraduate thesis competition has three award categories:

Best Honors Thesis on Inequality

Best Honors Thesis on Racial Inequality

Best Honors Thesis on Health Equity

To be eligible for the first award, your thesis should address the causes, patterns, or consequences of inequalities in economic, social, or political resources. To be eligible for the second award, your thesis must focus on racial or ethnic inequalities, alone or in combination with other sources of social difference or social identities (e.g., social or economic class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, dis/ability, citizenship status, urban or rural background, etc). For the third award, your thesis should explore the social causes and consequences of inequalities in life expectancy, health outcomes, health-promoting behaviors, and/or access to health care.

This award competition is open to any undergraduate Minor in Inequality Studies, from any major or college at Cornell. When you submit your thesis, please indicate for which award(s) you would like it to be considered. You may submit to all three award categories. The deadline for submissions in 2024 is May 20, 2024. Please email submissions to inequality@cornell.edu and feel free to contact us for more details!

2022 Winners

First Prize

Best General Inequality Thesis

Catherine Zhang, Sociology & Computer Science '22
“The Social Construction of Career Aspirations Among Cornell Undergraduates”

Best Inequality Thesis on Racial Inequality

Alexandra Gibbons, Sociology ‘22
“Place, Race, and Punishment: A Spatial Analysis of Incarceration in New York State”

Conor Hodges, Government, History, American Studies, & College Scholar Program '21
“An Equal Threat at Home: Defense Intellectuals, the Urban Crisis, and the Cold War Origins of the Criminal Justice System”

Honorable Mention

Yu An Chen, Industrial and Labor Relations '22
“Shop Talk, Mobilization, and Protest: Chinese Garment Workers’ Everyday Sites of Resistance and Kinship in Manhattan Chinatown”

Past Winners

First Prize

Kamla Arshad, Psychology '21
“Choking Under Pressure: The Impact of the 'Model Minority' Stereotype on Stress, Working Memory and Test Performance”

Arielle Clement, Industrial and Labor Relations '21
“A Masterclass in Performative Diversity: A Critique of Policing Diversity Initiatives in Response to the Endemic Nature of Police Brutality”

Emily Eagleton, Psychology & Sociology '21
“Parallel Societies: How Homogeneity and the Labor Market Influenced Criminal Justice Policy in Denmark”

Manavii Kumar, Biology and Society '21
“Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Mortality: The Role of Social Context”

Emily Levin, Development Sociology '21
“10,000 Francs Up Front: Documenting Women's Barriers to Health Care Access in Cameroon"

Hannah Marks, College Scholar, Sociology & Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies '21
“The Social Implications of Biotechnology: A Case Study of the Development of the Male Pill and the Effect of Social Attitudes”

Benjamin Fields, Global and Public Health Sciences & Development Sociology '20
“Black Students in the Ivy League: Evidence of the Double Consciousness”

Hannah Hyams, Industrial and Labor Relations ’20
“Toward a More Equitable World of Work: Analyzing the Implications of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Religious-Based Protections Under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act”

Luz Martes, Economics & Sociology ’20
“Dare to Dream? A Qualitative Analysis on the Impact of Mothers' Marital Status on Occupational Aspirations”

Carúmey R. Stevens, Human Development ’19
“Exploring Ethnic Identity as a Psychological Resource for First-Year College Students Experiencing Social Anxiety”

Ruby Bafu, Sociology ’18
“It’s Never Just Hair: Pelo Melo and the Modern Racialization of Black Women’s Natural Hair in the Dominican Republic and the United States”

Morgan Palmiter, Government ’18
“The Reinvention of an Age-Old Truth: An Analysis of Discriminatory State Policies after Shelby County v. Holder.”

Beatriz Barros, Sociology & Government ’17
“Mind the Gap: A Study of Inequality in Public Transportation Access in Baltimore City, Maryland”

Emma Korolik, Sociology & English ’17
“When Diverse College Classes Fall Short Social Class Diversity: Examining the Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Students’ Choice of Undergraduate Major”

Michael Sun, College Scholar ’16
“The Cultural Hegemony of Finance Capital: Implications for Financial Reform in the Twenty-First Century”

Samantha Wilhelm, Government ’16
“Is the Roberts Court-ing Business? Class Action in the Wake of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes”

Jessica Barragan, Sociology & Government ‘15
“Hispanic Disadvantage In Criminal Jury Trials: A Multi-Method Study of Juror Bias Against Hispanic Defendants in Four Urban Counties”

Zoe Otedola, Sociology ‘15
“The Impact of Aspirations on Educational Attainment”

Dominique Corley, Sociology & Linguistics ‘14
“Sounding Guilty: African American English and Racial Inequality in the Courtroom”

Fiona McCabe, Sociology ‘14
“Persisting Educational Inequality in a College for All Era: Aspirational Fulfillment of Community College Students”

Patrick Nowak, Government & College Scholars Program ‘14
“Group Positioning and Racialized Drug Policy: The Association of African Americans with Drug Use and Its Implications for United States Drug Law Enforcement”

Kayla Richards, English ‘13
“The Role of Legal Consciousness: A Study of Law through the Experiences and Perceptions of Real and Fictional Everyday Citizens”

Honorable Mention

Natalie Lilien, Industrial and Labor Relations '21
“Neuroqueer at Work: Unpacking the Workplace Experiences of Neurodivergent, LGBTQIA+ Individuals”

Martina Lopez May, Health Care Policy '21
“The Disparities in the Changes in Health Care Usage During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Sophie Partington, Sociology & French '21
“Cornell During Covid-19: An Examination of Student Enrollment and Experience in Fall 2020 by Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status”

Rachel Chiu, Industrial and Labor Relations ’19
“Understanding Sexual Harassment in Early-Stage Startups and Small Nonprofits”

Karen Monique Loya, Sociology ’19
“A Feminist Analysis of Title IX Enforcement Against Campus Sexual Violence”

Lala Xu, Economics ’18
“The Effect of Race and Gender in Risk Assessment Algorithms”

Caroline Markowitz, Government ’18
“A Feminist Analysis of Title IX Enforcement Against Campus Sexual Violence”

Alize Hill, Human Development ’18
“The Context of Race in the Perceptual-Response to Fear and Anger”

Kennedi Williams-Libert, Sociology & Government ’17
“Still Linked? Afro-Carribean Immigrants and the Politics of Incorporation”

Marc Masson, ILR ’17
“The Labor Market Integration of Asylum Seekers in France: An Economic and Social Argument”

Yooha Park, Sociology ’17
“Examining the Contribution of Different Social Relationships to Immigrant Health Inequalities in the United States”

Jocelyn Lee, Biology & Society ’16
“Decentralizing Forest Management and Addressing a ‘Historic Injustice’ in India: Implementation Trends of the Forest Rights Act”

Jingyi Li, Sociology ’16
“The Effects of Neighborhood Context on Life Satisfaction: A Comparative Study of Racial and Ethnic Groups in the United States”

Shivali Haribhakti, Industrial and Labor Relations ‘14
“The Invisible Workforce”

Jana Wilbricht, Communication & Development Sociology ‘14
“Bridging the Digital Divide: Access and Use of Internet and Mobile Technology for Health Information among Hopi Indians”