May 21, 2024

As seniors enter into the home stretch of their time at Wittenberg, they begin presenting their senior theses. The sociology department kicked off the Class of 2018 presentations with four panels spanning Wednesday and Thursday.

To start off, four young women presented on gender related issues labled “Constructing Gender: Experiences and Representation of Women.” This panel covered issues overseas as well as here at home.

Annie Fort kicked off the first panel with a presentation on HIV in Zambia which focused around gender roles and how these roles impact the spread of HIV. Fort found that the key to helping solve the epedimic of HIV is to break stigma surrounding sexual education and condom usage within Zambia.

Next, Emily Parsons brought gender issues back home with her presentation on domestic violence. Parsons used information from Project Woman to answer the question of why women stay with their abusers. Her proposed solution was increasing community support systems for women involved in domestic violence.

At the end of this panel, Emmy Higgins looked into LBGTQ issues in her thesis “Coming out of the Closet in Primetime Television.” Higgins found that coming out is still portrayed in popular television shows. In her presentation, she addressed the problematic portrayal of coming out for women and how we should move forward.

Next, a panel focused on education issues took place with a particular focus on academic issues. Lizzie McNeil kicked off this presentation addressing the effects of art programming in her thesis “Providers’ Perspectives on the Purpose and Impact of Art Therapy Among Vulnerable Populations.” She explained how art programs form a safe space that provides an emotional outlet.

Next, Yvonne Baker discussed mental health on campus in her thesis “Faculty Perceptions of Student Mental Health.” Baker found that professors here at Wittenberg acknowledge the persistence of mental health issues among students, yet, they are at a loss at times to provide adequate resources to students.

Catilin Cahoon wrapped up the panel with “The Path to College: Barriers to Higher Education and the Role of the School Counselor.”

The third panel focused on crime. David Still, Alyssa Watkins and Katherine Watkins presented in this panel. The topics covered ranged from Police Brutality to School Shootings.

Lastly, culture was addressed in a final panel on Thursday morning. Seniors Kayla Beidelschies, Donna Hill, Daniel Murray and Kathyrn Ophardt presented in this panel.


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