This summer, 2019 Chapman graduate Aidan Jones presented his undergraduate research at the 2nd World Congress on Undergraduate Research in Oldenburg, Germany, the American Men’s Studies Association Annual Conference in Manitoba, Canada, and then at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference in New York, NY .
One of two winners of Wilkinson College’s Sociology Award for Academic Excellence, Jones’ undergraduate research has included evaluating stereotypes in Disney soundtracks and exploring how vegan men (sometimes referred to as “soy boys”) challenge traditional notions of masculinity.
Before coming to Chapman, Jones had not expected to become so involved in research. However, during the first semester of his freshman year, he took a class titled “Disney: Gender, Race, and Religion” with Dr. Julye Bidmead, now the director of CUE. This class required him to present at the Student Scholar Symposium. Jones considered this event a very “impactful experience,” that kick-started his love for sociology and research. Since then, Jones has presented at five additional conferences around the world, including another Student Scholar Symposium in his last semester.
“CUE has allowed me to go to many of these conferences,” said Jones.
“They have also supported my career by helping me apply for fellowships and scholarships.”
Jones is especially thankful for the CUE’s support to go to Oldenburg, Germany, to present at the 2nd annual World Congress on Undergraduate Research (CUR). The World CUR brings together the world’s best researchers from undergraduate to post-doctoral level to discuss the most significant challenges our society faces. Jones said he was “a little nervous” to present at such a large conference, but was quickly encouraged by the large turnout to his presentation.
“It turned out to be the most fluent and engaging presentation I’ve given so far,” said Jones.
Presenting undergraduate research has helped Jones develop the communication skills and confidence to pursue a career in research going forward. However, according to Jones, what has been most meaningful is how sharing research has helped him connect with others and grow as a person.
“I have not been the best at small-talk… But because we are all interested in the same activity, research, it is easier to approach people,” said Aidan.
“I made friends from countries all around the world thanks to these conferences.”
Are you looking to incorporate research into your undergraduate experience at Chapman? The Center for Undergraduate Excellence has a variety of resources to help you along, including presenting at the Student Scholar Symposium, as well as undergraduate travel grants. Check us out on Facebook, and stop by our office on 415 E. Walnut for more information!