Sociology & Criminology Department University of North Carolina Wilmington Congratulations Class of 2020

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Chair's Welcoming Remarks

Congratulations graduates!!

You will be officially honored in August, but for now we would like to take this opportunity to recognize all graduates and to highlight some special achievements. Speaking of achievements, finishing this semester was an achievement for all of us, but especially for you. Your last semester at university is not supposed to end like this; however, it is my hope that you will turn this experience and all of your experiences at UNCW into something positive and productive.

Remember that sociology is about understanding why people do what they do. It’s not the only discipline that does that, but we think it has a unique perspective in answering questions about why people make certain choices. The challenge for those studying sociology is to manage to think in both an astonished and disconcerted way about things you thought you had always understood. There is no better time for doing that than now.

Criminology is a discipline whose roots are in sociology, but now span a number of fields, including psychology, economics, biology and criminal justice and legal studies. The classic description of criminology is that it is the study of lawmaking, lawbreaking and societal reactions to lawbreaking. Those studying criminology also seek to understand why people do what they do, so it very much fits with the challenge of sociology mentioned above.

To all of those watching -- each of the graduates honored in this presentation has completed a program of study required for a major in either sociology or criminology—or perhaps both. They have successfully earned either the degree of Master of Arts, or Bachelor of Arts, in sociology or criminology.

Congratulations once again to all of our graduates! We hope to see you in August, but in any case, please send us a line when you have a chance.

Dr. Mike Maume

Chair and Professor, Sociology & Criminology

Student Awards

Criminology Academic Excellence

Cole River Gray

Criminology Student of the Year

Lindsay Jean Baker

Sociology Academic Excellence

Andrea Marie Stomski

John H. Scalf, Jr. Sociology

Stephanie De Leon

Keely Geyer Latterner Graduate Student Award

Joseph Marshall Brown

Master of Arts

Joseph Marshall Brown

Robyn Alexis Brown

Summer Rose Byrd

Samantha Leigh Durham

Amanda Rose Elliott

Ashley Nicole Parsons

Joseph Marshall Brown, M.A. Sociology

Thesis Title: Ayahuasca in the Market: A Comparison of Consumption in Different Cultural Contexts

Summary: This research investigates the effect of cultural context on the meaning of commodities and consumption. Through interviews and participant observation, the meaning of ayahuasca among consumers and hosts in ayahuasca retreats is compared in two different cultural contexts, the Peruvian Amazon and the United States. Findings show that in Peru, authenticity around tradition and the Amazonian context provides the most salient meaning for ayahuasca. In contrast, the United States retreat exhibits a balance between authenticity and the process of rationalization. That is, in the United States, authenticity is “traded” for standardization, credentialism, safety, and a therapeutic approach to ayahuasca. These findings suggest that cultural context does indeed shape the meaning of ayahuasca. However, the influence of cultural context and the boundaries (East/West and domestic/foreign) associated with its analysis, are complicated by the influence of media on consumers as well as the marketing of ayahuasca retreats.

Chair: Dr. Christopher Shane Elliot

Robyn Alexis Brown, M.A. Criminology

Thesis title: Student Interactions with School-Based Law Enforcement

Summary: In recent decades, law enforcement officers have increased in schools throughout the United States. Although recent research has begun to investigate student-to-officer interactions in schools, the perceptions of students have largely been absent from this work. Considering this gap in the literature, this research sought to explore the nature of student interactions with law enforcement officers in their schools as well as the consequences of these interactions within a lens of school climate. The current research draws from 21 semi-structured interviews with UNCW first-year college students while using a grounded theory methodology. Findings focus on the dichotomy of interactions that appeared, which consisted of direct and indirect interactions. Consequences that arose from interacting with police officers in schools included perceptions of police, feelings of safety, wariness and guilt, and use-value. Considering the literature on the school-to-prison pipeline and its focus on the experiences of students of color, the students of color and their discussions are highlighted within this study. These findings have implications for school climate and the growing trend of law enforcement in public schools.

Thesis Chair: Dr. Ethan Higgins

Sommer Rose Byrd, M.A. Criminology

Thesis Title: Gentrification and Crime in Wilmington, North Carolina

Summary: The term gentrification refers to the reverse migration of the middle class into inexpensive housing, causing widespread displacement of lower socioeconomic individuals (Covington & Taylor, 1989; Van Wilsem, Wittebrood, & De Graaf, 2006; Kreager, Lyons, & Hayes; 2011). There are numerous effects of gentrification, one of them being either increasing or decreasing crime (Covington & Taylor, 1989; Van Wilsem et al., 2006; Kreager et al., 2011). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between gentrification and crime counts in Wilmington, North Carolina. This study followed a theoretical integration of social disorganization and routine activities theory used by Jones and Pridemore (2019). Two hypotheses were investigated: 1) there is a negative relationship between gentrification and crime counts, and 2) there is a negative relationship between gentrification and crime counts when integrating social disorganization and routine activities theory. Data was compiled from two sources to test the hypotheses. The crime data was received from the Wilmington Police Department’s STING Center, which was then aggregated with U.S. Census data on Wilmington’s block groups for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012. In order to conduct the analysis, this study used negative binomial regression models. The results supported both hypotheses and indicated that gentrification tentatively decreases crime counts in census block groups.

Chair: Dr. Meghan L. Rogers

Samantha Leigh Durham, M.A. Sociology

Thesis Title: One Nation, United in Debt: A Study of Student Loan Debt

Summary: Student loan debt is a familiar experience to most Americans. Many are aware of the cost of a college degree. In 2015-2016 school year, those who borrowed both federal and nonfederal loans owed an estimated $30,300 for a 4-year program (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). Despite the increasing cost of a college education however, the number of people attending college remains at an all-time high. This is important as many rely on educational attainment to benefit them in the job market and in many other areas of life. Yet, student debt has also been shown to adversely impact the number of people saving for retirement and homeownership, two of the primary assets leading to wealth accumulation. Thus, the following proposal seeks to examine if student loan debt produces social mobility (the ability of an individual to move between social strata in society) or social reproduction (the tendencies for social inequality to be transferred from one generation to the next). Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews, those with bachelors and associate degrees along with those with some college education from 2000 to 2017 will describe their experiences with educational debt and how their debt has impacted them since graduating college or leaving higher education.

Chair: Dr. Daniel Buffington

Amanda Rose Elliott, M. A. Criminology

Thesis Title: Ambiguous Enforcement: The Causes and Consequences of Role Ambiguity among Probation and Parole Officers in North Carolina

Summary: Over the past several years there has been a shift in the criminal justice system: one that emphasizes reform, diversion, and decarceration. Probation and parole officers are an essential component in achieving these goals. However, community supervision continues to be the least visible and understood part of the criminal justice system. In order to further understand how these officers experience and cope with the demands of their job, in depth interviews were conducted with probation and parole officers working in North Carolina. It is from these interviews that a grounded theory of Ambiguous Enforcement was developed. This theory details why the role of the probation and parole officer is highly ambiguous, and what consequences this ambiguity has for officers both on and off the job. These findings indicate that the role orientation of probation and parole officers is fluid, and therefore officers are not unified in their definitions of their role and functions. Until officers can come to a consensus, the overarching goals of the criminal justice system are not likely to be achieved.

Chair: Jacob Day

Ashley Nicole Parsons, M.A. Criminology

Thesis Title: Practicing Restorative Justice in Schools

Summary: This research explored the process of transitioning to a whole school restorative model in a low-income, majority minority school in an urban area of the southeast United States, and the components involved in the transition. Shifting to a whole school model is an intensive, multi-tiered process that takes 4-5 years to complete and requires a change to the culture of a school. How this process occurs, and the effect that it has on students, especially low-income kids of color, needs further exploration. What restorative policies emerge at this school? What resources for restorative practices do they have access to and avail themselves of? Lastly, how are restorative practices being used with the students and did they seem to differ based on gender and/or race?

Chair: Dr. Kim Cook

Bachelor of Arts

Robert Austin Bagley

Lindsay Jean Baker

Taylor Christine Ballard

Bethany Blair Barbee

Kristopher Douglas Beavers

Garrett Anthony Bortnick

Mitchell Morgan Brady

Lindsay Gray Brookshire

Andrew Thomas Brown

Alec William Burleson

Rachel Leigh Byrd

Addison Brooke Caviness

Leslie Marie Centola

Chloe Beth Childers

Delaney Clark

Cassidy Lynn Coates

Craig S Connelly

Thomas Graham Copeland

Emily Renee Crumpler

Hailey Nichole Daniels

Breanna Elizabeth Davis

Paul Edward De Bernardo

Irvin De La Paz Arellano

Stephanie De Leon

Sarah Marie Dobos

Kiala Rose Dyer

Nicolette Ferriolo

Jake Edward French

Winston Caleb Gladfelter

Lauren Samantha Gliot

Tania Gabriela Granados Gasca

Cole River Gray

James Hunter Green

Katelyn Brooks Greene

Meghan Christina Haigler

Lorelei Michelle Haley

Hannah Caroline Hartnett

Victoria Edna Hayes

Fulton Hill

Stephanie Marie Horan

Lauren Nicole Iammatteo

Samantha Lynn Joyce

Taylor Cierra Kalb

Mary Lynne Kanir

Kayla Jean Keiser

Jenny Klamm

Then Ksor

Ronniece Porsha Larkin

Michael Glen Lawrence

Haley Elizabeth Lewis

Tara Paige Luczak

Megan Ruth Maryott

Anna Elizabeth McKnight

Zachary Ryan Mcconnell

Caylee Elizabeth Middleton

Tori Ann Morgan

Jack Heiland Muller

Glenn William Bunting Navarro

Kaley Nichol Neal

Nhi Selena Ngo

Alexis Grace Nield

Sabrina Yoko Ortiz

Anna Grace G Passalino

Cayse Perry

Sarah Hunter Peruso

Devin Grace Pilkington

Rebecca Lynn Porter

Ashley Nicole Rademacher

Jack Graham Resnick

Samantha Rose Sasser

Leigh Scott

Chase Christian Smith

Amber Nicole Sowell

Sydney R Stilwell

Kelsie Viorica Tegrar

Emily Carol Thompson

Olivia Thorson

Aliza Rose Tomkoski

Colby Thomas Torbett

Arianna Tea Triantis

Andrea Marie Vermilyea

Nicholas Wade

Meghan Marie Whitecavage

Jacob Liam Wolf

Amanda Rose Elliott
Tori Ann Morgan
Joseph Marshall Brown
Amber Nicole Sowell
Taken in London, England on the London Eye during the UNCW SOC/CRM Spring Break study abroad in spring 2019! Mitchell Morgan Brady
Sommer Rose Byrd
Ashley Nicole Rademacher
Lauren Samantha Gliot
Study Abroad, Lexie Nield
Mary Lynne Kanir
Breanna Elizabeth Davis

Sociology and Criminology Faculty

Dr. Mike Adams, Dr. Shawn Bingham, Ms. Babette Boyd, J.D., Dr. Daniel Buffington, Mr. Felix Brooks, Dr. Susan Bullers, Ms. Kathleen Canning-Mello, Dr. Kimberly Cook, Mr. Mitchell Cunningham, Mr. Richard Davis, Dr. Jacob Day, Dr. Kristen DeVall, Dr. Shane Elliott, Ms. Casey Errante, Dr. Timothy Gill, Ms. Kristen Godwin, Dr. Ethan Higgins, Dr. Donna King, Dr. Randy LaGrange, Dr. Christina Lanier, Dr. Mike Maume, Dr. Kenneth Mentor, Dr. Erin Michaels, Dr. John Rice, Dr. Meghan Rogers, Dr. Ann Rotchford, Dr. Shannon Santana, Dr. Justin Smith, Drl Jean-Anne Sutherland, Dr. Jennifer Vanderminden, Dr. Angela Wadsworth, Dr. Julia Waity

Emeriti Faculty

Dr. Richard Dixon, Dr. Gary Faulkner, Dr. Diane Levy, Dr. Stephen McNamee, Dr. Cecil Willis

Congratulations Class of 2020



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