IPR would like to recognize and congratulate the two recipients of the 2018 IPR Summer Fellowship: Alexandra Kissling and Mary McKay, both students in the Sociology Department. These students will receive support over the summer to work on their dissertations and preparing for their final year(s) in graduate school.
Ms. Kissling is studying how couples and individuals choose either tubal ligation or vasectomy as their main form of contraception. In her research, she considers how gender and class inform the decision to choose one of these sterilization options. She has conducted interviews with individuals and couples to understand how they come to these decisions and how they speak of their choices. This summer she will begin writing these results into a chapter of her dissertation. She will also begin conducting interviews with urologists and gynecologist about their role in the decision-making process, which is especially important as her previous results suggest that low-income women rarely consult with partners when deciding about sterilization, but do consult with doctors.
Ms. McKay is studying the experiences of refugees in the United States, specifically focusing on the ways American society impacts refugees’ health. She has recently conducted interviews with Somali women in Central Ohio, and over the summer she will be transcribing and analyzing the resulting data. In these interviews, she asked women to describe the ways in which they felt their health changed, how they navigated healthcare systems, and how they were impacted by stress. Complementing her qualitative data, she will also begin a quantitative analyses of the health of refugees across the United States to better understand how prior findings on immigrant health may or may not apply the refugee experience.
Both Ms. Kissling and Ms. McKay have been involved in the IPR community for years, having started attending the Tuesday seminars as new graduate students. In addition, Ms. McKay is part of the inaugural cohort of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Demography (Ms. Kissling had finished her coursework before the program was introduced). Congratulations to both on great work!