|Cal Poly Pomona student Alejandro Gonzalez received the Betty Nesvold Award for his research paper. Presenting the award is Ed Nelson, SSRIC chair-elect from CSU Fresno.|
Students from 13 CSU campuses converged in May for the 30th Annual Social Science Research & Instructional Council (SSRIC) Student Research Conference at CSU Northridge. Cal Poly Pomona student Alejandro Gonzalez was selected to receive the Betty Nesvold Award for the best paper by a graduate student.
The SSRIC Student Research Conference is modeled on professional conferences in the social sciences. Students submit a 20-page research paper and must be prepared to make 15-minute oral presentation. Gonzalez, a student in the master of public administration program, impressed the judges with his paper titled “Variations in Voting Behavior According to Frequency of Attendance at Religious Services and Viewpoints Related to Traditional Orthodoxy.” Using a national survey that is taken every two years, he studied the voting behaviors of traditional and non-traditional voters who attend church more than twice per month.
“Some studies have shown that people with traditional religious views vote less unless, of course, they feel their morality is being challenged,” says Gonzalez. “Further research on this topic will examine whether it is possible to guarantee a higher voter turnout of a specific voting bloc by placing morally threatening propositions on a ballot.”
The Student Research Conference offers only three awards, so competition is fierce. The Rummels Award is for the best paper using quantitative data, the McCall Award is for the best paper by an undergraduate, and the Nesvold Award is for the best paper by a graduate student. The conference and paper contest are open to undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the California Community College and CSU systems. Each award consists of $100 and a certificate.
“We are extremely proud of Alejandro,” says political science professor John Korey. “He won his award against some very tough competition at one of the most successful conferences in the 30 years it has been held.”