As a sociology major with a minor in spatial studies, I am interested applying spatial thinking to different subfields of sociology, such as spatial inequality, demography, and the sociology of education. Since sociology is a broad field, I am pursuing my spatial studies minor in order to develop a quantitative skillset that will allow me to improve and refine my research capabilities. As of Spring 2016, I am a research assistant for a project looking at how neighborhood and school composition are linked and how neighborhoods and schools affect students’ outcomes, led by Dr. Ann Owens. My spatial studies classes have helped me tremendously thus far – one of my primary tasks in this research project is to geocode school addresses using mapping technology and then performing subsequent spatial analyses.
After graduating from USC, I plan on going to graduate school and eventually going on to do research, and I would like to incorporate spatial thinking when pursuing these projects. Ultimately, after going through the minor, I hope that the spatial thinking I apply to the social phenomena explored in my sociology classes will offer me an experience that is advantageous to future coursework and potential research projects that involve spatial thinking and analysis.