An Introduction

Hey there! My name is Austin Round, I am a second semester student in the Sociology M.S. Program. I am originally from Rhode Island, where I completed my B.A. in Psychology with minors in Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies. I moved to Richmond about 7 months ago with my friend Adrian and his Old English Bulldog, Tiny (who is, in fact, not very tiny). I am also currently a T.A. in the political science department here at VCU! In my free time I play several fighting games at the competitive level (Super Smash Brothers Melee and Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, hit me up if you’re trying to get these hands), and spend most of my time hunched over a computer screen looking for new music to listen to.

I am fortunate to have a fairly extensive academic background in research methodology; at my alma mater, University of Rhode Island, the psychology program did not have a B.S. program until my last semester there, so in an effort to create an ad-hoc B.S. (a b.s. B.S., if you will), I took every course on experimental psychology that I could. This carried over into a bit of undergraduate research; one project I was working on, which regrettably wasn’t finished by the time I left the university, was a pre- and post-test inventory evaluating the university’s introductory Gender and Women’s Studies course’s ability to foster more favorable attitudes towards gender equality and feminist attitudes.

What I hope to get out of this course is a more nuanced ability to critique the methodologies in the research that I cite. It’s easy enough to disavow or endorse a piece of literature based on whether or not its findings suit our needs, but it’s an entirely other beast to be able to look at a piece’s methods and say “how could this be improved?”; “why did they pick this methodology?”; “what other methodologies can I use to better our understanding of this topic?”

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