Sociology PhD Student Cristina Lucier Honored

Cristina LCristina Lucierucier, a doctoral student in the Sociology Department, has won the prestigious Marvin E. Olsen Student Paper Award, given by the American Sociological Association’s Section on Environment and Technology in recognition of the most outstanding paper presented by a graduate student at the organization’s annual meeting.

Lucier delivered her paper, “Obstacles to Precaution and Equity in Global Environmental Governance: Applications to the Basel Convention,” at the ASA meeting held Aug. 20-23 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


The Mindset: 2015 List

This year’s entering college class of 2015 was born just as the Internet took everyone onto the information highway and as Amazon began its relentless flow of books and everything else into their lives.  Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1993, are the first generation to grow up taking the word “online” for granted and for whom crossing the digital divide has redefined research, original sources and access to information, changing the central experiences and methods in their lives. They have come of age as women assumed command of U.S. Navy ships, altar girls served routinely at Catholic Mass, and when everything from parents analyzing childhood maladies to their breaking up with boyfriends and girlfriends, sometimes quite publicly, have been accomplished on the Internet.

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation. Mindset List websites at Beloit College and at, the media site webcast and their Facebook page receive more than a million hits annually.

As for the class of 2015, without any memory whatever of George Herbert Walker Bush as president, they came into existence as Bill Clinton came into the presidency. Their parents, frequently older than one might expect because women have always been able to get pregnant almost regardless of age, have hovered over them with extra care and have agreed with those states that mandated the wearing of bike helmets. Ferris Bueller could be their overly cautious dad, and Jimmy Carter is an elderly smiling public man who appears occasionally on television doing good works. “Dial-up,” Woolworths and the Sears “Big Book” are as antique to them as “talking machines” might have been to their grandparents. Meanwhile, as they’ve wondered why O.J. Simpson has always been suspected of something, they have all “been there, done that, gotten the Tshirt,” shortened boring conversations with “yadda, yadda, yadda,” and recognized LBJ as LeBron James.

For those who cannot comprehend that it has been 18 years since this year’s class was born, they will quickly confirm that the next four years will go even faster and, like the rest of us, they will continue to grow older at increasing speed.

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Why Your Retirement May Not Be Permanent

Retirement is no longer a one-time, permanent event. Exits from the workforce are becoming more gradual, and many employees move to another job before leaving the labor force completely. In fact, an abrupt retirement that continues for the rest of your life is now the exception, rather than the rule, according to a series of studies recently published by Joseph Quinn and Kevin Cahill of Boston College and Michael Giandrea of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s a look at some of the ways workers are transitioning into their retirement years.

Bridge jobs. “People are retiring in a process where they leave a full-time career job and then transition to a job that is less intensive, working less hours or fewer weeks per year,” says Michael Giandrea, a research economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Back to Work. Many people return to the workforce after a period of full-time retirement. An analysis of people who held a full-time job in 1992, then retired for at least a two-year period by 2008, found that 16 percent of the men and 14 percent of the women later returned to work.

Phased retirement. A far less common way to transition into retirement is to reduce the number of hours you work for your current employer. “The opportunity for what people have called ‘partial retirement,’ cutting back hours at your existing employer, is relatively limited,” says Giandrea. Only a few employers have formal phased retirement programs that allow workers approaching retirement age to gradually work less hours or fewer days per week.

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Implicit Association Test

Click here to take the Implicit Association Test designed by researchers at Harvard University.

It is well known that people don’t always ‘speak their minds’, and it is suspected that people don’t always ‘know their minds’. Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology.

This web site presents a method that demonstrates the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods. This new method is called the Implicit Association Test, or IAT for short.

College student organizes picnic to encourage acceptance

Latino immclay venetisigrants will share their stories at Saturday even.

Clay Venetis believes the way to accept differences in opinion is to discuss them.

On Saturday Venetis and two friends will host a community picnic at Conejo Creek Park North in Thousand Oaks, where men and women who’ve come to California from Mexico and Central and South America will share personal stories about their immigration experiences.

The event, which begins at 12:30 p.m., will include food, music and local speakers whom Venetis has met through area acquaintances, churches and social justice programs.

The Boston College student, who grew up in Thousand Oaks, is dedicating his summer vacation to creating conversations between Latino immigrants and other local residents as part of the college’s Guestbook Project, which promotes investigations of themes such as the citizen and the alien, the host and the stranger.

Venetis said he was inspired to explore immigration by Richard Kearney, a Boston College professor and director of the Guestbook Project, who is “deeply involved in the subject.”

“I’m (drawn to) the social justice aspect of it. It poses deep ethical questions that I’m really interested in,” Venetis said.

The project opens a window into one of the country’s most contentious topics—illegal immigration.

According to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, legislators in every state and Puerto Rico introduced a record number of bills or resolutions relating to immigrants or refugees in the first six months of 2011.

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History Doctoral Student Peter Cajka Wins Catholic Press Association First Place Award

Boston CollegePeter Cajka doctoral student Peter Cajka has received the 2011 Catholic Press Association first place prize in the category of Best Feature Article in a Scholarly Magazine for “Riding with Saint Paul in the Passenger Side: The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Enters the Automobile Age, 1920-1965” in the journal American Catholic Studies.

The article “offers a great exploration of how technology and religion interact. Its moral implications stand next to a solid analysis of past and present use of technology within the Catholic faith,” according to the CPA.

Cajka’s interest is in the American Catholic experience from 1930 to 1985, especially “how religion worked” in 20th century America.

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Student EMTs Play Big Role in Campus Safety

Few student-run organizations at Boston College can boast the size – or the operational impact – of Eagle EMS, a division of University Health Services made up of some 170 undergraduates who provide basic medical assistance at campus events and emergency services instruction to the entire BC community.

Leaders of the Eagle EMS organization estimate that members contributed nearly 4,200 volunteer hours of service this past year – whether assisting medical response crews at Alumni Stadium football games or holding state-certified continuing education classes for students and staff interested in becoming licensed emergency medical technicians.

Eagle EMS president Christopher Faherty ’13 says that about 80 Eagle EMS volunteers have already received EMT certification at the state or federal level and most other club members are taking courses to qualify for the license.

Members of the group also visit local elementary and middle schools, teaching students the basics of first aid and accident prevention.   “You name it, and if there are a large amount of people expected to be there, we will put it on our schedule,” says Faherty, a certified EMT in New Jersey as well as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Little Silver.   “Helping a stranger, meeting them for maybe 20 minutes, giving everything you have to them and then saying good-bye, probably never to see them again – it’s kind of the definition of ‘giving back,’” he says. “It’s very fulfilling.”

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