Ashlee Newman (AS ‘15) worked with Prof. Jon Hanson to complete her Capstone in political science entitled, Beyond State Boundaries: A Comparative Analysis between States on Domestic Violence.
Her project seeks to answer the question of how policy across the United States impacts domestic violence. Ashlee’s research was sparked by personal tragedy which lead her to become a passionate and committed scholar and advocate. Through her personal experiences and work in this field, she realized that a comprehensive approach to answer questions about domestic violence is imperative.
Ashlee quantitatively analyzed policies and their relationships with domestic violence. Data on police practices, judicial procedure, civil protective order and Federal funding were collected on all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. Despite all of the policies that are in place to eliminate domestic violence, victims are still losing their lives to this problem, whether they seek help or not. The findings of her research indicated that for some policies her hypothesis is valid, but for others, the results are not as expected. However, we can conclude that Federal allocations for programming are vital to fight domestic violence and that domestic violence courts must continue to exist.
Here is Ashlee’s Advice:
My advice to future Honors students is to take advantage of all of the resources the Honors program provides for its students. I recommend building relationships with mentors to guide you and to provide alternative perspectives so that when you have ideas for involvement, research, or capstone work, you have trusted advisors there to listen. Additionally, I recommend starting early not only with your Capstone project, but with all of your Honors requirements. If you start early, these components do not feel like “requirements” but simply steps to meet your end goal.
Find a topic you are passionate about to complete your capstone on. For me, combining my majors with my interests and involvement, my capstone was not a burden but rather a culminating moment for me and my college career. It is a challenge that I was excited to face because I was invested in it as a person. I recommend trying to find something that combines the best aspects of you: your strengths, your skills, and your interests, with a problem that you want to solve.