Rebecca Ierardo (AS ’14) completed a Capstone which was an ethnographic analysis of the  role gender plays within interactions in police work. The women of the Syracuse Police Department were the population group for her study. In her project as in all Capstones, material comes at you from all directions. Here is some advice she has to offer on how to cope:

It is unreal how many times you can look at one thing and find something else you like about it. Want to change about it. Hate about it. Don’t understand about it. I have found the roller coaster of opinions about my Capstone to be an exhausting whirlwind, but they have made it better than anything it could have been. However, always remember that there is only so much you can and should do. It is your job to change your mind about you Capstone, to challenge yourself so you can better prove yourself to your readers. But it is also your job to decide what you have to say, to say it honestly, and to say it well. Recognize what your project is and channel your buzzing mind into a string of focus that connects your entire work and experience. A Capstone is whatever you make it, but make it yours. Know where it is strong and where it is weak, and fortify both aspects with your knowledge. It will be entirely more meaningful, more honest, and more relevant.

 Rebeccas’ Capstone is titled, “Pedicures in Combat Boots: Navigating Gender in the Syracuse Police Department, An Ethnographic Analysis” and Prof. John S. Burdick was her advisor.


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