Summer, a time for beach fun and barbeques—but also research? That’s right, instead of wasting my days away in the sun, I will be back at Bucknell working with the Bertrand Library staff and Professor Stokes-Brown on a project proposed to me back in the fall. Initially, I wanted to do this research apart from a program like the Digital Scholarship Summer Research Fellowship, but once I discovered this program, I realized that it would be better to work in this small group that emphasizes technology.

I look forward to learning data visualization and other technologies that advance perspectives in traditional research. I hope to learn as many tools as possible because I believe they will advance my capability to analyze data. I am a visual learner, and these methods better suit my ability to comprehend data than traditional charts and graphs. I also enjoy the small team aspect of the DSSR program, and I know that I will need the motivation from my cohort. I am the type of person who relies on an amount of outside motivation to actualize my goals. We have already decided to do weekly check-ins which will keep me on track with completing the amount of work that I aspire toward. I also look forward to their criticisms of my project along the way that will mold my project into the best project within my power.

My project will study group solidarity and political participation of the Latinx communities that reside in non-traditional locations. For example, we will look at large Latinx communities in North Carolina and Iowa in comparison to those within California or New York. My hypothesis is not fully developed, but it may resemble: members of the populations of the Latinx community have more/less group solidarity in non-traditional locations than traditional locations. The idea is that higher political participation is a result of higher group solidarity, and we plan to look at different types of political participation to gage a communities group consciousness. Professor Stokes-Brown mentioned using the 2002 Latino Immigrant National Election Study, but it could be possible to use other election data sets that are more current. There are many types of political participation, so I will need to focus on one or two to be realistic about my time over the summer. I hope to create interactive maps for each data set that will be used, and if I can create maps that are detailed and thorough, further research on this topic could be made easier.

This is my first attempt at academic research, and I know that I will have many questions and complications along the way. Luckily, I am optimistic about my ability to complete this work, and I hope that my project will create useful resources to study group consciousness. I will also have my cohort, a full team at the Bertrand Library, and my mentor for support along the way. To everyone reading: thanks for following my academic journey, and I hope my project will turn out thought provoking and useful. Until next week!

-Alexis Colon