For six years, SBS has hosted the Cole Lecture Series, funded by Robert C. Cole Jr. ’59 and his wife, Margaret. Aiming to engage alumni with faculty whose current research has a direct impact on world issues, the event this year on October 18 featured Professor of Sociology Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, who studies the processes that generate workplace inequality and is co-author of Documenting Desegregation: Racial and Gender Segregation in Private-Sector Employment Since the Civil Rights Act (Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2012). Last year the Coles' generosity added a new element to the event by funding a scholarship to support an SBS undergraduate student who is conducting original research that has the potential to address current social problems.
Kyle Little '14 (journalism) is the recipient of this year's Cole Undergraduate Research Award. He is part of Nick McBride’s Community Journalism course, in which students are paired with students at Springfield's Commerce High School in Springfield and work in reporting teams to produce a bi-weekly newspaper. Little's research looks at the transformative power this project has on both the high school and the college students involved. In this case, journalism is used as a tool to develop civic understanding and political action while also creating meaningful dialog across racial, cultural and class divides. This award not only supports his work, but it also will help with the overall success of the partnership with Commerce High School.