Sofia Pedroza's Research Profile
Undergraduate Class: Class of 2016
Major/Minor: Sociology Major with an Emphasis in Social Work
Mentor: Dr. Faye Wachs
Participated in Cal Poly Pomona 3rd Annual Student Research Conference and CSU Research Competition
“There’s something intrinsically exciting about doing research on something no one has learned before and finding that out for yourself.” – Sofia Pedroza
Sofia Pedroza started her research career as a sophomore under the guidance of Dr. Wachs. As an undergraduate research student, she tackled countless projects including research on the 2014 Sochi Olympics, efficacy of Cal Poly Pomona’s online sociology introductory courses, social impacts of facial paralysis, best practices for graduate student orientations, formation of the police post-Civil War, and pro-life movements’ impact on society. She has collaborated with several faculty and colleagues but most projects have been completed with her mentor.
Sofia found her calling after attending her first conference, the Pacific Sociological Association, PSA. After seeing the opportunities research had to offer, she said, “I want to present. I want to do this.” During the following years, Sofia has presented at numerous conferences including the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research, the Western Regional Honors Conference, and the National Association for North American Society for Sociology of Sports Conference. She was also the first-place award recipient for Cal Poly Pomona’s Student Research Conference.
As a student who has gone through several projects, Sofia is familiar with the daily conflicts of performing research. One piece of critical instruction she emphasizes is to “take care of yourself because it’s very easy to get absorbed into your project.” For those students who are just beginning their research career, Sofia advices to cherish relationships with faculty. Mentorship was something she discovered through research. She realized that mentorship should be “based on mutual interests in subject material as well as a person’s overall well-being.” Having Dr. Wach’s support fundamentally changed her undergraduate experience.
Sofia has been motivated to do research for the intellectual satisfaction of exploration and discovery. She said that “there’s something intrinsically exciting about doing research on something no one has learned before and finding that out for yourself.” Sofia believes that the best part of research is bringing new knowledge and making it applicable to everyone else. This sensation has led her to pursue research as part of her career. She has truly embodied a quote from another mentor, Dr. Seyranian, by believing that “every bit of research is a little bit of ‘me’search.”
Are you interested in getting in touch with Sofia? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Interview compiled by Marion Barleta.