#ElonGrad 2021 spotlight: Elisabeth Wright, sociology

In this series, Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences is shining the spotlight on distinguished members of the Class of 2021 from a wide array of disciplines.

Faculty in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology recognized Elizabeth Wright ’21 as a top member of its Class of 2021.

She came to Elon already interested in policy studies, which she chose to major in, but was curious about sociology. One course, “on a whim,” led to a second major.

“I began to see how sociology changed the way I viewed the world and it gave me a new way to critically evaluate the world around me.

Tell us about your undergraduate research experience.

I started my undergraduate research project with Associate Professor of Sociology Raj Ghoshal in the spring of my junior year. While studying abroad in South Africa, I witnessed social movements around gender-based violence and it made me think critically about feminist-based movements in the United States. I decided to examine diversity in the #MeToo movement by collecting data through Twitter. My main goal was to see whether diversity among Twitter users using the hashtag changed based on the identities of those sharing their #MeToo stories and those being accused. I presented my findings at the National Conferences for Undergraduate Research and the Spring Undergraduate Research Forum.

What is your proudest accomplishment while at Elon?

I’m proudest of how much I have evolved in my four years here. I have become a much more independent and confident version of myself. I credit this to the J-Term I studied abroad in South India with Associate Professor of Religious Studies Amy Allocco and Professor of Religious Studies Brian Pennington, which pushed me more academically and personally than any other course than I had taken. This course taught me to push myself and to keep exploring new cultures while critically examining my own. That experience gave me the confidence to study abroad in South Africa and to begin a research project.

Did a particular professor mentor you or have a profound impact on your time here?

Professor of Sociology Thomas Arcaro has been a mentor for me since I took his course on the humanitarian aid sector my first year. He has been a sounding board, whether it is about a current event, courses, or post-graduate decisions. He has not only seen my growth the past four years but fostered it by continuously pushing me and encouraging me to use my voice. He taught me that I am capable of more than I think and to never stop learning from everything around me.

What are your future plans?

I will be attending Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law in the fall.

What advice would you give future Elon students?

I would encourage them to get involved in all of the opportunities that Elon offers, like leadership and research, even if they are not in a specialized program. Many of these opportunities are truly unique to Elon and they have had incredible impacts on my Elon experience.

What’s your favorite Elon tradition?

My favorite Elon tradition is the Festival of Holiday Lights. It’s a night where everyone comes together to celebrate the holiday season with peers. Viewing the luminaries and seeing the campus covered in lights with my friends each year is one of my favorite memories from Elon.