Shardé Davis ’10
Communication and Feminist Studies

What are the sociological effects of divorce on families? How are children affected by divorce and how do parents cope? These are questions that were at the heart of Shardé Davis’ work as an undergraduate researcher in communications at UCSB.

Shardé discovered how much she loved research when she began an Introduction to Research course with Professor Beth Schneider, a sociologist. Her project with Schneider was focused on women within the black family. In her sophomore year she entered the McNair Scholars Program, for students interested in academic careers, and began work with communications Professor Tammy Afifi on the sociological effects of divorce on families. She stayed with Dr. Afifi as her research assistant through her junior and senior years, contributing to an umbrella project called “Divorce in Collectivist Cultures.”

“Coming to UCSB, I never thought of myself doing research. Me, research? No, not me, especially not as a social science major,” Shardé says.

But she was encouraged by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young, who became an important mentor for Shardé, and by her professors. Now she looks forward to seeing her name included on the project paper, which will be submitted for publication, and to returning to UCSB this fall to begin a Ph.D. program in communications.