Alexandra Casuso (MA Sociology, 2015)
"I am a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. My research involves children, social networks, race and happiness. With the help of Agent-based Models, I’d like to explore how children’s social networks could be slightly modified in order to obtain better outcomes in adolescence and adulthood, especially in the realm of overall life satisfaction. Currently, I am working as a research assistant for a project funded by a 5-year R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health. The project uses an agent-based model to show how a small network intervention can reduce obesity in middle school children. In addition, I am working with Anthony Paik and Diego Leal on a paper to explore how the racial composition of the friends of our friends affect our own network diversity.
Overall, my academic life has led me to a path of happiness that allows me to pursue my intellectual curiosities and travel around the world to continue to develop questions that are relevant to the future of society."