Studying Race and gender in People magazine


By Markus Smith

Kelsey Bolinger is a senior majoring in society, ethics and human behavior and media and communication studies. Her research looking at the representation of race and gender in PEOPLE magazine earned her the Mary Gates Scholarship in 2016. Kelsey is working under the mentorship of IAS faculty member Julie Shayne.  “At the core of my research I’m interested in looking at how representations of race and gender in our popular media outlets can effect your internalized identity, how you see yourself, and by extension effect your socioeconomic outcomes,” she says of her research.

Kelsey says it is imperative to look at how we are producing and reinforcing these representations in different media outlets. Working as a study abroad advisor, she has identified representation and made some changes in some of the office’s promotional materials to reflect more diversity. “If there is not a display of someone students can relate to, they may be discouraged and less likely to partake in that activity,” she says.

Kelsey also believes that it is important to understand the way people internalize representation and identity and how these may affect socioeconomic outcomes.

With the support of a Mary Gates Scholarship, students can devote more time to pursuing an activity or project that interests them and that will allow them to expand their leadership capacity.

“As a student, I heavily depend on financial aid to support me while I work and go to school full time. This scholarship helps me to be able to spend my time more involved on campus and focusing on my research,” she says of her award.

Kelsey says she really appreciates UW Bothell because it is one of the most open communities. “There are a lot of close knit connections and relationships and it really shows when you are trying to get something done. It’s great to have staff and faculty as resources who care about helping you accomplish your goals.” She adds.

The Mary Gates Leadership Scholarships encourage undergraduate students to develop their leadership abilities through practical experience, personal reflection and in the community with mentors and peers.

Visit the Mary Gates Leaders Scholarships page to learn more about the scholarships and eligibility requirements.

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