Written by Tucker Smith
Colorado College senior Alina Drufovka has been named the second-place winner in the Alpha Kappa Delta undergraduate paper competition for her sociology thesis, entitled “Inequality in the Information Age: From the Digital Divide to the Usage Divide.”
Her thesis examines the digital divide, which refers to the gap between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not, and how it reflects the social inequities of today. When asked about the origin of this topic, Drufovka said, “I wanted to do something more large scale than campus, something practical and relevant.”
According to Drufovka’s abstract, her study “demonstrates that access to the Internet, as well as use of Internet resources, reflect existing inequalities in society, especially in regard to race, income, and education. The results indicate that inequality in access persists in the information age, and is now being expanded to include inequities in terms of the use of digital resources.”
Drufovka’s results are undoubtedly valuable in understanding the current technological age, and she is very deserving of Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) recognition. AKD is an international sociology society whose purpose is to “acknowledge and promote excellence in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition.”
Drufovka was inducted into the society last year and is currently one of the 115,000 members of AKD.
In order to be considered for the competition, one must be a member of AKD and write the paper as an undergraduate. In short, there is little a member has to do in order to submit his or her paper. Drufovka said, “I’ve known about the competition since my induction into AKD and it didn’t take much to enter.”
She figured she would submit her paper and see what happened. When asked about her reaction to the news she had won, she said, “CC hasn’t won in a really long time, so I was shocked to hear I’d placed.”
At CC and other similar liberal arts schools, it is often the case that students’ theses, especially papers, are not seen by more than a handful of people. Students will continue to write theses that will, except in rare cases like Drufovka, receive little attention. Despite this, theses are still recognized as the pinnacle of a student’s college career and are suitably viewed as triumphal.
Drufovka’s success exploring inequality in the modern, technical world furthers the understanding of the digital divide.
With graduation looming and nostalgia blooming, Drufovka said, “Winning this award made me happy that I chose CC. I’m so thankful to have been challenged in the Sociology Department and to have received the personalized attention and mentorship characteristic of CC.”