Student Spotlight: Tristan Davis, Graduate Dean's Award Recipient


Meet Tristan Davis, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, focusing on food studies, and recipient of the Graduate Dean’s Award for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Please give a short overview of your research, scholarship or creative successes?  

Currently, I am developing a study to investigate how college students relate to food and their dietary practices. In the past, I have conducted research looking at the relationship that women on American sit-coms have with food.

What made you choose to pursue your graduate degree here at Kent State?  

I chose to come to Kent State for my graduate studies because I feel comfortable and welcomed into my department. Likewise, it allowed me to stay in the area with my fiancé and our cats.

What do you enjoy most about attending Kent State for graduate school?  

Although I know individuals may vary on their responses, I find the most enjoyment in interacting with my fellow graduate students. The grad students in the department have been immensely welcoming and supportive through the good times, and the rough times.

What are your future goals?  

My future goals, at the moment, are mainly to finish my graduate degrees. After this, I want to find a position in academia as a professor or a career where I can do research that makes a difference within the food studies world.

What did this award mean to you and how had it aided you?  

This award has meant a lot to me. It helps my self-esteem and self-efficacy to know that the institution I am attending has as much faith in my abilities and research orientation as my support system does. It aids me when I have instances of imposter syndrome, which is common with graduate students. There is also the monetary component, which has helped immensely as well (food is nice).

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? 

In my free time, I enjoy auto-mechanics, indie video games, locally roasted coffee and spending time with my fiancé and our pets, two cats and a turtle. I am a happy cat dad and have probably written most of my papers during graduate school with one of them in my lap cheering me on (or trying to play with my hands as I type).


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