Lauren Thomas

Lauren Thomas standing in an art exhibit.

Project title: Sociological and Cognitive Understanding of Music Preferences and the Creation of Music and Media Cultures

Project description: My goal is to study music preferences and the creation of music and media cultures, particularly film and video games, from the perspective of cognitive science and sociology. I want to know what these findings mean for film, media creation, collective culture, and interpersonal relationships. More specifically, I would like to explore how the holding of membership in a specific community (eg. white person vs black, woman vs man, queer vs cisgender) affects the media one consumes, genre-identification and why they draw certain people, and gentrification of and classism in music/media. I also think that studying what drives music and media tastes individually and collectively and why they often serve as cultural binders will allow me to understand how we can create emotionally effective and more entertaining forms of media. 

Most important accomplishment: Becoming the music director at WVBR-FM 93.5 (a renowned local radio station in Ithaca).

Reflections on the College Scholar program: Being a College Scholar has allowed me to explore all of the corners of my interests. I did not know this program existed before I came to Cornell and it has absolutely revolutionized the way I research and my approach to thinking creatively while still academically. There is a community of collaboration and peer research that is fostered in the College Scholar Program and it allows for a more unique and enriching learning experience. Some of us strive to build the mold instead of fitting into one, and that sentiment is at the core of and encouraged by the College Scholar program.