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Lynn Chin is the Next Speaker in the Mudd Lecture Series Lynn Chin, an associate professor of sociology at Washington and Lee University, will give a lecture on March 2 at 5 p.m.

DSC9309-600x400 Lynn Chin is the Next Speaker in the Mudd Lecture SeriesLynn Chin

Lynn Chin, an associate professor of sociology at Washington and Lee University, will present a lecture on March 2 at 5 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater at the Elrod Commons as part of W&L’s Mudd Center for Ethics’ series on “Beneficence: Practicing and Ethics of Care.”

Chin’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Belonging in the Bubble: How to Transverse the Indifferences that Divide Us: Reflections on what caring as a community means at W&L.” This event can also be accessed via Livestream.

Chin is a sociologist whose main area of study is small group processes, particularly the structural factors that encourage people’s attachment to groups. Her recent research projects examine whether people hold stereotypes, or schemas, about the structure of status hierarchies, such that we expect them to encourage smooth intragroup coordination. She also studies students’ understanding of what it means to fit in and belong at college with a focus on how understandings of “fit,”, in both the social and academic spheres, differ across race and type of institution.

“Professor Chin’s research on belongingness can inform our understanding of beneficence and care right here at our university home,” said Karla Murdock, director of the Mudd Center. “If we aspire to live in a community that allows all of us to feel that we fit and are valued, how might our collective dedication to that effort make it possible?”

Chin earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a doctorate in sociology from Stanford University.

During W&L’s 2023 Spring Term, Chin will teach her signature course, Belonging in College. This course aims to build a set of orienting tools that allow students to critically think about what schools have done to improve inclusion on campus and to reflect on how that has changed the landscape of belonging in national discourse. Chin advocates that if we believe that college is more than just about obtaining a degree to find a job — but is also concerned with providing space for all, especially students, to explore and mature — then understanding the different types of struggles people experience in feeling like they “belong” is of utmost importance for developing successful inclusion interventions on campus.

The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to Washington and Lee from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of the university. By facilitating collaboration across traditional institutional boundaries, the center aims to encourage a multidisciplinary perspective on ethics informed by theory and practice. Previous Mudd Center lecture series topics have included Race and Justice in America, The Ethics of Citizenship, Markets and Morals, Equality and Difference, The Ethics of Identity, and The Ethics of Technology.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit the series webpage.