Alpha Kappa Delta Society Holds President’s Dinner at ASA Conference


What is the Mission of Alpha Kappa Delta?

Alpha Kappa Delta pic
Alpha Kappa Delta

Maral Cavner is a 2013 graduate of Emory University, from which she earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. A high performer during her undergraduate studies, Maral Cavner is a member of the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society.

Alpha Kappa Delta was formed to recognize and encourage academic achievement in the field of sociology and other academic pursuits aimed at leading to overall social improvement. Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels are eligible for membership, and faculty members can join the honor society as well.

Students who are sociology majors, as well as those minoring in sociology, can become Alpha Kappa Delta members. Students majoring in other subjects can also become members if they have taken at least four sociology classes during their studies, are considered juniors by their respective schools, and are in the top 35 percent of their class.

Kappa Alpha Delta carries a membership of 120,000 across 660 chapters in the United States.

Persuasion Theory – The Belief Hierarchy Theory by Maral Cavner

Persuasion Theory – The Belief Hierarchy Theory by Maral Cavner

While all of the theories included within persuasion theory are interesting to me, especially in their novelty, the belief hierarchy theory was the one that resonated with me the most and also the one that seemed like the most realistic theory in terms of achieving its stated outcome. For example, I have a hard time believing that the silver bullet theory, which from my understanding is the theory that you can send such a well constructed message that will convince (kill) as much (or as many) as you need it to, is actually a realistic possibility for a single constructed message. I say this primarily because of the wide variety of opinions and the accompanying variability of conditions that each individual person could possibly require in order to be convinced of anything subjective. In contrast, the belief hierarchy theory, which, again from my own understanding, is the theory that there are three levels one has to work through, each with increasing difficulty, 1) beliefs, 2) attitudes, and 3) values, in order to persuade someone and change their beliefs, attitudes, and values seems like the actual process that one would need to work through in order to persuade an individual. One can see the outcomes of the persuasion or value change through policy.

This process of working through beliefs, attitudes, and values, with each being more difficult to change than the last, seems logical to me. After all, my beliefs inform my attitudes which in turn impact my values. However, when I was considering this theory, and when I tried to give definitions to beliefs, attitudes, and values, as well as other related terms like motive and behavior with regards to persuasion I began to conflate the terms. Additionally, because, as I mentioned before, I am new to the persuasion theory concept, I thought that it might be helpful to have concrete definitions to as many of the terms that we might see or hear when learning about persuasion theory. This is why I found the article “Introduction to Persuasion” by Ms. Lee McGaan of Monmouth University to be so helpful. Not only does she discuss and define the terms belief, attitude, and value, but she also discusses and defines motive and behavior in relation to persuasion theory. Further, Ms. McGaan discusses another persuasion theory in her article: the rational model of persuasion which is the theory “which suggests that people think and behave in ways based on reasons and are relatively predictable” (McGaan 2009). She concludes her article with a discussion of the five general purposes of persuasion: 1) create uncertainty, 2) reduce resistance, 3) change attitude, 4) amplify attitude, and 5) gain behavior. I found her writing to be clear and easily understandable and was able to learn a great deal about persuasion theory from her article. I hope that it helps you all too!

Source Website:

Works Cited

McGaan, Lee. “Persuasion Theory Intro [101].” Introduction to Persuasion. Monmouth University, 2009. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <;.

Education Protests in Tibet


A graduate of Emory University’s sociology program, Maral Cavner has traveled to India and Washington, DC, as an intern for the International Campaign for Tibet. In this role, Maral Cavner was tasked with updating donors on events related to Tibet’s fight for freedom.


In early November of 2014, Tibetan elementary and middle school students held protests against government education policies. The protests, which took place in Dzoege (in Chinese, Ruo’ergai) county in the Ngaba prefecture, arose from a speech made by Tan Ke of the Ngaba Education Board. Ke told attendants that students who primarily speak Chinese, rather than Tibetan, achieve more on exams and college applications. He also urged school leaders in attendance to focus on delivering a Chinese education to students.

This announcement troubled the young students of Ngaba’s Tibetan Language Middle School, drawing support from peers in other schools as well as the general public. This continues the cycle of government insistence on Chinese education and the subsequent protests of Tibetan schoolchildren, who have publicly asserted their rights to native language education for the past several years. Now, students are also protesting a government directive to separate children by ability in the classroom, a decision that many feel will lead to elitism in instruction.

International Relations as a Field of Study

An active participant in efforts that benefit her community, Maral Cavner is pursuing a career in international relations. Additionally, a number of the projects and initiatives she participated in prepared her for the career path. In the summer of 2011, Maral Caver interned for the International Campaign for Tibet and later applied that experience in a fundraising effort for the Machik Chapter at Emory University.

Emory University photograph by Maral Cavner
Emory University photograph by Maral Cavner
Ethiopian children's school by Maral Cavner
Ethiopian children’s school by Maral Cavner

Students who major in international relations explore issues involving relationships among countries, governments, organizations, and peoples worldwide. Studies within the discipline examine foreign diplomacy principles and policies, and the manner in which recognized nations and independence-seeking groups alike interact. Knowledge of diplomacy is critical, including details of conducting negotiations between countries and diplomatic challenges as a result of major world events.

As a multi-disciplinary major, international relations degree programs draw from several other fields, including history, economics, and law. Ethics and philosophy also play a significant role as international relations rarely involve addressing issues from a black-and-white perspective and require students to consider the viewpoints of all parties involved. Though degree requirements vary from college to college, many require core courses from at least three fields of study. All programs typically obligate students to take at least one foreign language and recommend internships.

Degrees in international relations allow entry into a number of career fields. Non-governmental jobs may include work at organizations like the United Nations or international consulting firms. Governmental jobs cover a multitude of options that include foreign services and diplomatic positions.