professor
Maria Abascal

Dec 2019

I had a fantastic time legend from the LEGEND, Dr. Abascal. As a sociology major, I knew I'd have to take Methods for Social Research so I just jumped in thinking it'd be a basic required course. But, it was so much more! Professor Abascal creates a lecture that has great flow, is coherent, and has purpose for any future research endeavors/to critical think about data and the way research is conducted in the world. Professor Abascal may seem a little distant but she opens up throughout the course and showcases her brilliance! It is pretty paramount that you do the readings since she ~will~ wait for someone to speak up or answer her questions when asked in the lecture, but it's all in good confidence to ensure that folks are genuinely engaging with the course material. I found her teaching style, plus the aid that the TAs provide in section, really each to follow and informative. If you're looking to take Methods in the Fall, I would 12/10 recommend taking Dr. Abascal's course.

Jan 2019

BEWARE OF Professor Abascal's METHODS FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH - When the ENTIRE CLASS FAILS a quiz, you know there's SOMETHING BROKEN with the way the professor is teaching! As an undergrad about to graduate, I can honestly say that compared to other prof's at Columbia, being in class with Abascal is like watching a robot on auto-pilot who is trying to imitate a professor. She doesn't seem to be able to think independently from the readings she assigns or to give other examples that support what we're meant to learn. She's organized but not quick on her feet. When she's asked a question she doesn't like, she ignores it and going to her office hours is a joke, all she does is repeat herself word-for-word, without nuance or clarification. If you do take Methods, find another prof; one who isn't just a sociologist but an actual professor; One doesn't use the word 'analysis' to mean add lots and lots of interview quotes. Like don't even bother to actually try to meaningfully answer your research question, its a complete waste of time with Abascal who might not have the intellectual capacity to follow, even if you do. On the positive side, she's a new prof so might get better with time and she actually injects some passion into class when the topic touches upon immigrants from south of the border. Bottom line: In 7 semesters at Columbia, I've never heard so many students say out loud after every lecture: "I hate this class!"