Autumn Semester 2018 Research Positions

Please complete a research application and choose one of the research positions listed below.  Please return your completed applications to the contact person listed for the project via email.

Below are the research projects that are available for students to work on for SOCIOL 4998 credit Autumn Semester 2018.  SOCIOL 4998 is one of the options that students can use to fulfill the Integrated Elective requirement - PLEASE NOTE, you may only count 3 hours total of internship or research credit towards the major.  Also, remember that research experience is especially important if you are planning on applying to graduate school!

Please read the requirements for each project carefully, as some require either specific coursework or specific GPA.



Amish Directory Data/ Dr. Elizabeth Cooksey
(email application to

The recent Amish Mennonite Directory data need to be entered into a spread sheet so that demographic fertility and marriage patterns can be compared with those of the Old Order Amish from whom they have split.  This project involves entering the Amish directory data into Stata/Excel.  One or multiple students may be hired.  A prior student ended up doing an honors thesis as a result of this experience.

No special classes or statistical skills required except that the research assistants must be able to pay close attention to details.  A good major or cumulative GPA is preferred.



Social Movements and the Corporation Research Project/ Dr. Andrew Martin
(email application to

While the state is typically viewed as the primary focus of social movement activity, businesses have also been targeted by these actors.  This project examines the interaction between businesses and social movements.  Students will use an existing database of social protest in America to search the New York Times for instances when corporations have been targeted by social movements.

Completion of research methods preferred but not required.



Intern Experiences and Pathways to Labor Market Entry/ Corey Pech
(email Corey Pech,

This is a qualitative project aimed at understanding the relationship between college major, internships, and labor market entry. Student research assistants will help write case summaries and organize/code data. Any students interested in work, labor markets, education, stratification, or learning practical qualitative research skills are encouraged to apply. 

There is no class/training requirement. Completion of research methods is a plus. Student must be a junior or senior and have a cumulative GPA over 2.5.



National Sport & Society Survey/ Dr. Knoester
(email application to

This is a national study focused on measuring sports participation, sports viewing, sport expenditures, and public opinions about sports-related issues.  This major data collection effort will allow scholars to improve our understanding of the connections between sports interactions and the overall functioning of society.

1-2 students are needed to help prepare the survey instrument and otherwise assist in the research process. Research training is a plus. GPA should be above a 3.0.



Police Violence: A Shift toward Impacts on Black Women/Laura Frizzell and Sadé Lindsay
(email application to and

The goal of this research project is to understand the impact of police violence on Black women. We are particularly interested in how the media saturation of images/videos portraying violence against Black bodies impacts Black women, as well as Black women’s direct and indirect experiences with police violence. The researchers will collect approximately 120 interviews of Black women, and we need undergraduate assistants to help with transcription and analysis of these interviews.

GPA of 3.0 or higher and completion of a research methods course are preferred, but we will consider all applications. We highly encourage those students to apply who are interested in race, gender, police violence, and/or qualitative methods. Non-majors are welcome, and students can sign up for 1 to 3 credit hours as they choose.



Government Fiscal Health/ Lora Phillips
(email application to

Which counties and municipalities across the country contain many households that have experienced a sudden, large decline in income? Are these counties and municipalities the same as those that have experienced government fiscal stress? Answering these two questions is the first step to understanding how resident and government finances are related, as well as the causes and consequences of place-specific economic insecurity.

This quantitative project will answer the second question by identifying which county and municipal governments have experienced fiscal stress between 2003 and today. Student research assistants will download and save financial reports from government web sites and enter specific data from those reports into a spreadsheet for later analysis. Any students interested in inequality/stratification, economic sociology, urban sociology, political economy, or learning quantitative research skills are encouraged to apply.

There is no class/training requirement, including no requirement to have prior knowledge of government accounting. Students should be responsible, detail-oriented, organized, and enthusiastic. Students looking to fulfill research hours may enroll in 1-3 hours, depending on their preference. Non-majors are welcome to apply.



Worker Experiences in the Gig Economy
(email Laurie Michaels:

This is a qualitative, comparative project focused on the experiences of workers employed in the ‘gig economy’ and the traditional employment sector. Research assistants will transcribe qualitative, in-depth interviews and code qualitative data. This is a great opportunity for students interested in work & labor, gender, race, or social inequality; it’s also a good chance for students to learn more about interview methodologies. Hours are flexible, but students should be expect to work 8 -10 hours/week.

Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Completion of Social Research Methods preferred but not required.



Sterilization Decisions Among Couples
(email Alex Kissling,

How do people decide to use contraceptive sterilization? Are these decisions gendered? Through answering these questions, this project will help us understand how people talk about contraception with their partners and how people decide that they are done having children permanently.

This qualitative project will address these questions with in depth interviews among couples. Student research assistants will help write case summaries, as well as organizing and coding data. Student may be responsible for some transcription. Students interested in health, gender, reproductive rights and/or learning practical qualitative research skills are encouraged to apply.

There is no class/training requirement. Students should be responsible, detail-oriented, organized, and enthusiastic. Students looking to fulfill research hours may enroll in 1-3 hours, depending on their preference. Non-majors are welcome to apply.



Group Interaction Project/ Dr. David Melamed
(email application to Oneya Okuwobi,

For this project, we are seeking students to act while in experimental sessions. In each session, you will interact with one “real” participant over Skype (to avoid visual cues), and will be required to be assertive or passive, depending on the phase of the session. To do so, you will be provided a script, but will likely need to ad lib as real participants may do or say as they like.

Each session entails working with participants on a series of ambiguous tasks, and we are interested in how demeanor shapes social influence and perceptions of group members based on interaction patterns.

This experiment will begin in the Autumn of 2018 and will run through the Autumn or Spring semester. Students will gain an understanding of experimental design in the social sciences, gain experience with running experiments, and may be involved in the analysis as they see fit.   

The Principal Investigator for this project is Prof. David Melamed. Questions about the research may be directed to Oneya Okuwobi (, the Graduate Research Assistant on the project. Students must have a 3.5 GPA to be eligible for this project. If interested, please email your resume to Oneya.

3.5 GPA or higher.  At least 10 research assistants needed for AU18, but 10 male and 10 female students would be ideal.



U.S.- Mexico Cross-National Relationships/ Melissa Rodriguez
(email application to

This qualitative study aims to understand the impact of spousal labor migration on Mexican women who remain in migrants’ sending community. There is a focus on how women imagine they would manage their responsibilities, their roles as women and mothers, and concern for their husbands and families during their husband’s absence. Interviews deal with questions of work, gender, decision-making, and potential infidelity to better understand the experiences of these women left behind. Interviews were conducted in Spanish with female respondents living in a small, rural, Northern Mexico town. Student research assistants will be asked to help transcribe (in Spanish) and analyze (in either Spanish or English) these interviews.

Seeking 1 to 3 student research assistants who are comfortable listening and typing in Spanish language. Students should be ready to be detailed, organized, and communicative in providing transcriptions and short summaries of the interviews. This will require high Spanish language proficiency/ fluency. No other training is required, though research methods course completion and 3.0-4.0 GPA are preferred. Majors and non-majors are welcome and can apply for 1 to 3 credit hours. Students with interests in any of the following are encouraged to apply: Immigration, Gender, Inequality, Work, Family, Qualitative Research Methods.



High school experiences and the transition to adulthood/ Nico Pinchak
(email application to

I have a large amount of SAS code for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) and the High School and Beyond study (HS&B) that I would like converted to STATA code. Students will be tasked with learning to read SAS code and produce efficient STATA .do files.

The RA will develop valuable, highly employable coding and quantitative research skills as a result of this work. You will be entitled to keep all code you produce upon completion. Those interested in questions related to how adolescent and high school experiences shape adulthood outcomes have the option of pursuing a supervised independent research project (for a thesis, conference presentation(s), publication, etc).

Applicants should be self-motivated, independent learners, adept at using Google to find answers to questions, and have completed SOC 3549 (or comparable course using STATA, SAS, SPSS, or R) with a grade of B- or higher. Students seeking to complete 3 credit hours and/or a research project are especially encouraged to apply. Non-majors welcome. Please feel free to contact me with questions!