Summer Term 2022 Research Positions


Please complete a research application and choose one of the research positions listed below (research applications available on the Undergraduate Research link or in Townshend Hall 141).  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 Summer Term 2022.  SOCIOL 4998 is one of the options that students can use to fulfill the major Experiential Learning 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.

African Immigrant Identity and Perception of Black- and Immigrant-Justice Movements
Email application to Ashley Ostroot at

This research project will examine the ways in which young adult African immigrants relate to racial- and immigrant-centered social movements in Columbus, OH and how, if at all, this is nuanced by racial identity, social class, religious identity, and nationality/country of origin. This is a qualitative research project and I am looking for research assistants who will transcribe interviews.

Applicants are encouraged to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and to have taken research methods (or have equivalent research experience). Non-majors are welcome. 4-5 students will be needed for this project.

Understanding Racial Identity and Belonging for Black Appalachians
E-mail application to Nahrissa Rush at

This research project seeks to understand how racial identity and belonging are experienced for Black Appalachians living in Central Appalachia (West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky). Also important to this project is understanding how perceptions and experiences of invisibility affect one’s sense of identity and belonging where they live. This study is interview based and research assistants are needed primarily for transcribing interviews, coding transcripts, and other tasks such as reviewing literature. Training and assistance on all project tasks will be provided, and ongoing support will be a priority through weekly meetings and regular check-ins. This is a great opportunity for those interested in qualitative methodology and learning more about Appalachia.

I am looking for one to two research assistants at the outset of the project. Comfort with basic computer software such as Microsoft Office Suite, OneDrive, and cloud-based applications is required. Attention to detail, follow-through, and reliable access to basic technology (computer, internet, headphones) are essential for completing the required tasks of this project.

Non-majors are welcome to apply, but some familiarity with the general research process is preferred. Please send your resume (or brief synopsis of education, work history, community engagement, etc. if you do not have a resume), along with a short statement outlining why you are interested in this project and why you think you would be a good fit and your time commitment availability to Nahrissa Rush at

Assessing Religion as a Source of Support for Black LGB Individuals
E-mail application to Luther Young at

Religious participation has been identified as a source of social support that is associated with better physical and mental health. A majority of black people in the United States attend religious services regularly; however, the black churches are largely unaccepting of sexual minorities, and homophobia is associated with poor social and health outcomes for sexual minorities. Black lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB+) individuals nevertheless remain largely connected to the Black Church, but few studies have examined why these individuals stay in homophobic religious institutions, and fewer have evaluated the social and health implications of their continued affiliation. Research is needed to understand whether religious participation is a viable source of social support or a source of violence that yields poor social and health outcomes for black LGB+ individuals. Using in-depth interviews, ethnography, content analysis, and survey data, this project seeks to understand why black LGB+ individuals remain connected to or leave homophobic religious communities. Furthermore, this study will evaluate the extent to which religious participation serves as a protective source of social support or a source of harm for black LGB+ persons. Research assistants will assist with scheduling interviews, transcribing qualitative data, and cleaning survey data, all while gaining experience working with a comprehensive mixed-methods study.

A 2.5 GPA or higher is required. It is recommended that students have taken a research methods course or have previous research experience, although this is not required. Please contact Luther Young at with your resume and a brief paragraph explaining why you are interested in working with this project.

Understanding Equity Diversity and Inclusion in a National LGBTQAI+ Faith Organization
E-mail application to Luther Young at

This project uses a national Christian LGBTQAI+ organization as a case study for examining organizational equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. The study analyzes an internal Organizational Assessment and Diagnostic as well as proposed change interventions. Additionally, the study includes a review of organizational documents, policies, and practices to measure organizational alignment with EDI-oriented elements of its missional goals. Research assistants will assist with reviewing interview data, cleaning, and coding qualitative data, and will gain experience in document review while gaining experience working with a change-management-driven study.

A 2.5 GPA or higher is required. It is recommended that students have taken a research methods course or have previous research experience, although this is not required. Students who are interested in EDI, social sciences, and/or management will be a good fit for this project. Please contact Luther Young at with your resume and a brief paragraph explaining why you are interested in working with this project.

Arab American Siblings in the Transition to Adulthood
Email applications to Huda Jabbar (

This is a qualitative project seeking to explore the role siblings play within Arab American families during the transition to emerging adulthood.  I am seeking 1-2 undergraduate research assistants interested in family, immigration, and the life course. The research assistants will primarily be tasked with transcribing and assisting in coding of interview data. Students will receive training and guidance in completing these tasks throughout the semester. This is a great opportunity for students hoping to gain experience with qualitative data and learning more about the research project. 

Completion of a research methods course is preferred but not required. Non-majors are welcome to apply but preference will be given to students interested in family and immigration. Students can sign up for 1-3 credit hours as they choose. To apply, email Huda Jabbar at with your name, major, time commitment per week, and a few sentences about why you think you would be a great fit!

Perceptions of Discrimination
Email application to Dr. Lauren Valentino at

This research project aims to understand how different people understand racism, classism, and sexism. We are entering the second phase of this multi-year project, which builds on a Phase 1 interview study. In the current phase of the project, we are collecting survey-experiment (vignette) data in which participants are asked to respond to various scenarios as to whether they believe those events constitute discrimination. The team is seeking several undergraduate students to help with basic data cleaning and analysis tasks. Students will receive training and guidance on these tasks from project PI Valentino as well as a graduate student researcher. Basic familiarity with Excel is ideal, and experience with simple statistical tests is a plus but is not necessary. Undergraduate students will gain valuable experience working on a team and contributing to a research project with important implications for understanding diversity and inequality in the United States.

GPA of 3.0 or higher. Non-majors are welcome. Please email Dr. Valentino with your resume as well as a brief description of why you’re interested in the study and why you think you’d be a good fit for the project.

Well-being Across the Life Course
Email application to Nico Pinchak, Ph.D. Candidate, at

Are you interested in how experiences in adolescence relate to well-being in adulthood? The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (“Add Health”) is a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of over 20,000 adolescents who were in grades 7-12 during the 1994-95 school year, and have been followed for five waves to date, most recently in 2016-18. As a research assistant on this project, you will be tasked with translating my SAS-based code for Add Health variables into STATA or R code. We will then use your code to produce a coauthored research paper (first-authored by you) with the goal of submitting to conferences and peer-reviewed journals. My mentees have successfully accomplished these goals in the past (e.g., 

Students seeking 3 or more credit hours for SOCIOL 4998 are welcome to apply. Applicants should be self-motivated, independent learners, adept at using Google to find answers to questions, and have completed SOCIOL 3549 (or comparable statistics course using STATA, SAS, SPSS, or R) with a grade of B- or higher. Please feel free to contact me with questions.