Autumn Semester 2019 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 Autumn Semester 2019.  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.

Amish Directory Data/ Dr. Elizabeth Cooksey
Email application to Professor Elizabeth Cooksey

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.

Experiences and Pathways to Labor Market Entry
Email application to Graduate Student 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
Email application to Professor Christopher Knoester

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. Up to 5 students are needed to help prepare the data for analysis, begin various study analyses, and otherwise assist in the research process.

Up to 5 students needed. Research training is a plus. GPA should be above a 3.0

Educational Mobility and the First-Generation College Experience
Email application to Professor Vincent Roscigno

This project, which is jointly being carried out between the Department of Sociology and the Center for the Study of Student Life, focuses on the well-being and integration of first-generation college students (i.e. those for whom neither parent has a BA degree or higher). We began last year following a large cohort of such students (incoming Freshman). We will continue to do so over time with in-depth interviewing about their various routes to success as well as the unique obstacles they face along the way. This coming Fall (2019) will be the second year we are interviewing these students. We are seeking approximately 3 advanced undergraduate sociology majors (i.e., juniors or seniors) to help clean transcribed interviews and possibly help conduct interviews themselves this coming Fall.

GPA of 3.0 or higher and completion of a research methods course are preferred, but all applications will be considered. Especially encouraged are those who are seriously considering graduate school in sociology and who have deep interests in the study of social inequality, mobility and education. Non-majors can apply and will be considered, and students who are selected would be expected to sign up for 2 or 3 credit hours.

Police Violence: A Shift toward Impacts on Black Women
Email application to Graduate Students Laura Frizzell,, and Sadé Lindsay

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.

Lingering Questions: Health in Ohio and the role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Email application to Graduate Students Christina Bijou, and Coralia Balasca

This is a quantitative research project focusing on various health outcomes in Ohio. The goal of this project is to examine racial differences in self-reported health and delay in needed treatment among Ohio residents. Furthermore, we are interested in the role that Non-Governmental Organizations (i.e. non-profit organizations) may play in shaping health outcomes in Ohio. Research assistants will help identify and classify NGOs in Ohio and will gain experience working with quantitative data and learn basic statistical skills. Great opportunity for students interested in health, racial/ethnic inequality, and/or community organizations.

We are looking for multiple research assistants. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word is required. Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5. Non-majors are welcome to apply.

Black Religious and Social Life Project
Email application to Graduate Student Luther Young

The purpose of this project is to examine how religion and class inform the views of black Christians concerning racial, gender, and sexual identity in the context of the United States. I am interested in exploring the difference between black men and black women and between higher-SES and lower-SES individuals in their attitudes toward sexual minorities. I will also examine the role religion plays in shaping views concerning gender and sexual orientation. This will use in-depth interviews to assess the extent to which participants’ views concerning sexual orientation align with or differ from that of their respective religious communities, as well as how participants conceptualize the intersection of racial and sexual identities. I am seeking an undergraduate research assistant to aid in transcription and analysis.

Students at all levels are encouraged to apply. Completion of a research methods course is recommended but not required.  I am only seeking one student. Faculty advisor: Korie Edwards.

Political Rhetoric in State of the State Addresses, 1950-2018
Email application to Graduate Students Elizabeth Martin, and Davon Norris

This project will examine rhetoric and stated policy priorities of US governors across fifty stas since 1950. We are looking for research assistants to gather and organize annual state of the state addresses to be used in later analysis. If the student is interested, they could use some of the data for a research poster or honors thesis. One or multiple students may be hired for 1-3 credit hours.

We prefer a 3.0 GPA or higher, but no classes or major are required. Faculty advisor, Rachel Dwyer.

Understanding Dying from Multiple Vantage Points
Email application to Graduate Student Lauren Gebhardt-Kram

This qualitative project is about how dying is experienced in the hospice setting. Using interview data from dying persons, their family caregivers, and those working in the hospice field, this project aims to map the dying experience from multiple vantage points. Students interested in medicine, aging, and organizations are especially encouraged to apply. Research Assistants will be asked to help prepare audio data for analysis and assist with participant recruitment as needed. Looking for the help of 3-5 enthusiastic students.

GPA of 3.0 or higher. Completion of a research methods course is preferred, but not required. Non-majors are welcome and students can sign up for 1 to 3 credit hours as they choose. Faculty advisor: Corinne Reczek.

Group Interaction Project
Email application & resume to Professor David Melamed

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 2019 and will run through the 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. 

Students must have a 3.5 GPA to be eligible for this project. If interested, please email your resume to Prof. Melamed.

Definitions and Enactment of Quality Time: An Intersectional Look at Parenting
Email application to Graduate Student Chloe Dunston

My qualitative thesis explores connections between the emotional aspects of parenting and social identity. Broadly, I'll explore whether lived experiences at the intersections of race, class and gender impact the ways in which parents desire, and are able, to connect emotionally with their children through 'quality time'. Specifically, interviews will answer:

1. How do parents define quality time in ways connected to social dynamics?

2. How do social dynamics facilitate or inhibit achievement of these ideals?

This work will expand upon previous research by looking more closely at the emotional content of quality time and the external dynamics that impact the emotional life of the family.

My goal is to conduct a minimum of 30 interviews and I would need assistance only with transcription. One credit hour is likely appropriate and the student wouldn't need any sort of advanced course completion. Rachel or myself can be contacted at or

Moral Panics, Race, and the Criminalization of Marijuana in the Early 20th Century
Email application to Professor Michael Vuolo

The goal of this research project is determine how marijuana was discussed in media over time in the early 20th century, as it moved from a legal substance to a criminalized substance. Research assistants for this project will conduct content analysis of newspaper articles that mention marijuana from about 1885 to 1940. We will read each article and code for topics such as the words used for marijuana, mentions of race and ethnicity, and the mood of the article. There is also an expectation that we will meet weekly or biweekly as a research group to discuss progress.

Research Methods and Drugs and Society are both preferred, but not absolutely necessary. GPA will also be considered as a qualification.