College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Sociology & Criminology

Directed Research Opportunities

Directed research is an opportunity for students to get involved with research under the direct supervision of a faculty member in the sociology and criminology department. Students assist a faculty member on a research project. Activities may include library research, data collection, data entry, data analysis and manuscript preparation. 

Through this experience students will learn valuable research and problem-solving skills and have a chance to apply the sociological theories and concepts they are learning about in their courses. Collaborative research can also lead to student presentations at academic conferences and co-authored research publications. This experience is particularly valuable for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in sociology, criminology or a related field or research-oriented careers after graduation.

Recent Faculty Projects Involving Student Researchers

Professor Colburn had students participate in his applied research project, Assessing Community Progress on the Blueprint to End Homelessness, which examined how successful the Indianapolis community has been over the past decade in eliminating homelessness. The students conducted in-depth interviews with 14 homeless people about their experiences to identify the strengths and gaps in the local safety net.

Professor Cline had a student help her collect and analyze data from women who had recently been pregnant for two projects involving weight gain during pregnancy and postpartum issues. Professor Cline also had a student analyze secondary data and prepare a manuscript.  Another student helped Dr. cline collect and analyze data from mothers to examine if time spent on parenting message boards influenced how these women felt as mothers and their parenting self-efficacy.

Professor Menendez and Professor Novak had students conduct in-depth interviews with immigrants in Indianapolis concerning their experiences with prejudice and discrimination.

Professor Novak had students help her design and administer a survey to incoming Butler freshmen about their perceptions of alcohol and college life and conduct an evaluation of Butler's Red Cup alcohol education program. 

Faculty-Student Collaborative Presentations and Research Papers

Number of Siblings and Perceived Social Support from Parents in an Adult Sample - Baylea Jackson. Paper presented at the Midwest Sociological Society, March 2011.

Pregnancy Weight and Body Image: How Women Deal with Significant Changes in Their Bodies during Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy - Jessica Decker. Paper presented at the Midwest Sociological Society, March 2010.

Does Weight Gain during Pregnancy Influence Postpartum Depression? - Jessica Decker. Paper presented at Midwest Sociological Society, March 2010. Health Psychology, 2012.

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Butler University's Red Cup Culture Program - Stephanie Lander. Paper accepted for presentation at the Midwest Sociological Society, March 2012. 

The Effect of Preconceived Expectations of Alcohol Use and College Life on Freshmen's Drinking Behaviors - Trisha Wilcox and Katherine B. Novak. Presentation at the Midwest Sociological Society, March 2012.




Students attending the Midwest Sociological Association meeting to present their senior thesis in Minneapolis with Dr. Kate Novak