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