SCJA Research Opportunities

Interested in working with SCJA Faculty? There are several faculty members in the SCJA department who include undergraduate students in their scholarship. This is a fantastic opportunity to get hands-on social science experience while receiving one-on-one mentorship from a professor.  Students can develop analytical skills for data collection and analysis on a wide range of topics, and in many cases have the opportunity to participate in the dissemination of the project results at conferences and in publications.

Get started:

  • Identify a few faculty members below who have projects or topics that interest you. Faculty needs can change from semester to semester so it will likely require contacting a few professors before you find a good fit.
  • Send them an email that details a bit about yourself (background, availability, skills), and why you are interested in their work. Ask if they are currently looking for help for their research, and if so, suggest some possible times to meet to discuss how you could contribute.

Be prepared and committed:

  • Conducting research requires a big commitment for both the student and faculty mentor. As a student, you should be prepared to commit a significant amount of time to the project and be a reliable participant (show up regularly and on time, complete tasks that you have committed to). The faculty member may ask for you to complete an agreement or contract that clearly states what your role and responsibilities will be in the project.
  • In turn, the faculty member is committing to mentor you on a particular subject and skill. They may also work with you on your communication skills (writing, presenting) and can be asked to write letters of recommendation for jobs or graduate programs.

Get support:

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) provides a few different opportunities to students to receive financial support for doing research.

  • QUIP-RS (QU Interdisciplinary Program for Research and Scholarship)
    • Provides a $4000 stipend plus $1000 for supplies to do research with a faculty member over the summer. Find more info here.
  • CAS-SRS (Stipend Research Support) Grant ($500)
    • Students must be receiving course credit (independent research course, a thesis course, etc)
    • Support may be approved for, but not limited to, supplies and equipment to perform the research, participant incentives for human subjects, and travel support for presenting the research results at regional and national conferences.
    • The application is sent out to to students via email from the Dean of Sciences.

Get credit:

Once you have established a connection with a faculty member, you can discuss the best way to contribute your time. This might take the form of a volunteer experience. In some cases it may be possible to get course credit for the work the you do as an independent study course.


Faculty specialize in the following research areas:

Dr. Cathy Solomon
I am a feminist family sociologist. I study how people create work and personal lives that make sense to them as well as how those lives are shaped by ideologies about gender.
Dr. Kathy Livingston
Sociology of death, funerals, hospice. Sociology of disability.

Dr.  Alan Bruce
I am interested in supervising independent studies on a range of criminal justice issues.
Dr. Grace Yukich
Interests: religion, race/ethnicity, immigration.Projects: 1) research on Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim activism; 2) research on racial and religious discrimination.
Dr. Don C. Sawyer III
I work with students in high school to develop programs they deem necessary to meet their needs for academic success. Most of these initiatives involve multimedia projects based on the principle of critical media literacy. I’m also working on a project with Prof. McGuinn focused on the experiences of men reentering society after serving time in prison.
  Dr. Hillary Haldane
My research explores the intersection of Indigenous rights and violence against women. The region of the world I’m interested in is Oceania and Australia. I’m passionate about research that translates into policy and social change.
Dr. Jaime Ullinger
I work with human skeletons to answer questions about the past. Currently, I am working on projects related to health in the past, as well as on research related to cremations.
Dr. Julia Giblin
My research uses the chemical composition of archaeological remains to reconstruct what ancient people from Eastern Europe ate and where they lived. I mentor students in archaeological chemistry laboratory techniques such as the trace element and isotopic analysis of human and animal skeletal remains. I also take students to Hungary during the summer as part of the BAKOTA project field school.
Dr. Sue Hudd
For the past year, I have been working on a project related to sports and character development.  Why do athletes, and the public, cling to the belief that sports produces character when much of the empirical research, and daily events in the sports world suggest otherwise?  My research explores this paradox by examining the “rules of the covenant” that teammates forge, the strong attachments they experience and the ways in which these deep relationships and the obligations that they instill create a sense of morality within the team.  I would enjoy the opportunity to work with students who have research interests related to organized sport.A second area of research interest for me builds on a decade of work with student writing, and a project I completed a number of years ago on the development of faculty listening skills.  Recent research shows the importance of mindfulness in learning, particularly in learning surrounding issues of diversity.  I continue to read and develop ideas in this area:  how to integrate the processes of listening, writing and mindfulness in ways that can enhance student learning on issues related to diversity and would welcome the opportunity to work with a student who shares similar interests.