JMU view to the west

Students in the Sociology and Anthropology majors have a wide range of opportunities to develop the rigorous research skills necessary for a strong entry into their professional lives or graduate school.

In the Classroom

Students learn research skills in courses such as SOCI 300 Sociological Inquiry, SOCI 480 Senior Seminar in Sociology, ANTH 435 Ethnographic Genres and Methods, ANTH 445 Methods and Research Perspectives in Biological Anthropology, and ANTH 455 Archaeology: Methods of Analysis and Interpretation.  These are all small, upper-level seminar-style classes that offer direct hands-on learning.

Outside of the Classroom

Students in Sociology and Anthropology are highly engaged in issues that impact people's daily lives.  So it is not surprising that our majors also practice their research skills outside of the classroom. These opportunities include:

  • Field Schools and Study Abroad Programs
  • The Archaeology Lab
  • Internships
  • Service Learning Experiences
  • Research and Teaching Assistantships with Professors

Examples of Student Research

Many Sociology and Anthropology majors decide to “dig deeper” with their research and study one-on-one with their professors in researching and writing up Independent Studies and Honors Theses.  Our majors frequently present the results of their research at the department symposium, as well as at regional and national scholarly conferences.

Lily Fisher—Honors Thesis on the results of student-led archaeological evaluation at Woodrow Wilson Birthplace site in Staunton.

Madeleine Bolton—Honors Thesis on GIS analysis of climate and infrastructure data in West African countries and how those factors affect morbidity and mortality during Ebola virus outbreaks. 

Katie Brauckmann—Honors Thesis on independent archaeological evaluation of the Fannie Thompson site in Greenville, VA.

Taylor Denny--Independent Scholars Program—research into geoarchaeological applications in archaeology.

Sydney Inger—Honors Independent Scholar—research into food insecurity among LGBTQ+ youth 

Jasmine Winters—Independent Study-- the role of exoticized food preferences in college-student status culture.

Irene Song-- an Independent Scholars major-- mental illness from an interdisciplinary perspective

Stephanie Ashwell—Honors Thesis--: “The Army National Guard: Recruitment, Retention, and the Balance of Life”

Adeeb Atariwa –Independent Study– Student-Athlete management of stress and academic performance

Kaneisha Brooks – Independent Study-- Reality television, cultural capital, and cultural appropriation

John Daka – Independent Study-- Mental health issues among student athletes

David Eldridge – Independent Study-- White supremacist violence and nonviolent resistance 

Kylie Flores – Independent Study-- Gender, the modern workforce, and discrimination 

Joe Gumpf – Independent Study-- Social isolation and mental health

Jennifer Hilton – Independent Study-- Identity, stigma, and sorority membership 

Lily Hoffman – Independent Study-- Voluntourism, study abroad, and white savior complex

Hailey McGee – Independent Study-- Queer identity work among all-girls camp counselors 

Jahee Jackson – Independent Study-- Subcultural capital within college athletics

Madelyn Penrod – Independent Study-- Identity, stigma, and “town and gown” relationships

Erika Rodgers – Independent Study-- Building a culture of consent within elementary school classrooms

Greg Smetek – Independent Study-- Social psychological considerations of stand-up comedy

Caroline Steimel – Independent Study-- Experiences of self and identity within a Show Choir 

Alexis Schneider--– Independent Study--Feminist Science Studies

Alexis Schneider--Honors Thesis--“Gender Inclusivity in STEM”

Elle Del Gallo--Honors Thesis--“Assessment of Structural Competency in Baccalaureate Nursing Students: A Descriptive Study.”

Hailey McGee and Tyler Wolfe researched and co-published with Dr Stephen Poulson “Racism on Campus: Yearbook Pictures from Prominent Virginia Colleges (1890-1930)” in Contexts December 2020

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