The sociology department faculty encourage undergraduate students to engage in original research, either individually or in collaboration with their professors.

In many of our courses — especially Sociology 271 (Social Statistics) and Sociology 272 (Research Methods in Sociology) — students acquire computer skills and develop their own data files. They are also assisted in preparing manuscripts, which may be presented at professional meetings and considered for publication in professional journals. A number of organizations sponsor conferences at which undergraduates can gain experience in the presentation of papers.

The following are some major research/funding opportunities for undergraduates at Wake Forest.

Richter Scholars

The Richter Scholars Program supports independent study scholarships with financial awards up to $6000 for undergraduate students in the College and the Calloway School of Wake Forest University. Richter Scholarships are competitively awarded for students proposing an independent study project requiring travel away from Winston-Salem. International projects are especially encouraged. The Richter Scholar awards are the largest single awards on campus for the purpose of independent study. Students are encouraged to pursue enriching, broadening projects that have the promise of being life-changing. To enrich the independent study experience, each student is required to have a faculty mentor for his or her project. The deadline for applications is typically set for February each year.  More information is available here.

Previous Richter Scholars from the Sociology Department include:

  • Erin Hellman (2013):  “Gender and Family Inequality in South Korea” (Advisor:  Dr. Robin Simon)
  • Leek Deng (2010): “Healthcare Delivery in Uganda” (Advisor: Dr. Ana-Maria Gonzalez Wahl)
  • Susan Amanda Lucas (2008): “Homeless Women and an Elusive Gender Ideal (Advisor: Dr. Catherine Harnois)
  • Kayla Landers (2007): “Conflict of Interest in Goal Attainment: A Case Study of Education in Ghana” (Advisor: David Yamane)

Summer Research Fellowship

The Wake Forest Research Fellowship Program is designed to encourage individual undergraduates to join their professors as junior partners on scholarly research activities. These scholarships provide a summer stipend and housing for students who work with WFU students during the summer. More information is available here

Previous Wake Forest Research Fellows from the Sociology Department include:

  • Gurdeep Singh (2012):  “Politicizing the Poor: Analyzing Political Party Affiliation and Blameworthiness of Poverty by Presidential Candidates in the 2012 Election” (Advisor:  Dr. Steve Gunkel)
  • Dayne Hamrick (2007): “Immigration in United States and Spain” (Advisor : Dr. Ana-Maria Gonzalez Wahl)
  • Shaughnessy O’Brien (2006): “Cultural Capital and Elite College Admissions” (Advisor: Dr. Joseph Soares)
  • Taylor Stout (2006): “Education and the Latino Community in Forsyth County” (Advisor: Dr. Ana-Maria Gonzalez Wahl)

Starr Travel Awards

Starr Scholarships are awarded for up to $700 for the purpose of meeting expenses related to the presentation and/or travel costs. Awards will be made quarterly. More information is available here