Undergraduate Research Opportunities For Honor Students

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research provides invaluable opportunities for you to deepen your understanding of your discipline or to prepare for graduate school. In many cases, these opportunities lead into topics for Honors theses.

Faculty, if you haven’t already worked with Honors students, you’ll find that mentoring them in research is rewarding and that they can make meaningful contributions to your project. Provide information about your research project(s) below so that we can share it with Honors students:


Prof. Clarissa Arms-Chavez

Department of Psychology, College of Sciences

Project start: Open

Project end: Open

Description of opportunity:

Students would have the opportunity to continue to run a previous MS thesis social-cognitive psychological experiment to gather more data.

In this study, we will continue to examine how a single bout of intense exercise and repeated exposure to individuating information changes the accessibility to person versus group-based (i.e., group stereotypes) memories. This experiment requires all research assistants to be CPR certified. You’ll also learn how to use a cycle ergometer, monitor heart rates, and test for blood pressure.

Looking for: This experiment will likely take a year to complete. Students should be either a psychology major or minor. This is a rather arduous experimental design. Students should be dependable, motivated, and have flexible schedules.

Duties: Students will be expected to run the experiment and help train other students to run the experiment. Students will be expected to read literature on background theories involved within the experiment. Students may also be involved in writing an IRB protocol and data analysis (via SAS).

Amount of time estimated/week: Average of 5 hours a week. This is flexible.

To learn more: Email: [email protected] 

Prof. Chris Bang

Department of Information Systems, College of Business

Project start: 1/10/2020

Project end: 5/20/2021

Description of opportunity:

Developing a computer application to collecting data from online forum(like Reddit) or SNSs. Otherwise, modifying existing application (which I am already using)

Looking for: Computer programming

Duties: Students are expected develop or upgrading a computer application can facilitate researches which leverage secondary data from Internet.

Amount of time estimated/week: 5

To learn more: Email [email protected]

Prof. Tara Beziat

Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology; College of Education

Project start: Open

Project end: Open

Description of opportunity: My research topic is metacognition. Cleaning and sorting survey data. Finding and summarizing articles including annotations.

Looking for: No qualifications necessary

Duties: Reviewing Data sets collected through Qualtrics and sorting and cleaning the data using Excel. If time allows, I can work with the student to show them how to use SPSS- statistical software. Conducting literature reviews.

Amount of time estimated per week: 1-5 hours

To learn more: Email is best – [email protected]

Prof. Kim Brackett

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work; College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Project start: Grandparenting is in progress so the student could start now.

Project end: When the manuscript is submitted, but we could find another project after that — there are at least 5 articles planned from the data.

Description of opportunity: Constructions of family life and pathways to family formation. Currently we have data about family ministry and I am interested in looking at grandparents as part of the family experience.

My past research includes examinations of dating and relationship formation. I’d love to work on some of these topics again.

I do some additional work on pedagogy and meta-cognition.  A curiosity I currently have involves the evolving language in the area of gender.

Looking for: I’d like to work with a student for longer than just one semester. It’s important that the student have a basic understanding of sociological concepts and an academic interest in personal relationships. Curiosity about society is a huge plus.

Duties: Reading and literature review work on grandparenting and family ministry. Possible interview question development, IRB protocol work, and  data collection around a gender study or dating study.

Amount of time estimated/week: I am flexible on this. It depends on student availability.

To learn more: Stop by my office -319 Clement Hall or send me an email – [email protected]

Prof. Michael Burger

Department of History and World Languages and Cultures, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Project start: Already started

Project end: Until about December 2021 or so.

Description of opportunity: I’m working on a book on spatial dimensions of medieval diocesan administration.  Bishops were increasing their control over their dioceses and creating centralized bureaucracies to enable them to do so.  How hard was it to overcome a culture that expected power to be exercised face to face?  One aspect of the book will be analyzing the movement of bishops and its relationship (or lack of relationship) with the locale of the business they handled using Geographic Information Systems (i.e., the application of computer technology to spatial relationships).  This will require a lot of data entry, where a student might be helpful.

Looking for: I would need a student who reads well and is anal retentive about detail.  Ability to read Latin would be a big plus, but in certain phases of the project would not be necessary.  A plus also would be command of the GIS program, GeoMedia.

Duties: Reading the chief administrative records of medieval bishops, called “bishop’s registers” and entering data from them into Excel spreadsheets.  Some of these registers are primarily in the form of English summaries, so Latin will not always be needed depending on what register I’m working on.

Amount of time estimated/week: This could be quite variable.  Say, 3 hours per week?

To learn more: Email would be best:  [email protected].

Prof. Agnitra Roy Choudhury

Department of Economics, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Project start: as soon as possible

Project end: March 2020

Description of opportunity:

Mainly work on empirical projects and quantitative analysis. This project deals with analyzing how access to paid family leave affects early childhood health investments. We will be looking at various markers to detect health investments, such as birth weight, infant mortality, etc. The other side of this same project is analyzing the impact of paid family leave programs on employment of women in the child bearing years and their labor market opportunities.

Looking for: Economics, Computer science, finance, mathematics

Duties: Work on data transformations, aggregating data, cleaning data, and some basic statistical analysis.

Amount of time estimated/week: 10 hours per week maximum

To learn more: Email: [email protected]

Prof. Semih Dinc

Department of Computer Science, College of Sciences

Project start: N/A

Project end: N/A

Description of opportunity: I am currently working on Machine Learning / Computer Vision / Robotics related research projects.

Looking for: Computer Science major with experience of programming and math. I do not require significant experience, just willing to learn would be sufficient.


  • Write implementations of machine learning methods
  • Report results
  • Contribute writing Conference/Journal Papers
  • Present Posters
  • Make Presentations

Amount of time estimated/week: 3 to 5 hours a week

To learn more: Visit my office hours Monday/Wednesday from 9 am to noon. Or email at [email protected].

Prof. Bob Evans

Department of English, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Project start: ongoing

Project end: ongoing

Description of opportunity: For the past half decade I have been editing a series of books on literary topics, including authors, themes, and titles. I try to include student essays in these books, along with essays by prominent faculty from throughout the world. To get a sense of what has been published so far, go here and look for “Critical Insights”:


Looking for: Any student who can write clearly and is dedicated to serious scholarship is a potential candidate.

Duties: Depends on the qualifications of the student; usually the writing of an essay is required.

Amount of time estimated/week: Varies

To learn more: [email protected]

Prof. Lee Farrow

Department of History, World Languages, and Cultures, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Project start: Any time

Project end: None at the moment

Description of opportunity: I am considering writing my next book on the travels of Emmeline Pankhurst, the British feminist and suffragette, in Russia. Pankhurst visited Russia during the Russian Revolution, eager to capitalize on the changes taking place to further the rights of women. A student could help me research for mentions of this in secondary literature and, possibly, newspapers.

Looking for: Any major, but student needs to be thorough and pay attention to details.

Duties: Secondary research online; ordering potential sources through interlibrary loan and copying relevant pages; possibly research in newspapers online or on microfilm.

Amount of time estimated per week: To be negotiated, flexible.

To learn more: Email [email protected] or stop by my office, 345 Liberal Arts on Wednesdays or make and appointment

Prof. Pryce ("Pete") Haddix

Department of Biology, College of Sciences

Project start: Although project is ongoing, Dr. Haddix is willing to mentor new students after Spring 2020.

Project end: ongoing

Description of opportunity: Research in microbiology involving the biological function of a red pigment produced by Serratia marcescens bacteria.  My ongoing work has shown that the pigment modulates in a complex manner the production of the energy storage compound ATP.

Looking for: Junior or Senior standing; successful completion of two semesters of general chemistry with their labs as well as microbiology and its labs.

Duties: Experimental work on the project using laboratory equipment including a spectrophotometer and a chemostat.  Data analysis and conclusion using Microsoft Excel.  Preparation of a poster presentation describing the results.

Amount of time estimated/week: That depends on the credit hour option for our research course BIOL 4932 Directed Research:  1 credit = 3 hours; 2 credits = 6 hours; 3 credits = 9 hours

To learn more: Dr. Pete Haddix [email protected]; 334-244-3333

Prof. David Hughes

Department of Political Science and Public Administration, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Project start: ASAP

Project end: Indeterminate

Description of opportunity: The student would be responsible for collecting data about candidates for state courts of last resort between 2002 and 2014.

Looking for: The student should either be enrolled presently or have already satisfactorily passed POLS 2020 (Introduction to American Politics). Students should also be proficient in Microsoft Excel.

Duties: Researching candidate biographies and recording their results in Microsoft Excel.

Amount of time estimated/week: As much as they would like to shoulder.

To learn more: My email address is [email protected].

Prof. Jackie McNett

Department of Criminal Justice , College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Project start: Open

Project end: Open

Description of opportunity:

Media Content Analysis of Forensic Files

Looking for:

  • Access to Netflix
  • Experience with Microsoft Excel
  • Any major
  • Undergraduate or graduate


1) Watching Forensic Files

2) Taking detailed notes

3) Creating Excel spreadsheets

Amount of time estimated/week: Flexible: 1-3 hours a week

To learn more: Email [email protected]

Prof. Lilian Mina

Department of English and Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Project start: January 2020

Project end: No end date yet but this is a long project and I also have others that the student can help with.

Description of opportunity:

I’m starting a project on students’ writing and designing activities performed in co- and extra-curricular activities in their first year at AUM. These activities may be performed as part of AUM clubs and organizations or in off-campus events. I’ll be collecting the artifacts students produce at these activities, survey them at the beginning and end of the study, and ask them to write short reflections at three points during the study.

Looking for: Attention to details and punctuality is all I’m looking for; the rest I can train the student to do. I’d like for the student to work for more than one semester to develop that understanding of the project and to develop expertise in research.

Duties: I’d like for a research assistant to help with collecting artifacts from students participating in co- and extra-curricular activities; library and internet research possibly with annotations; sorting and organizing verbal data. The students may also contact potential participants to encourage them to participate in the study.

Amount of time estimated/week: It depends on student availability.

To learn more: Email me on [email protected] or stop by my office LA335.

Prof. Joseph Newman

Department of Business Administration, College of Business

Project start: Immediately or January 2020.

Project end: May 2020 or beyond.

Description of opportunity:

Research in the fairness of executive compensation compared to benefits to other stakeholders such as shareholders and employees. The research is being done in companies in general and more needs to be done in companies by industry. Data for analysis and literature (articles) are needed. Opportunity is as a research assistant.

Looking for: Business majors, specifically in Finance, Accounting, and Management.

Duties: Collecting data on companies with regard to pay for top executives, number of employees, employee pay, and more. Also needed are popular press and academic articles on executive compensation.

Amount of time estimated/week: At the discretion of the student. However, 3 hours minimum per week for 8 weeks to be put on paper as research assistant.

To learn more: Email [email protected] or stop by Clement Hall 302A Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, 1-5:00 p.m.

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