Involving students in primary research enhances education – increasing student interest, retention, grades, and graduation rates. Engaged students can likewise bring invaluable assistance to cutting edge research. The Inter-Mountain Social Research Lab (IMSRL) of the Department of Sociology connects peers and supervisors to sustain conversations about the state of higher education; to expose students to the process of qualitative research; and to provide them intellectual tools and resources they can take into their graduate careers.
IMSRL addresses pressing issues in the discipline and the Boise community through bringing research and teaching together. In a yearlong intensive research training program, faculty guide a small group of undergraduate students through developing and executing all aspects of an original research project, from inception to dissemination.
During the summer and fall stages of IMSRL, students build their knowledge-base through reading literature and writing proposals that address their chosen topics. Spring semester incorporates the project into an upper division class, with the research students mentoring their peers through different aspects of the project. Students and faculty present their findings at a regional conference, at Boise State, at community venues, and through peer-reviewed articles.
The second cohort of IMSRL students presented five papers at the Pacific Sociological Association’s annual conference March 21-24, 2013 in lovely Sparks, NV. Three members of the sociology club traveled with them to Sparks and cheered them on. They repeated their presentations at the Boise State undergraduate conference that you can see below. This could be you!!