Faculty use FTLC grant to establish Social Science Lab

October 26, 2021 (Volume 45, Number 5)
Article by Peg West

Student looks at two computer monitors; image is is black and white

Rylie Dorman looks at two computer monitors during a Student Summer Scholars project. The Social Science Lab provides space for collaborative research, including this type of data analysis.

Photo Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills

The Social Science Lab, housed within the Sociology Department, provides an important centralized space to process data, faculty members said.

And there are aspirations to expand its scope.

Sociology faculty members Anna Hammersmith and Amanda Buday, and Bradford Dykes, assistant professor of statistics, collaborated to obtain a teaching innovation grant from the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center to renovate and equip unused office space for the lab located in Au Sable Hall.

"Our goal in creating the Social Science Lab is to provide a space for students working on social science research through research assistant positions, independent studies or classwork," Hammersmith said.

The space provides a solution to practical considerations such as having enough room for faculty members to work with students as well as the multiple computer screens sometimes required for complex social science data analysis, Buday said.

Buday said having this designated lab provides a professional setting that not only benefits students but is also beneficial for meetings with community partners.

Ultimately, Buday said, the faculty members hope to develop this lab more as a resource for both people on campus and in the greater community. Having a data lab available helps reinforce the quality of the assistance Grand Valley can provide to those who are collecting and managing social science data.

"We want this to be a place where people can come if they want to do social science research but need support," Buday said.

 

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This article was last edited on October 26, 2021 at 11:54 a.m.

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