Four Sociology undergraduates win PURI grants

November 22, 2023 - Karessa Weir

Four Sociology students have been awarded grants from the Provost’s Office to pursue research on climate change and campus sexual culture with faculty mentors.

Robin Border will be working with Dr. Stephen Gasteyer on “Labor and the Climate Crisis” while Matayia Newbern, Lauren Golden and Emma Huizenga will work with Dr. Sarah Prior on a project titled “Is everyone really hooking up? Examining campus sexual culture and consent.”

“These three SOC majors will be working on an ongoing project about campus sexual culture and consent,” Dr. Prior said. “This study is the continuation of a project that was started in F22. It seeks to understand the sexual culture on MSU’s campus, focusing specifically on understandings of sexual consent. Media and the popular imaginary would have us believe that college campuses are rampant with hookups and other casual sexual encounters. Utilizing qualitative journal data, we hope to uncover whether this is the case for students at MSU.”

The 2023 Provost’s Undergraduate Research Initiative (PURI) grant awardees funded 35 undergraduate Social Scientists and their faculty mentors receiving funding for 25 different research proposals. 

Each year, the Provost's office and the College of Social Science provide these funds to support undergraduates conducting research with MSU faculty. This financial assistance gives students the opportunity to conduct transformative research one-on-one or as part of a research team with graduate students, furthering the College’s goal of inclusion in research. Students work closely alongside faculty mentors to get involved in research at all levels, from learning critical research skills to developing and completing their own research projects with real world impacts. Often students see this research published in academic papers or journals, or receive the opportunity to present their findings at conferences such as the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF).