Isaac Wells has a wide range of interests that have led him down many paths. A Lincoln, Nebraska, native, Isaac recalls developing a strong interest in both the natural sciences and the social sciences while attending Lincoln High School. It was there that he discovered that the process of learning and research was more important than end product of what the research revealed.
Now, as a junior sociology and Spanish double major with a chemistry minor, Isaac has found ways to put all of his interests to work. During the summer of 2016, Isaac enrolled in SOCI 206 with instructor Joseph Jochman. The sociology course focused on research and data analysis with an emphasis on developing skills in Stata, a program that allows users to analyze collected data. Toward the end of the course, Prof. Jochman said that he needed student assistants to help with the class for fall 2016. Isaac jumped on the opportunity and applied to be in the USTARS (Undergraduate Sociology Teaching and Research Student) program under Prof. Jochman.
"Before SOCI 206, I didn’t have any background in coding,” Isaac said. “But learning how to properly code data is essential if you want to use Stata properly. Fortunately for me, learning how to use Stata wasn’t difficult, but in a class with around twenty students, there are always going to be people who need assistance.”
Because Prof. Jochman could only help so many people at once, he had Isaac assist other students as they learned to use the program. Isaac said he may continue his USTARS work with Prof. Jochman this semester, but his other work may complicate things. In addition to his work in sociology, Isaac is also involved in a UCARE (Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research) project that involves creating cerium oxide nano-rods to be used as catalysts in labs. Isaac also majors in Spanish, a language which he had to learn three years ago when he went to Oakland and San Francisco, California, to conduct missionary work.
“To put it simply, there are a lot of things I’m working on,” Isaac said.
For the rest of his undergraduate career, Isaac hopes to continue using what he has learned in practical ways.
“Part of why I enjoy sociology and chemistry is their practicality,” he said. “They aren’t just about abstract theories and they aren’t idealistic. Experimentation and real-world experience is what I want most out of my education.”
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