Since February 2016, Luke Novak, a sophomore Sociology and Biological Sciences double major, has aided Sociology Department Chair, Dr. Julia McQuillan’s research through the USTARS (Undergraduate Sociology Teaching and Research Student) program.
After taking a sociology course with Dr. McQuillan during his freshman year, Luke was interested in the research opportunities that sociology could offer him.
“At the time I was just a biological sciences major,” Luke said. “Dr. McQuillan told me about becoming involved with the USTARS program and how it could help me gain research experience, but first I had to declare Sociology as a major.”
Wanting to become involved in research, Luke declared his double major, and by the second semester of his freshman year was retrieving articles for Dr. McQuillan’s research.
“Most of my work consisted of finding articles that Dr. McQuillan needed for literature reviews. I remember one project she was working on focused on people’s knowledge, trust, and interest in science. I think that project is in its finishing stages now,” Luke said.
Luke’s interest in both sociology and biology has helped him realize his full range of interests. As a pre-med student, Luke must not only be aware of the health issues that afflict individuals, but also with health problems that impact communities as a whole.
Since first becoming involved with USTARS, Luke has continued to work with Dr. McQuillan and plans to continue through the Spring 2017 semester.
Story by Lane Chasek
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