My substantive expertise revolves around the way social policy shapes and reflects social inequalities, especially in the area of education. Most of my work is quantitative and frequently involves comparative-international and comparative-historical data. It has appeared in top Sociology and specialty journals e.g., Social Science Research, Armed Forces & Society, Law and Policy, Socius, Journal of Family Issues, American Journal of Education, Social Stratification and Mobility, Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Mobilization, and Social Science History. Over the years, I have received research funding and fellowships from several sources, notably the Spencer Foundation, Mellon Foundation, National Academy of Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, National Endowment for the Humanities, MacArthur Foundation, and Fulbright. My research has also attracted national and local media attention.
Currently, I am involved in several collaborative research projects, all of which also have involved graduate and/or undergraduate research assistants.
- A collaborative project with the University of Alabama-Huntsville and the University of Connecticut examines how military service is related to individual and group-specific educational and occupational trajectories – with a special focus on STEM-related outcomes. This study has been funded by the National Science Foundation.
- A collaborative project with engineering colleagues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which examines what shapes decisions to major/graduate in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) fields, with emphasis on the role of individual vs. institutional factors that shape these STEM-related outcomes in higher education. This study has been funded by the National Science Foundation.
- A collaborative project with Climate and Computer Scientists at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and The Citadel, which examines determinants of social unrest in India and western Asia more broadly. This study has been funded by the U.S Department of Defense.
- A collaborative project with scholars at the University of Georgia, University of Massachusetts, and University of North Carolina-Charlotte, which examines changing homeschooling policies in the United States, between 1972 and 2009. This study has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities
- A nascent project with UNL graduate students, which examines how state-level social policies affect the way parents invest time into their school age children using time-use data for the US. This study has been funded by the UNL University Research Council.
I am always eager to provide training opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in acquiring/honing their data collection and analytic skills, whether by becoming involved in my own research projects or by designing their own empirical projects (independent research, honors theses, graduate theses). I work with students at all skill levels and am happy to provide students with training in and exposure to social science methods and analysis. Especially students interested in working with me on one of my own projects should possess solid research skills. For undergraduate this means completion of our 200-level methods sequence (or functional equivalent); for graduate students what this means depends on their stage of training. For example, every one of the research projects described above has provided funded training opportunities for multiple (under)graduate students. Alumnae/i whom I have had the pleasure to mentor have gone on to various graduate programs and/or work in state and federal government agencies, private for-profit as well as non-profit sectors careers.
I regularly teach undergraduate courses on a variety of topics related to social inequality – particular in the areas of race/ethnicity and gender. The introductory-level coursers I offer in these areas also meet institutional distribution requirements (ACE 6, ACE 9, and Global Diversity). In addition, I teach a series of advanced seminars at undergraduate and graduate levels dealing with a variety of social/public policy issues. This includes seminars in the history and sociology of education, gender and public policy, and social movements.
Sela Harcey, Christina Steidl and Regina Werum. 2021. “STEM Degrees and Military Service: An Intersectional Analysis.” Armed Forces and Society. Published online June 10, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X211022999
Werum, Regina, Christina Steidl, Sela Harcey, and Jacob Absalon. 2020. “Military Service and STEM Employment: Do Veterans have an Advantage?” Social Science Research vol 92: November 2020, published online September 29, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2020.102478
Steidl, Christina, Regina Werum, Sela Harcey, Jacob Absalon, and Alice MillerMacPhee. 2020. “Soldiers to Scientists: Gender, Military Service, and STEM Degree Earning.” Socius vol. 6: January 2020, published online August 10, 2020. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2378023120948713
Renzulli, Linda, Regina Werum, and Anne Kronberg. 2020. “Contested Terrain? Homeschooling Laws and Court Cases in the Era of School Choice, 1972-2009.” Sociological Forum 35:2:297-322, published online January 28, 2020. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/socf.12582
Scheuerman, Heather L., Alison Faupel, Christie Parris, and Regina Werum. 2019. “What Do Social Movements Have to Do with It? Reporting Anti-Gay Hate Crime in the United States.” Law and Policy 42:1:31-55, published online December 10, 2019. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/lapo.12139
Boutcher, Steven, Anne Kronberg, and Regina Werum. 2018. “Getting on the ‘Radar Screen’: Homeschooling Litigation As Agenda Setting, 1972-2007.” Mobilization 23: 2 (June): 159-180. https://doi.org/10.17813/1086-671X-23-2-159
Recent Grant activity
U.S. Department of Defense, HM0476-18-BAA-0001, 2019-2024 (exp.). Co-PI (lead PI Deepti Joshi/The Citadel; co-PIs Michael Hayes, Ashok Samal, Leenkiat Soh, Regina Werum/UNL): “Anticipating Social Unrest Using Integrated Model- and Data-Driven Approaches: The Impact of Socio-Demographic and Environmental Factors in Post-Colonial Nations.”
National Science Foundation (NSF), SBE/SES/Sociology 17279679, 2017-19, lead PI (co-PI Christina Steidl/UAH): “Collaborative Research: Soldiers to Citizens… to Scientists? How Military Service and GI Bills Shape STEM Trajectories.”
National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Grant DUE/TUES 1323633, 2013-2018, co-PI (lead PIs Lance Perez and Stephen Cooper/UNL): “Collaborative Research: A Chautauqua Program for the 21st Century.”
Prior to joining the Sociology department, I served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the Office of Research and Economic Development here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). In that capacity I also served as the Institutional Official for a broad range of compliance areas, worked with faculty on developing external and internal grant proposals, and managed internal grant competitions. Before joining UNL, I served as a Program Director (Sociology) at the National Science Foundation (2010-12). My academic career began at Emory University in Atlanta (GA), where I held faculty appointments in Sociology and was also affiliated with the African American Studies and the Women, Gender and Sexuality programs from 1995 to 2012. I just completed a term as the President of the UNL Chapter of the American Association of University Professors/AAUP. I am also an active member of Rotary 14 (Lincoln’s downtown club), for which I have been active in the Rotary Youth Exchange/RYE program and leading the Dictionary Project (which serves thousands of local elementary school students). Last but not least, I get to say “Go Big Red” twice as loud and twice as proudly: I earned my PhD in Sociology and American Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington.