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 such as the Journal of Family Issues, American Journal of Education, Social Stratification and Mobility, Studies in Comparative International Development, 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, National Academy of Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, National Endowment for the Humanities, MacArthur Foundation, and Fulbright.
Currently, I am involved in several collaborative research projects, all of which also have involved graduate and undergraduate research assistants.
- A collaborative project with the University of Georgia, University of Massachusetts, and University of North Carolina-Charlotte examines changing home schooling policies in the United States, between 1972 and 2009. This study has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the NEH.
- A collaborative project with the University of Alabama-Huntsville examines how military service, including access to GI Bill benefits, has affected individual and group-specific educational and occupational trajectories over time. This study is NSF funded.
- A collaborative project with engineering colleagues at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln examines what shapes decisions to major/graduate in CSE fields, what shapes decisions to engage in professional development in these fields, and how individual and institutional factors come into play. This study is NSF funded.
- A collaborative project with Emory University examines the determinants of state-level variation in adoption laws. This builds on a previous study involving a team from the University of Connecticut, Georgia State University, Emory University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that investigated how parental investment strategies and subsequent educational outcomes differ among adoptive families and between adoptive and non-adoptive families.
- A collaborative project with the University of Rostock examines how state-level social policies affect the way parents invest time into their school age children using time-use data for the US and Germany.
- A collaborative project with Computer Science at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and The Citadel examines determinants of social unrest in several Asian countries. This study has been funded by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
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 (usually on education or social movements) or by designing their own empirical projects (independent research, honors theses, graduate theses). Preference goes to students who already 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.
I regularly teach undergraduate courses on a variety of topics related to social inequality – particular in the areas of race/ethnicity and gender. In addition, I teach a series of advanced courses 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 public policy, and social movements.
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.
Werum, Regina, Tomeka Davis, Simon Cheng, and Irene Browne. 2018. “Adoption Context, Parental Investment, and Children’s Educational Outcomes.” Journal of Family Issues 39 (Feb): 3:720-746;
Faupel, Alison and Regina Werum. 2011. “’Making Her Own Way’ -- The Transformation of the Woman Suffrage Movement.” Mobilization 16:2:181-200.
Recent Grant activity
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): “Collaborative Research: A Chautauqua Program for the 21st Century.”
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), NURI Research Grant, 2016-2018, co-PI (lead PI Deepti Joshi/The Citadel; co-PIs Leenkiat Soh, Ashok Samal, Regina Werum/University of Nebraska-Lincoln): “Anticipating Social Unrest Using Web-Based Spatio-Temporal Data-Driven Techniques.”
Prior to joining the Sociology department at Nebraska, I served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at the Office of Research and Economic Development here the university. 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 the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 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. Currently, I serve as the President (elect) of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln 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).