Student Research

student researchSince 2000 Valpo Social Work Students have conducted their own original research and presented it in public forums. In Social Work 365, Introduction to Methods of Social Research, groups of two or three students select a topic related to social work and conduct their own research projects including instrument development, methodological planning, data collection, data analysis, as well as presenting the findings in both oral and written form. These presentations are given at Valparaiso's Celebration of Scholarship and Butler's Undergraduate Research Conference.

Presentation topics in recent years included...


  •  Service Learning and Its Transformative Effects on the College Experience: Randi Charters, Cassie Hailey, Mary O’Brien, Dashiauna Washington 
  •  Mental Health Stigmas and Counseling Center Utilization: Christina Crawley, Johannah Facer, Simone Ingram, Cara Odom, Sara Watts 
  • Emotional Responses Upon Study Abroad Reentry: Amanda Jonikaitis, Patty Carrillo, Maleni Angon, Lindsey Dever 
  • Does Watching Sexually-Oriented Reality Television Increase the Frequency of Viewer’s Sexual Activity? : Stephannie Zamboti, Angelina Goheen, Caitlin Fitzpatrick, Madeline Berger 



  •  Effects of Electronic Communication on Face-to-Face Communication: Colleen Bulow, Barb LaRocco, Bethany Garling, Amy Wise
  • Awareness of Contraceptive Availability at Valparaiso University: Katherine Cole, Charlotte Johnson, Megan Marimen
  •  Amount of Knowledge about Sex Trafficking in the United States among Valparaiso University Students: Taylor Fuller, Abigail Matter, Alyssa Kasper
  • Diversity in the Media: Jane Hurdish, Emily Penn, Ashley Watson


  • Living Homeless: The Interactions between Homeless Individuals and the Community in Which They Reside
    Rachel Okerstom, Lena Walsh
  • Stripper's Rights and Safety in the United States (Student's Choice Award)
    Emily Beatty, Amanda Rychtanek, Madeline Schuttey
  • Valpraiso University Campus Climate Survey "How Chilly is it in Valpo?"
    Nicole Hudson, Erica Wickstrom
  • Cultural Competency in High School Educators
    Jodie Buchanan, Sidney Findley, Rachel Pollock
  • Relationship between Aggressive Driving and Various Types of Music
    Karen Davidson, Ora Whitehead
  • A Simple Understanding of Attention Deficit Disorders and Resources for the Afflicted and Their Support Group
    Amber Hauser

 picture of student presentationpicture of student presenterspicture of student presenter


  • The Extent of Visual Media Intake and Its Implications on Women's Body Perception
    Kirsten Eid, Madelyn Horvath, Megan Robbins
  • Accurate Perceptions: Race and Gender in the University Setting
    Kelsey Gatza, Alissa Kretzmann, Sarah Peters
  • Positive Influences of Being an Active Member of an Online Social Networking Site
    Amber Hauser, Erin Moeller
  • Facebook: Friend or Foe?
    Lizz Mook, Cate Valentine
  • Religious Affiliation and Its Influence on Attitudes toward Intimate Partner Violence
    Christiana Redman, Angela Robertson
  • Discrimination vs. Acceptance of Homosexuality at Valparaiso University
    Jennifer Johnson, Brittney Smiejek, Jennifer Pokorny

picture of student presenterspicture of student presentergroup picture at Butler


  • The Effects of Societal Constructs on Perceptions of Masculinity and Femininity.
    Kathryn Harris, Neal Janssen, Tia Kolasa
  • The Prevelence of Depression in the Elderly Based on Living Situation.
    Carlee Nelson, Sarah Johnson, Kelly Henkels
  • A Study of Relationships of Individuals between Verbal Discrimination and Positive Association with Vulnerable Populations.
    Jessica McCallum, Kelsie Tieman
  • How Does Theatre Make You Feel? The Study of how Viewing Theatre Affects Emotional State.
    Redrick Taylor
  • The Attitudes and Comfort Levels of Undergraduate Students at Valparaiso University toward specific Diverse Populations.
    Carl Hufford, Sara Tucker, Hailly Wakeland


  • (Dean’s Choice Presentation) Eating Disorders among College Students
    Jeanette Gutierrez, Julie Milosevich, Susie Morales
  • A Study of the Relationship between Nutritional Knowledge and Healthy Eating Habits.
    Claire Brackmann, Megan Hamilton
  • Religious Involvement and College Students’ Outlook on Life.
    Mele Cabral, Amy LaGrange, John Stern
  • Exploring the Relationship between Alcohol Consumption and Happiness.
    Krissy Noren, Lisa Ellens
  • The Impact of Valparaiso University’s Study Abroad Program on Students’ Worldviews.
    Whitney Pollatz, Jodi Naumann

 Butler  Butler  Butler


  • A Study of Depression and Social Connectedness
    Rebecca Lohrmann, Kelly Erikson, Collette Doerschuk, Amanda Littell
  • Investigation of Poverty Opinions on Valparaiso University’s Campus
    Karen Meuzelaar, Shariliz Martinez, Shannon Speaker

Amie and the award Just Finished Speaking Explaining ANOVA results


  • Comparing Valparaiso University Students’ Knowledge About STDs Based Upon High School Background
    Gayle Joll, Audrey Hall, Kristen Kardas
  • Matriculation to Graduation: Student Attitudes toward Homosexuality and HIV/AIDS
    Erin McElwee, Pamela Saylor, Carolyn Stypka
  • The Development of Students’ Thoughts on Homosexuality on a Lutheran Campus (Valparaiso University Board of Directors Award)
    Judy Velasco, Amie Stefanich, Sean McGinnnis
  • Views of Interracial Relationships on a Primarily White Campus
    Sarah Wong, Steven Humphris
  • What Deters Young People from Smoking Cigarettes?
    Rachel Kirkwood, Kendre Israel, Kendra Wicks

No sign of nerves  Celebration of Scholarship


  • Drunk Driving: Behaviors and Attitudes of College Students (Valparaiso University Board of Directors Award)
    Rachel Christiansen, Kelly Halcarz, Carissa Redeker
  • Knowledge and Attitudes Concerning Social Work at Valparaiso University
    Kimberly Sawusch, Gina Leon
  • Beds and Britches Etc. (B.A.B.E.) Program Evaluation
    Erin Votava, Kelly Bell
  • Rape and Sexual Assault: Beliefs and Behaviors
    Sarah Adam, Sarah Kramer