2013 ICPSR Summer Intern Research Projects

Project posters and video presentations by the 2013 ICPSR summer interns, with brief biographies:

Melinda Ashe of Case Western Reserve University (Ohio)

Poster: Contextual Factors Involved in End-of-Life Decision Making (PDF 1.5MB)

Ashe is a double major in Psychology and Economics graduating in 2014. She holds a perfect 4.0 GPA and is the recipient of the 2012 Phi Beta Kappa Prize and the James Dysart Magee Award. She has demonstrated strong quantitative skills in her studies and has knowledge of various statistical packages (Stata, SPSS, R, and MiniTab). After graduation, she would like to attend graduate school in behavioral Economics where she can further her studies in cooperation and group dynamics. Ashe is also quite active at her home institution where she serves on the executive board of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, and is a member of Psi Chi Fraternity. In her sophomore year, Ashe worked as a research assistant on the project titled "Pain and Psychological Distress in Middle-Aged and Older Married Couples, MSASS, CWRU." In her junior year, she further developed her passion for research and secured a research assistant position at Project RESTORE (Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Department of Justice) at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS) — a randomized trial of a novel re-entry program at the Cuyahoga County Jail that targets young people with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. Additionally, in 2012, Ashe served as a legal intern at The Rutherford Institute (TRI) and is currently a teaching assistant in the department of Economics. She worked with Robert Choate in the National Addiction and HIV Data Archive Program.

Lorraine Blatt of Grinnell College (Iowa)

Poster: Cultural Mismatch in the Achievement Gap: Self-construal as a Mediator between Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement (PDF 1.7MB)

Blatt is a double major in Psychology and Theatre graduating in 2014. She is familiar with the many intricacies of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) proposal, has conducted a field experiment with multiple subjects, and has analyzed data using SPSS and Minitab. In 2012 while studying abroad in London, UK, Blatt worked with a nonprofit arts organization that caters to the homeless populations, called Cardboard Citizens. She was responsible for the pilot implementation of a customized version of the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (SWEMWBS) that Cardboard Citizens is putting into practice. It is evident that her passion for psychology goes beyond the classroom; she would like to build on her work dealing with early education. In 2012, she interned at the Early Head Start Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles, where she managed, analyzed, and audited databases (including information on health services and medical records). In 2013, she worked as a mentor at the Grinnell College Psychology Department. Combining her love of children and her second major, Blatt has served as a teaching artist at the Hartford Children's Theatre, a board member of the Northeast Educational Theatre Association, and has held multiple stage manager positions. She is also a member of the Grinnell-based a capella group Noteworthy, and has performed several productions (large- and small-scale) including the Fresher's Musical Review at Imperial College, London. She worked with Rujuta Umarji in the Child Care and Early Education Research Connections archive.

Denzel Caldwell of Morehouse College (Georgia)

Poster: Analyzing the Employer Gap: Black-White Differences in Paths to Business Ownership (PDF 1.2MB)

Caldwell is an Economics major with a minor in African-American Studies graduating in 2014. According to Caldwell, he is driven by a "thirst for conducting academic research, engaging the issues in the community, and impacting the world." Specifically, he sees the resources at ICPSR as a way to utilize diverse data to help answer many of society's problems as they relate to both the domestic and international economies. After graduation, Caldwell would like to pursue a research career focusing on economic justice. He is the recipient of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars scholarship for first-year students and, in 2012, was inducted into the Henrik Clarke Honors Society for African-American Studies. He also serves as President of the African-American Studies Club, the Vice President of the William Tucker Society for African-American Majors & Minors, and is the founder of the AUCapoeira multicultural organization. Caldwell is versed in the Stata statistical program and has done preliminary analysis of the ICPSR Study: African-American Perspectives on the Future of Civil Rights in 1991. In spring 2012, Caldwell was member of the winning team of the Morehouse College Spring Symposium, where the team developed a business strategy to increase school recruitment. Additionally, he worked with the Andrew Mellon Program as a library intern, where he developed an Internet resource on the AUC Woodruff Library website for the martial arts. Later that summer, Caldwell interned at the INova Payroll Company in Nashville, Tennessee, where he gained experience with marketing research. He worked with Rachel Fletcher in the General Archive.

Elise Giammanco of Beloit College (Wisconsin)

Poster: Examining the Relationship Between Self-reported Levels of Happiness, Subjective Well-being, and Religiosity in Poland, Ukraine, and Denmark (PDF 3.9MB)

Giammanco is a senior Psychology and Russian Language double major with a minor in Russian Studies, graduating December 2013. In addition to her work at Beloit, she has participated in a study abroad program at Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow. She has experience with SPSS and R and serves as a Resident Assistant on campus. After graduation, she hopes to continue her education by pursuing a PhD in Social Psychology. Giammanco is a Presidential Scholarship recipient, a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipient, and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. She is also particularly active on campus. Giammanco is a member of the Theta Pi Gamma Sorority, the Student Congress Representative of the Russian club, and the treasurer of the Beloit bowling club. In 2012, she volunteered as a mentor at Morgan Elementary School and interned at the Domestic Violence Shelter for Women. Additionally, in 2011, she interned at the Youth Services of Wisconsin, where she taught job skills classes for at-risk youth. Her research interests include cross-cultural psychology, individualism and collectivism, stereotypes of women, corruption in groups, and effects of psychological trauma in prisoners through literature. In 2012, Giammanco served as a research assistant at the Implicit Social Cognition Lab at the University of Virginia and has presented her work "The Psychological Effects of Trauma in Russian Prison Camp Literature: An Examination of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Kolyma Tales" at the University of Maryland Undergraduate Research Conference and the University of Puerto Rico McNair Scholars Research Conference. Later that year, she attended the International Symposium Presentation where she presented her work "The Memorialization of the Gulag in Moscow, Russia." She worked with Lindsay Marciniec in the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

John Leverso of the University of Illinois at Chicago

Poster: Growing Up: The Effects of Adolescence on Future Criminal Activity in Serious Juvenile Offenders (PDF 2.4MB)

Leverso is a junior Sociology and Psychology double major at UIC graduating in 2014 and holds an Associate Degree in Science from Lincoln Trail Community College. He currently holds a perfect 4.0 GPA and is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society and is on the Dean's list. After graduation he intends to pursue a career in research and teaching at a major research institution. To accomplish this, he would like to continue his studies and eventually receive a PhD in Criminal Justice, Sociology, or Social Work, with a particular focus on juvenile delinquency. In 2012, Leverso worked as a research assistant at the Jane Addams College of Social Work; within the UIC Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Award Program; and also completed an independent study project at the UIC Department of Sociology, where he studied factors that influence juvenile recidivism. As a result, he is listed as an author in the forthcoming book chapter to be published by Oxford University Press in the second edition of "Juvenile Justice Sourcebook: Past, Present, and Future." Leverso is also versed in SPSS, Stata, and SAS. He is active both on and off campus: he has served as an assistant peer educator, and in 2011, organized and participated in a charity 5K run to benefit the Domestic Violence Prevention Fund. Additionally, for the past few years Leverso has volunteered as a tutor and motivational speaker at the local prison speaking to inmates about anger management, benefits of education, routes to healthy living, and the importance of maintaining a positive outlook on life. He worked with Justin Gaertner in the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

Sruthi Naraharisetti of Michigan State University

Poster: The Effects of Lived Reality on Views of Racial/Ethnic Income Inequality (PDF 2.5MB)

Naraharisetti is a junior with a double major in Interdisciplinary Studies in Health (Economics) and Social Relations & Policy graduating in 2014. In 2011, she participated in a study abroad program in South Africa focusing on race relations. She is trilingual (English, Spanish, and Telugu). She also is experienced with Stata. After graduation, Naraharisetti would like to pursue a PhD that encompasses the intersection of economics, health, and race/ethnicity. Since 2011, she has volunteered at the Village Summit in Lansing, Michigan, providing services for vulnerable youth in the area and, in 2012, she served as a student organizer for the Global Youth for Education and Change (GYEC) in South Africa. In this role she inspired young people to cultivate relationships that advance the practice of responsible and strategic global service, with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS. Additionally, Naraharisetti serves as the student leader at the Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience (MRULE) Program at MSU, where she managed analysis of qualitative research, and she has mentored at the MAGIC (Maximizing Academic Growth in College) Program on campus. Naraharisetti has a passion for social justice, and her recent research looked closely at the historical treatment of African-American men in prisons compared to the contemporary treatment of prisoners and the corresponding medical services. She worked with Abayomi Israel in the Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD).

Ryan Thompson of the University of Akron (Ohio)

Poster: Familial Attitudinal Transference Revisited: The Transference of Concrete and Abstract Political Attitudes Between Same- and Opposite-sex Parent-Child Dyads (PDF 929KB)

Ryan Thompson is a Political Science major with a minor in Economics graduating in 2014. He also plans to graduate with a certificate in Applied Politics and is both a Presidential Scholarship recipient and the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics Scholarship recipient. He is fluent in both English and French and is experienced in the SPSS and R statistical systems. After graduation he would like to pursue a PhD in Political Psychology with the hopes of one day becoming a social science researcher and professor. Earlier this year, he participated in the University of Akron Student Innovation Symposium (UASIS), and in 2012, attended the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Region 7 Conference at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Additionally, he serves as the Student Trustee on the University of Akron Board of Trustees and in 2012 was selected to represent his university at the Complete College Ohio Conference at Columbus State Community College. Outside of classroom, Thompson serves as a Member Service Representative at Truliant Federal Credit Union and volunteers on and off campus. Most notably, as part of the Serve Akron project, Thompson participated in an alternative spring break experience, where he helped communities with house building, did maintenance projects, and worked with sick and disabled children. In 2011, Thompson studied the relationship between Monday Night Football contest outcomes and voter turnout in the counties with NFL teams that had competed the night before a presidential election. He worked with Curtis Dobbs in the General Archive.


NSF Logo The Quantitative Social Science Research at the University of Michigan is a National Science Foundation REU site, and receives major funding from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1062317. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.