The Social Work Integrative Research Lab (SWiRL), which began in spring 2015, provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in various research projects, while also developing mentoring relationships with graduate students and faculty.
Graduate Research Supervisors have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by mentoring undergraduate students. Undergraduate Research Assistants conduct literature reviews, transcribe audio recordings, code and analyze data, and participate in data interpretation and dissemination.
SWiRL projects include qualitative and quantitative research on aging, kinship care, end of life planning, sex trafficking, and child welfare fatherhood programs.
SWiRL also holds monthly skill-building seminars so students advance their knowledge of formulating research questions, searching for literature, using Zotero, coding and analyzing data, using data analysis software and disseminating results.
SWiRL received a Project Scholarship Development grant from Mason’s Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, & Research (OSCAR) in 2016. The grant will allow the lab to establish the infrastructure necessary to become a self-sustaining research lab, in addition to expanding the program during the summer months.
Faculty involved in SWiRL are Laura Cordisco Tsai, JoAnn Lee, Megumi Inoue, Cathy Tompkins, and Emily Ihara.