Student Opportunities for Applied Research (SOAR)

What is SOAR?

a photo of the first cohort of the soar scholars
SOAR Scholars: Zona Dubose, Lorenzo Mobley, Derrick Tolliver, and Ashli Bost (not pictured)

SOAR (Student Opportunities for Applied Research) is a new pilot program developed by the Sociology Department and the Center for Diversity and Gender Studies (CDGS). SOAR is designed to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to receive mentoring in and experience conducting applied research. Students may participate in the SOAR program in one of two ways, as SOAR Scholars or as SOAR Affiliates


SOAR Scholars

The first SOAR Scholar Cohort (2022/2023) conducted a qualitative and quantitative study of the well-being of Texas State students. They presented their research at the Texas State Undergraduate Research Conference.

Future cohorts will collaborate with faculty to conduct a community-based research project. The second cohort of SOAR Scholars (2023/2024) are working with Community Action, Inc. on a needs assessment of the mental health of youth in Hays County. Their findings will help community organizations better serve local youth.



SOAR Affiliates

  1. SOAR Affiliates are students working with faculty on various research projects. Here are some just a few recent projects:
    1. Translational Health Research Center (THRC)-MAP Project-Focus groups were conducted and quantitative data gathered to help THRC create a mental health data dashboard and map of mental health resources for the state of Texas-Faculty Leads: Drs. Watt, Martinez, and Harris. SOAR Affiliates: Adrianna Hockert, Dylan Richter, Ke Minh Lam, Ella Pitra, Alexander Arcilla, and Graciela DeLeon
    2. Higher Education Outcomes of Students Who Have Experienced Foster Care-A quantitative study examining trends in higher education outcomes and whether campus support programs improve higher education outcomes for students who have experienced foster care in Texas- Faculty Lead, Dr. Toni Watt; SOAR Affiliate-Dylan Richter
    3. Exposure to PFAs on Cognitive Function in Firefighters in Texas: PFAs, also known as “forever chemicals” are found in gear, foams, and other training materials used by firefighters. This study investigates PFA exposure using water and blood samples and examines the effects of exposure on cognitive functioning. Faculty Lead: Dr. Xi Pan. SOAR Affiliate: Adrianna Hockert. Dr. Pan is currently searching for another student research assistant.