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Duffy Student Researchers

Students who have completed two semesters of the Duffy Community Partnerships are selected each year to implement and analyze summer research which builds on their previous academic and field work with the program.  Faculty work closely with students, and the research is designed in conjunction with the field site and supervisors to benefit the community.

Researchers, Areas of Research and Field Sites


Meg Kowta and Rita Chang, Analysis of the relationship between community-based learning outcomes and student demographics and experience.

Kathleen Kennedy, Analysis of data from focus groups who do not regularly use the public library about their knowledge of and desire for various library services. 


Megan Kowta, Sean Beckford, Kathleen Kennedy (Brannon-Ballard Scholar), Alberto Torres (McNair Scholar) participated in the qualitative coding of Duffy field notes with Nora Polaski serving as a student consultant.                                                                                                            


Nora Polaski worked with Carol Wickersham to code Duffy field notes for ongoing research on community based learning outcomes.

Rebecca Kilcoyne, '15 created digital story "Tales of Hope: resilient sexual violence survivors" through her work with the Sexual Assault Recovery Program.


Maggie Cress, Karen Jones (Sanger Researcher), Carol Wickersham published "Pivot Points and Catalysts: Developing Sociological Perspective Through Community-Based Learning." 


Daisy Gaines, "Father Involvement and Child Behavior Issues in the Abuse and Neglect System."

Rhiannon Decker, "Factors in Retention of College Student Volunteer-Tutors: A Case Study at a Small Liberal Arts College in the Midwest."


Rachel McCarty, "Food Procurement in the Emergency Food System," Caritas 

Joe Caldwell, "An Investigation of Financial Barriers in Preventing Hispanic Women from Seeking Adequate Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening," Beloit Area Community Health Clinic


Clara Baker, “Farm Stories: Narratives and Agritourism,” The Learning Center at Angelic Organics 

Adriana Terrones, “Doing Community Art With Teen Mothers: Creating a Mural for the Day Care Center,”  Community Action, Inc. Teen Parent Program


Ashley Lanham, "Do Civic Organizations Play a Role in Contemporary Society? A Case Study of Rock County 4-H," Rock County 4-H

Stephanie Previc, "An Investigation of the Barriers to Health Literacy and Patient Advocacy in a Community Health Setting," Beloit Area Community Health Center

Brian Shobe, "'The Community Garden Is a Good Thing.' So Why Don't More People Participate? Cultural Framing and Recruitment in the Blackhawk Community Garden," Roots & Wings

Danica Slavish, "Assessing Efficacy of After-School Programming at Wright Elementary," Wright Reading Club


Sarah Chodorow, "Effects of Unemployment on Mental Health," Caritas

Dan O'Brien, "Recruiting, Motivating and Retaining Volunteer, Non-Profit Board Members," Welty Environmental Center


Emily Clary designed and implement a sixteen session summer bilingual reading program in conjunction with the Clinton Public Library for students at Shady Hills Trailer Park. She also designed and completed a survey to improve communication between the school district and Spanish speaking families. This project was made possible by a grant from the Society for Learning Unlimited and a generous in kind donation of room and board by an anonymous donor.

Emily Knapp, "Youth Nutrition Analysis Through Photography: A Pilot Study," The Learning Center at Angelic Organics Farm

Rebecca Kathleen Stanton, "Elderly Parents and Their Grown Children: A Study of Interactions and Caregiving," Beloit Home Companion Care, (Funded in part by the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges, AGE grant)


Mary Dempsey, "Perceptions of People With Disabilities: The Effect of Regular Contact and Extended Exposure", SMILES (a therapeutic equestrian program) 

Ashley Vancil, "Thanks, But No Thanks: A Study of Potential Food Stamp Recipients and Why They Decline Benefits", Caritas, Recipient of Second Place in the Midwest Sociological Society Student Research Award


K. Haley Cobb, "Homeless Teen Mothers: Hopes, Stories and Perceptions," Helping Urban Beloit, Transitional Living Program

Sarah Lyon-Hill, "Legitimation of Alternative Energy Policies," Welty Environmental Center


Mary Dowd, "Connections Between Foster Care and Future Homelessness," Hands of Faith Shelter

Kim Pernell, "Immigrants' Perceptions of the American Dream," Stateline Literacy Council

Matt Van Eseltine, "Barriers to Employment for Ex-convicts," the Job Center

Sonja Whipp, "Education for Compliance in Low Income Diabetic Patients," Beloit Area Community Health Center

Megan Willan, "Deviance and Volunteer Motivation," SMILES, (equestrian therapy for disabled children and adults)