March 31, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan junior Jennifer Biess has recently been selected as one of four undergraduate students to partake in the Summer Internship Program at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.
Biess, who is a double major in sociology and political science and a native of Villa Park, Ill., will participate in the nine-week internship beginning in June. Created for students with an interest in social science research, the program consists of 10 interns – four at the undergraduate level, four at the graduate level and two students from a university in South Korea with which NORC partners. Each intern is given an existing NORC project and is assigned to work on the earlier steps of a research project, such as questionnaire design, interviewer training and testing questionnaires. In addition to this individual assignment, the interns will work collectively on a project. The group is allowed to select their own topic and will complete the research project from beginning to end. Senior staff members at NORC will hold seminars once a week for the interns, discussing a topic of the staff member’s choice related to research methods.
Sociology classes at Illinois Wesleyan – such as Social Statistics and Methods of Social Research – use data collected by NORC. “For one of our students to be involved in this NORC project is great. She can connect what we discussed in the classroom to what really happens out there,” said Professor of Sociology Teodora Amoloza.
Having played a major role in the development of quality standards in the fields of survey and public opinion research, NORC is regarded by those in the field as one of the leading research institutions. Major media outlets, such as ABC News and The Washington Post, have cited NORC data on multiple occasions.
“I'm really looking forward to getting some research experience first hand at such a respected organization. I think it will be a great opportunity put the skills and knowledge I've gathered here at IWU to use,” said Biess.
Contact: Kristin Fields, ’12, (309) 556-3181