Summer Research Program in Social Ecology

About the Program

UCI - HBCU Summer Research Scholars

The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is proud to offer a unique research opportunity for advanced HBCU students committed to pursuing doctoral education in Criminology, Law and Society, or Psychology and Social Behavior. This collaborative interdisciplinary program will be administered by the Departments of Psychology and Social Behavior (PSB) and Criminology, Law and Society (CLS) at UCI. The eight-week program at the UCI campus will provide summer research scholars with hands-on research experience, participation in graduate-style seminars, and experience disseminating scholarly research in academic forums. Recipients of the Summer Research and Graduate Admission Pathways Grants will receive a travel award, housing for the summer, and a summer stipend.

Upon arriving at UCI, each Summer Research Scholar will begin working with a faculty advisor who will involve his or her advisees in ongoing research and assist them throughout the summer program. Specific research topics will depend on the interests and qualifications of the interns themselves, but will reflect mentors’ ongoing research programs.

Faculty Mentors and Research Areas

Summer scholars will work closely with a range of  UCI faculty on a variety of topics. Some of the participating faculty mentors at UCI and their research areas include:

  • Dr. Susan Coutin (UCI, CLS): Immigration law and immigrant communities, immigrant’s rights
  • Dr. Pete Ditto (UCI, PSB): judgment and decision making, political and moral reasoning
  • Dr. Wendy Goldberg (UCI, PSB): Parent-child relationships and interracial/intercultural dating
  • Dr. Charis Kubrin (UCI, CLS): Crime, neighborhood effects and social processes, race/ethnicity and violence, immigration and crime.
  • Dr. Angela Lukowski (UCI, PSB): Memory development in early life, long-term memory in infancy, sleep's impact on cognitive functioning over the lifespan
  • Dr. Cheryl Maxson (UCI, CLS): Crime and delinquency, youth violence, street gangs, juvenile justice system, and policing
  • Dr. Jodi Quas (UCI, PSB): children's memory and involvement in the legal system
  • Dr. Keramet Reiter (UCI, CLS and Law): Prison law and punishment, criminal justice policy
  • Dr. Carroll Seron (UCI, CLS): Gender and racial equity and stratification in the professions
  • Dr. Roxane Cohen Silver (UCI, PSB): Stress and trauma, responses to natural and man-made disasters
  • Dr. Susan Turner (UCI, CLS): Corrections and sentencing
  • Dr. Geoff Ward (UCI, CLS): Race and justice, juvenile justice, court organizations, and justice workers

A Unique Mentorship and Social Experience

The primary education and mentoring plan for summer research scholars consists of five components:

  1. One-on-one meetings with faculty advisors.
  2. Weekly meetings with a graduate student mentor from the School of Social Ecology.
  3. Group meetings bringing together all faculty advisors and interns.
  4. Weekly workshops focusing on research-related and professional-development topics.
  5. A concluding symposium in which interns give short presentations about their research to an audience of faculty and graduate students from across campus.

In addition, summer scholars will be invited to participate in professional and graduate preparation programming including workshops on applying to graduate school, finding and applying for funding opportunities, GRE preparation, academic writing, preparing academic presentations, and academic career planning.

Summer scholars will also experience living and working in beautiful Southern California. Social activities will help build the partnership and expose interns to the rich natural environment and diverse communities surrounding UCI.


  • Students must be enrolled full-time at an HBCU at the time of application.
  • Graduating Seniors or Master's students are not eligble unless they will be enrolled full-time at an HBCU during the fall semester following the Summer Program.

The HBCU Partnership

This program is funded through the UC-HBCU Initiative of the Office of the President at the University of California, intended to foster intellectual collaborations and partnerships between UC and HBCU campuses.

Working with HBCU partners, faculty at UCI faculty will select interns and serve as co-mentors during the summer and beyond. Our most promising summer scholars will be encouraged to continue on to graduate-level training, including at UC, where graduate fellowships for UCI-HBCU summer program alumni are available.


Summer 2014 Cohort

  • Jewel Dixon - Claflin University
    • Faculty Advisor: Wendy Goldberg (PSB)
  • Precious Hardy - Lincoln University
    • Faculty Advisor: Angie Lukowski (PSB)
  • Alexis Harris - North Carolina Central University
    • Faculty Advisor: Pete Ditto (PSB)
  • Kellie Poe - Lincoln University
    • Faculty Advisor: Wendy Goldberg (PSB)
  • Asha Ralph - North Carolina Central University
    • Faculty Advisor: Charis Kubrin (CLS)
  • Brianna Tillery - Bethune-Cookman University
    • Faculty Advisory: Keramet Reiter (CLS)
  • Charden Virgil - Tougaloo College
    • Faculty Advisor: Roxane Cohen Silver (PSB)

Summer 2013 Cohort

  • Keosha Draughn - North Carolina Central University
    • Faculty Advisor: Susan Coutin (CLS)
  • Jenika Hardeman - Howard University
    • Faculty Advisor: Jodi Quas (PSB)
  • Michael Mitchell - Texas Southern University
    • Faculty Advisor: Geoff Ward (CLS)
  • Roderick Setzer - North Carolina Central University
    • Faculty Advisor: Susan Turner (CLS)
  • Josiah Sweeting - Morehouse College
    • Faculty Advisor: Roxane Cohen Silver (PSB)
  • Shanta’ Webb - Jackson State University
    • Faculty Advisor: Pete Ditto (PSB)



Step 1: Download and complete the application form for summer 2015 here
Step 2: Submit a personal statement describing why you want to participate in this program
Step 2: submit your Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume
Step 4: Submit a letter or recommendation from a faculty member at your home institution
Step 5: Submit your unofficial trascript
Please note: All documents and materials are to be submitted elcetronically to Professor Geoff Ward at



Contact Us

For further information, please contact Chris Marshburn at