Student Successes

Ashley Vowels

M.A. Sociology

What degree are you working toward?

M.A. in Sociology

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

I chose IUPUI for graduate school because I knew the program would offer me many opportunities to gain experience, such as the opportunity to work as a research assistant under the guidance of experienced faculty. Also, since I received my bachelor’s degree in sociology from IUPUI, I was familiar with the program as well as the professors. I knew the department would be supportive of my research interests and help me to accomplish my academic goals.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

I have had several academic accomplishments, but I would say my favorite was being selected as a recipient of the Service Learning Assistant Scholarship as a part of Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship program. With this scholarship, I was able to work as a research assistant and engage in community-based scholarly research with Goodwill Industries and the Nurse Family Partnership to explore the impact of nurse home visiting programs on maternal-child health.

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

Since I have a five-year-old daughter, I really enjoy all of the family friendly activities the city has to offer. We especially enjoy the zoo, parks, and the children’s museum. There is so much for us to do.

Pursuing my graduate degree at IUPUI has allowed me many opportunities to gain experience in my field. One of my favorite experiences has been working on a research project exploring the impact of nurse home-visiting programs.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

Pursuing my graduate degree at IUPUI has allowed me many opportunities to gain experience in my field. One of my favorite experiences has been working on a research project exploring the impact of nurse home-visiting programs. This project conducted research on first-time mothers of young children who participate in the Indiana Nurse Family Partnership, a program which seeks to improve maternal-child health in disadvantaged communities. I was able to present the findings from this project at the Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting in March. Related to this, I am now a part of another research project with the Indiana University School of Medicine which explores the experiences of fathers whose children are a part of the Indiana Nurse Family Partnership. During both of these projects, I was able to develop many skills such as interview development and execution, preparing manuscripts, and assisting in grant writing. Further, I have also worked on projects exploring health and wellbeing; specifically, examining mastery and resiliency as well as neighborhoods and health care utilization. My thesis explores single mothers’ experiences as college students and will describe the challenges that single mothers face during college, especially as they pertain to the dual role of mother and student.