Skip to main content
Department ofSociology


Megan Imai

Megan Imai

Megan Imai '23 gets REAL research experience

Working as a Research Assistant, studying what it’s like to work as a Research Assistant

My name is Megan Imai, and I am a junior sociology major and women and gender studies minor. I have been working as a research assistant for Dr. Molly King since February of this year and continuing throughout the summer. We have been working on a qualitative study that investigates the practices involved in and the outcomes of including undergraduate research assistants in faculty research in sociology in several departments across the West coast. Under the supervision of Dr. King, I have been able to practice finding and summarizing sources for a literature review, developing an interview protocol, submitting an IRB protocol, conducting semi-structured interviews, transcribing those interviews, and analyzing qualitative data through coding and memos. I have learned about what it is like to do a qualitative research project from beginning to end, and it has been really interesting to learn about the experiences of faculty and other research assistants while I’ve been a research assistant myself. I look forward to continuing to work on our paper that we plan to submit to a sociology journal this winter.

I am very grateful to the SCU College of Arts and Sciences’ REAL program, which funded my research assistantship over the summer and enabled me to apply some of the things I’ve learned in class and build skills that I will be able to use in my future classes and jobs. Dr. King is an amazing mentor and has supported my exploration of sociological research by giving me a lot of agency on this project. I am really glad I have had this opportunity to work with one of the wonderful and dedicated faculty members at SCU, and I hope other students who want to do research with faculty can too. It can have a lot of benefits, as you will see if you read our paper when it’s done!


Class of 2023