Social and Education Policy Research Internship

The Social and Education Policy Program has a research internship program for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Iowa. The research internship program provides students with training, experience, and mentoring in the context of faculty-driven research projects. In this semester-long internship, students are matched based on interest and availability to a faculty project. 

Learn more about the internship here. For questions, contact Social and Education Policy Research Program Director Sarah Bruch at

Spring 2017


Ivan Rodriguez and Nicole Nucaro
Interns Irvin Rodriguez and Nicole Nucaro presented at the annual Research in the Capitol event, hosted by the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), on Tuesday, March 28. More information about Research in the Capitol is available here


Rodriguez and Nucaro presented a poster on the research partnership with the Iowa City Community School District. View the poster here






Fall 2016


Rhea Burns

Rhea Burns is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa with a major in Enterprise Leadership and a minor in Sociology. She was a student in Dr. Sarah Bruch’s Social Inequality course which inspired her to further her education regarding disparities and inequalities, especially within school systems. After graduation, Rhea plans to begin a graduate program to attain a Master of Business Administration degree. 


Irvin Rodriguez

Irvin Rodriguez Photo

Irvin Rodriguez is a fourth year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa with a major in Sociology and Enterprise Leadership. Irvin was a student in Dr. Sarah Bruch’s Social Inequality and Big Ideas: Equality, Opportunity, and Public Policy in America courses which initially spurred his interest in how inequality shapes society. Having no prior research experience, the internship offered by Dr. Bruch strongly influenced him and his future plans. Irvin plans to continue his internship opportunity with the Public Policy Center during the spring and after graduation, he plans pursue a career in the field of social work.


"The time I’ve spent so far with the Public Policy Center has been invaluable. Having the chance to work in an environment like this has been awesome! This is a great opportunity to transfer what you've learned and apply it to something tangible and meaningful. I can certainly say I've learned a lot in my short time here. I highly recommend an experience like this to any student!"




Summer 2016


Justin Battle

Justin Battle
Justin is a psychology major at Virginia Commonwealth University, and participated in the Summer Research Opportunity Program at the University of Iowa in the summer of 2016. After graduation, Justin would like to have a career working as a guidance counselor in a middle or high school in a low income area, and eventually to become a principal. His passion is in helping children to explore their true potential and talents in education.






Alex Hylka

Alex Hylka
Alex is a recently graduated student from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He has a wide range of interests within the realm of public policy, with his most prominent being education. Prior to the summer of 2016, Alex had no previous experience doing research. His entrance into the Iowa Center for Undergraduate Research Program was initiated by Associate Professor Sarah Bruch while taking her Policy Matters course during his senior year. Following graduation, Alex has continued performing research with the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, and plans to return to Iowa in the coming year in order to pursue a Ph.D. in Schools, Culture, & Society.

"I strongly believe that my time working with the Public Policy Center this summer was one of the most important and worthwhile experiences that I have had as an undergraduate. Being able to contribute to the meaningful work the Public Policy Center continues to do has been a great honor, and I would highly recommend a research internship experience such as this one to other undergraduate students."  

Spring 2016


HaYoung Jeong

HaYoung Jeong
HaYoung Jeong is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and a certificate in human rights. She is interested in using community-based research to improve social policy. She has previous research experience as a research fellow through the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates Fellowship program in the Department of Political Science at the University of Iowa. HaYoung is now a candidate for a Masters of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. 

During the project, HaYoung enjoyed learning about the unique process of social policy research and collaborating the work with a variety of members in the community. It was a meaningful experience for her to witness and participate in a research project that will bring a real-life change in the community.


Sana Naqvi

Sana Naqvi
Sana Naqvi is a graduate from the University of Iowa with a bachelors degree in ethics and public policy and a certificate in human rights. She was a student in Sarah Bruch’s Social Inequality and Policy Matters classes, which sparked her interest in educational inequality. She has had previous research experience working on the National Registry of Exonerations while interning at the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. She is a future J.D. candidate looking to practice law in the field of human rights.

"Working as a research assistant has been an invaluable experience as it not only gave me the opportunity to work with professors and graduate students who have an incredible wealth of knowledge and understanding in the field of sociology, but also allowed me to further my own research skills in ways that I could not have learned just inside a classroom."