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Applied Social Research Laboratory

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Past Projects


This list is not cumulative, but a snapshot of prior ASRL projects.


Evaluation of the South Carolina Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy. (2017-2023) Unintended pregnancy represents a major public health challenge particularly in the US South. A team of researchers at ETSU has been selected to conduct an independent, external evaluation of the Choose Well initiative, a statewide initiative in SC aimed at reducing unintended pregnancy. The evaluation research is informed by the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) framework, and uses a mixed-methods approach to data collection and analysis. The evaluation includes multiple sub-projects. The results will help to elucidate the impact of the Choose Well initiative on unintended pregnancy and its determinants while advancing knowledge of how individuals and families make reproductive health decisions and how providers can more effectively counsel their patients around family planning.

Projects that ASRL has completed: Statewide surveys of family planning clinics; Statewide surveys of primary care providers.

The Tennessee Poll. (2020, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014)
The Tennessee Poll is an annual statewide public opinion poll intended to measure Tennesseans' opinions on matters of health, education, and quality of life in Tennessee. This poll is conducted via telephone. See the TN Poll menu tab for press releases and other TN Poll information.

Johnson City Police Department Citizen Satisfaction Survey. (2018)
ASRL surveyed residents of Johnson City, TN over the phone to assess their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with the JCPD. This information was used by the JCPD to better understand their community and how the police department is viewed amongst residents.

ETSU Counseling Center Survey. (2018)
ASRL surveyed current ETSU students, faculty, and staff to assess their thoughts, opinions, knowledge, and experiences of the ETSU Counseling Center. This information was used by the Counseling Center to better understand student/faculty/staff knowledge about the center and how they can make their resources known.

ETSU College of Medicine (COM) Phon-a-thon. (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016)
ASRL partnered with the Quillen College of Medicine to contact QCOM Alumni, update their contact information, and ask if they would like to donate to the college. The calls were done by actual medical students that enjoy talking to the alumni that came before them.

ETSU College of Public Health (DIDARP 2018, 2017, 2016). 
ASRL was contracted buy DIDARP team to administer surveys and collect data for the DIDARP grant. There were two parts to this project: 1) Physicians and Pharmacists across the state of Tennessee were asked to complete a paper survey that asked about their training, thoughts, opinions of prescribing opioids, as well as their interactions with each other. 2) Residents in the area were asked to complete a telephone survey that asked about their interactions with prescribers.

Community Pharmacist Engagement in Hepatitis C and HIV Prevention. (2017)
Dr. Hagemeier and Dr. Foster received an ETSU RDC grant to study pharmacist engagement with Hep C and HIV prevention. Community pharmacists completed an anonymous phone survey that asked them about their thoughts, opinions, and training on Hep C and HIV prevention.

Medical Decision Making in Southern Appalachia. (2016)
Dr. Foster received an ETSU RDC grant to study "Medical Decision Making in Southern Appalachia: The Social and Technological Mechanisms that Impact Health & Wellness in Southern Appalachian Families.”. Female respondents who lived in Appalachia at the time of the survey were asked to complete a survey over the phone. Respondents were asked what influences how they make medical decisions, as well as where they typically go to get their medical information.

City of Kingsport Tennessee. (2016)
In 2016 Kingsport, TN celebrated their Centiennal. In advance of this important event, ASRL conducted surveys with Kingsport residents, as well as residents from around the Tri-Cities region to learn what they want from the downtown area, their ideas and perceptions of Kingsport, and the future direction of the community. ASRL partnered with Dr. Stephen Marshall and the Department of Mass Communication to provide Kingsport with a comprehensive plan. A full report was submitted to the City of Kingsport at the end of the project.

United Way of Greater Kingsport. (2016)
ASRL collected data with residents of Kingsport, TN to determine the needs of their community. This information will be used by UWGK to best allocate their resources in ways that will impact all members of the Kingsport community. A full report was submitted to the UWGK at the end of the project.

Public Goods Project. (2015)
ASRL was contracted buy the Public Goods Project team to conduct focus groups where respondents evaluated possible ad campaigns for the Tri-Cities area. ASRL also administered pre and post media campaign assessments via telephone. A full report was submitted to Public Goods Project at the end of the project.

Jonesborough Community Chest Community Needs Assessment. (2014)
Jonesborough is a small town that sits just outside of the City of Johnson City Limits and it's residents (in the county) are often ineligible for services or have to drive a long way to get them. Because of this, the Jonesborough Community Chest was formed. Their goal is to help county residents who need it. The JCC hired the ASRL in 2014 to conduct a community needs assessment so that the JCC would be better informed of the community’s real time needs, as well as where they would like to spend their money. Focus groups of residents and organizations were used to create a survey that went out to residents in order to see what needs are met and unmet in their community. A full report was submitted to the JCC at the end of the project.

Senior Connect Project. (2014)
ASRL was contacted by the United Way of Kingsport to do an evaluation of the website "Senior Connect". ASRL developed asset maps and conducted focus groups and a survey to assess the impact of the United Way Senior Connect senior service website. A full report was submitted to the UWGK at the end of the project.

The United Way of Bristol Community Needs Assessment. (2013)
Under the supervision of Dr. Foster, two Masters of Sociology students at ETSU, Morgan Jones and Reagan Barbee, worked with the United Way of Bristol to conduct their comprehensive community needs assessment. In the fall of 2013, Ms. Jones and Ms. Barbee conducted focus groups to determine areas of concern among various community groups, and Dr. Foster lead a community town hall to receive input from the community and make them aware of the upcoming needs assessment. The general population and business owner surveys were fielded in Spring 2014, and results released in the fall of 2014.

JCPD Targeted Community Crime Reduction Program Grant. (2012)
Drs. McCallister and Foster were contracted to conduct a preliminary community needs assessment of certain areas of Johnson City, TN. The results of this assessment were used by the Johnson City Police Department to prepare a grant application with the Office of Criminal Justice Programs. In February of 2013, JCPD was awarded the Targeted Community Crime Reduction Program grant which officially kicked off in April of 2013. ASRL was chosen as the evaluators for this 3-year community grant. This project is a comprehensive evaluation which includes in-person interviews, surveys, phone calls, web surveying, focus groups, as well as qualitative documentation of change in the target areas by photographs.


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