Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Cox Behavioral Lab Spotlight! – Sexual Harassment, Vaccines, and Conspiracy Theories

Dr. Benjamin Dow

by Hannah Green ’26

The Cox Behavioral Lab “exists to support the research of the management department in our endeavors to better understand organizations and the people who work in them.”

Those are the words of Professor of Practice in Management and Organizations, Dr. Benjamin Dow. The research lab is part of the Management and Organizations department in the Cox School of Business and specializes in the areas of leadership, culture and conspiracy theories.

For those unaware of what the Cox Behavioral Lab does, the professor provides a quick summary:

According to Dr. Dow, “We study people and organizations, and our goal is something along the lines of how we can make organizational life better for people and make organizations function better. . . the Behavioral Lab supports our research on that by allowing us to ask questions or have activities with students, letting us learn how people operate in organizational environments.”

Researching Vaccine Intentions

Current projects involve vaccine intentions and negotiations. The goal is understanding how “the ways we see ourselves in relationship to others affects the relationship between the belief in conspiracy theories and the actions that we take.”

Many of the processes and methods conducted by the lab are online and survey-based due to the renovation of the Cox School of Business. Online activities may include game participation and interacting with people through online chats. One-on-one interactions such as mock negotiations or small group activities, where people are placed in a group to talk to each other and accomplish tasks such as creating a list of creative ideas, also aid in data collection.

Researching Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sarah Millett ’23

“The more we can understand about how people react to sexual harassment in the workplace, the better that we can prepare people to continue to make work places a safe space for women and bolster equality in a greater sense.”

Those are the words of Undergraduate Research Assistant Sarah Millet ’23. She spoke about her experience working in the lab now and during the height of the pandemic. She has seen an increase of trust for online data collected from surveys and connections with research institutions.

Sarah is interested to see how people react to witnessing a case of sexual harassment. To study this, she uses a simple game in which all players are assumed to be real people.

To Sarah, this research project is important because “so much progress has been made in women’s rights in the office space, but I think that sexual harassment is something that still acutely impacts women more than men.” She emphasizes that workplaces can be improved for women when we understand not only about the person who harasses, but also those around them. Co-workers can step in and cultivate change.

The Lab Environment

We were also given a statement by Undergraduate Research Assistant Kathryn Romano ’23 regarding the lab’s work environment:

Kathryn ‘Kat’ Romano ’23

Working with Dr. Dow has been incredibly enriching. Not only is he understanding and encouraging, he also wants to include all of the assistants in the research he’s doing. I think I can speak for all of my fellow research assistants when I say working in the lab has been interesting and not in the least bit boring.”

In the future, Dr. Dow hopes to make the process of researching a more engaging experience by allowing assistants to design their own studies and learn the ins and outs of conducting it.

If you would like to get involved with the lab as an undergraduate researcher, please contact Dr. Dow at

Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Engaged Learning Fellowship Early Decision

The Early Decision deadline for the Engaged Learning Fellowship is next Thursday, 12/15! This fellowship is open to all SMU undergrads and has funded a variety of projects in all disciplines.

Students need to submit a proposal with funding request (up to $2500) and have a faculty mentor submit a letter of recommendation. More details can be found at

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Fall Research Symposium Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended the Fall Research Symposium on November 3rd! Over 70 students, faculty, staff, and guests came to support the 21 students who presented their recent work. The Research in Mathematics Education team, led by Dr. Leanne Ketterlin Geller, spoke at the opening roundtable discussion.

To see some of what you missed, check out this Reel created by Khadija Ijaz ’24. More photos and video are coming soon.

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Fall Research Symposium

The Fall Research Symposium 2022 will take place in Hughes-Trigg Student Center on Thursday, November 3rd.

Each fall, students in select research and service programs are invited to give oral presentations in a miniature professional conference. The programs include: Engaged Learning FellowsSummer Research FellowsCooper McElvaney Peace and Justice FellowsMaguire Public Service FellowsMcNair Scholars, and Richter Fellows.


Full schedule forthcoming. Overview:

  • 3pm: Opening Roundtable with Leanne Ketterlin Geller (Education Policy) and her team (HTSC Chamber)
  • 4-6pm: Student presentations (HTSC 118, 120, 121, 130)
Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Lab Hopping Highlights!

by Hannah Green ’26

If you weren’t already aware, Lab Hopping made a return this past Thursday! The lab event gave students insight into several undergraduate research opportunities spanning various departments! Offered below is a quick recap of just some of them:

Earthquake Seismology & Tomography Research

Are you interested in earth sciences? According to Professor of Geophysics, Dr. Heather DeShon, the earthquake seismology, and tomographic imaging lab has an opening for an undergraduate researcher. This research opening is especially beneficial for computer science and mathematics majors! If you are interested, feel free to contact Dr. DeShon at

Das Research Group

Perhaps you are interested in chemistry lab research regarding understanding catalytic mechanisms! Below is a picture of Dr. Anindita Das’s assistants Xena El Shamy ‘23 and Hiren Bagga ‘23 working on their current project involving organic covalent frameworks (COFS).

If this area of chemistry research attracts you, please contact

Cox Behavioral Research Lab

Fascinated by how people think and the impact that has on the workplace? According to Professor of Practice in Management and Organization, Dr. Benjamin Dow, this research lab participates in various studies that aren’t limited to students taking basic management courses. Note that the lab brings in new research assistants every semester so if you are interested, please reach out to or

Technological Innovation Research

Let’s say you’re interested in technological innovation and how this is affected by the policies of firms and more specifically governmental organizations. Although the sociology department does not have labs, according to Professor Matthew Keller, the faculty of the department do offer research assistant positions. The general availability of these positions may vary but Dr. Keller will possibly be hiring students in the spring to work on such projects. If this sparks your interest, please contact the professor at

Cellular Quality Control Research

If you take an interest in biological research, you may want to consider working with or being a student of Dr. Zhihao Wu. Below is a picture showing a 3rd year Ph.D. student of Dr.Wu, Ying lu Tang, speaking to students about the lab’s current research involving the discovery of links between the protein quality control system and the mitochondria quality control system.

If this area of biology research interests you, reach out to Dr. Wu at and learn more through

Office of Engaged Learning Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Presentation Practice sessions

This Wed & Thurs, 3-5pm in Fondren Library Red 106. Drop-in workshop to practice or get tips on developing research presentations! This is open to anyone who might have a presentation coming up. The Office of Engaged Learning regularly hosts drop-in workshops on professional development skills. We are also available to visit your classes and discuss topics like presentations, designing posters, and developing proposals. Contact Dr. Adam Neal ( for more information.

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Lab Hopping 10/20 4-6pm

Lab Hopping returns on October 20th from 4-6pm! For this event, faculty members will have their labs and offices open for students to learn about the amazing research happening on campus. A map will be available at and near the flagpole and Fondren Science. Email Dr. Adam Neal ( for info about group tours.

Office of Engaged Learning – Research President’s Scholars

Spotlight: ELSA winner Princess Igwe-Icho

Princess Igwe-Icho ’24 is a President’s Scholar and recent winner of the Engaged Learning Starter Award (ELSA). This is a small award for first-generation or underrepresented students who want to pursue a research or creative project. Princess’s project focuses on accommodations for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. Watch this video by Ixchell Ibanez ’24 to learn more!

Office of Engaged Learning – Research

Congratulations, Summer Research Fellows!

The Office of Engaged Learning is pleased to award Joshua Ange ’25 and Brynn Price ’24 the Summer Research Fellow award. Students are nominated by their faculty mentor and chosen based on their commitment to research this summer.

During the summer, Brynn co-authored “STEM Project-Based Instruction: An Analysis of Teacher-Developed Integrated STEM PBI Curriculum Units” which was recently published in Education Sciences (find it here). Her faculty mentor is Dr. Jeanna Wieselmann (Teaching and Learning).

Joshua co-authored “Characterization of XIA UltraLo-1800 Response to Measuring Charged Samples,” which he plans to publish in the SMU Journal of Undergraduate Research. His faculty mentor is Dr. Robert Calkins (Physics).

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Office of Engaged Learning September Newsletter

The Office of Engaged Learning’s September newsletter is available to read online. Check out upcoming workshops and events, along with recent news about our entrepreneurship and research programs. Click here for a PDF version