Have you participated in research at ETSU? If you have, chances are you have been a part of the research efforts of Dr. Kelly Foster and ETSU’s Applied Social Research Lab.

Kelly Foster
(Contributed / ETSU)

Foster has been a professor in the sociology department at ETSU since 2012, when she moved from the University of Georgia with her husband, who is originally from Appalachia, and three kids.

Foster started her career in research in 2003, when she first started her master’s degree at Clemson. She had an internship research project at the University of Georgia. The individual who hired her became her mentor and friend, who she is currently co-authoring a book with.

Foster has taught classes like survey research methods, data analysis, program evaluation, applied sociology, medical sociology, applied data analysis, health, medicine and culture and more, according to ETSU’s website.

Foster says her classes are very integrated with her research.

“I do a lot of applied research,” she said. “A lot of my students get their hands on it. The goal is hands-on learning.”

On top of being a professor, Foster is also the director of the Applied Social Research Laboratory (ASRL), a research center with a primary focus in social science research.

“It’s a living, breathing research lab,” Foster said. “We have the capacity to do any kind of social science research.”

ASRL has some very dynamic partnerships and has done research for the community, like the cities of Kingsport and Johnson City, while also taking on university research, like for the College of Public Health.

The lab has an annual statewide opinion poll called the Tennessee Poll. This year they made a splash in the political world for the first time. The Tennessee Poll provided data for the governor and senate races in Tennessee that was used and applied in the election process for the candidates and voters.

For more information about the Applied Social Research Laboratory or Dr. Kelly Foster, visit ETSU’s website.