About Us

Our Mission

The SSRMC provides the infrastructure and training to meaningfully integrate undergraduate students studying social sciences into faculty research. Our goal is to facilitate students in both developing their own independent research projects and developing the skills necessary to be competitive for jobs requiring data analysis skills. Students can apply to be in one of four formalized, mentored research experiences through the lab groups led by the directors of the center, Prof. Settle’s Social Networks and Political Psychology (SNaPP) Lab, Prof. Holmes’s Political Psychology and International Relations (PPIR) Lab, Prof. van der Veen’s Systematic Text Analysis for International Relations (STAIR), and Prof. Manna’s research team. Beyond serving as the physical home for these research labs, the SSRMC also provides research methods and data analysis training and tutoring for students interested in a variety of different methods used in the social sciences. The center supports the government department’s faculty and student-led research initiatives in several ways. The SSRMC website is the repository of materials related to the department’s methods workshops and a variety of other training tools and resources. The center also hosts the Omnibus Project student subject pool and provides dedicated experimental lab space and collaborative work space for students and faculty conducting research.



Student Leadership Team

Rachel Smith
Director of Operations

Rachel Smith is a doctoral student in the School of Education’s Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership. She plans to study the regional accreditation histories and present accreditation challenges of historically black colleges and universities. She works as the SSRMC’s Director of Operations, coordinating the OMNIBUS project and leading the SSRMC student team, among other tasks. Rachel is an amateur bird watcher, analogue camera collector, and lover of biographies and historical documentaries.

Aaraj Vij
Technical Director

Aaraj Vij is a junior double majoring in Computer Science and International Relations. He is fascinated by the potential for programming to aid policy development, and handles the technical aspects of the SSRMC. Specifically, Aaraj manages the center’s website and digital archives of student research. Aaraj is an avid cook, and he recently picked up his old hobby of hydroponic gardening again. Fortunately, these two hobbies go hand in hand.

Jessica Liu
Science Writer

Jessica Liu is a sophomore double majoring in International Relations and Economics. She is intrigued by the undergraduate research done at SSRMC. Jessica works at the SSRMC as the Science Writer, collaborating with SSRMC members and disseminating the research and other SSRMC relevant information to the general public through news articles and podcasts. Jessica loves to bake different types of desserts, read novels, and collect aesthetic stationery.

Claudia Chen
Omnibus Director

Claudia Chen (she/her) is a senior majoring in government and minoring in psychology. On campus, Claudia is involved in the Social Networks and Political Psychology (SNaPP) Lab, Chinese Student Organization, Pi Sigma Alpha (National Government Honors Society), and Peer Advising. She also spent her junior year studying abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In the future, Claudia aspires to attend law school and practice Family law.


Vera Choo
Methods Mastery Series Coordinator

Vera is a graduate student in the American Studies program. Her interests are in political rhetoric and subjectivity, necropolitics, and popular culture and the Digital Age. Vera is currently a junior data analyst at AidData Research Lab, where she works on Eastern European and Eurasian news media sentiment.

Salley Rowe
Outreach Coordinator

Salley Rowe will graduate from the School of Education’s M. Ed. in Educational Policy, Planning, and Leadership program in January 2022. In addition to being a student at W&M, she is also the Administrative and Fiscal Coordinator for the Department of Government. Salley is coordinating outreach to the W&M campus for SSRMC. When she isn’t working, Salley can be found on her bike, riding a horse, or on the water paddling.

Affiliated Faculty

Maurits van der Veen
Department of Government

W&M Faculty Webpage
Personal Webpage

Paul Manna
Department of Government

W&M Faculty Webpage
Personal Webpage

Dan Runfola
Department of Applied Science

W&M Faculty Webpage
Personal Webpage

Mackenzie Israel-Trummel
Department of Government

W&M Faculty Webpage
Personal Webpage


The SSRMC is located in the basement of Blow Hall, on the side of the building closer to the Sunken Garden. From outside the south side of Blow Hall, you can enter from either of the short staircases leading down underneath the Charles Center (see map at the bottom of the page). The center is a multi-functional space for teaching and research. The SSRMC suite features dedicated spaces for experimental research, a computer lab, student meeting and research rooms, and faculty offices. Rooms are available for weekly lab meetings, large group meetings, or small seminar-style class sessions. In addition, informal lounge space exists for ad-hoc student meetings and serves as a comfortable waiting area for experiment participants.


Computer Lab (Room 150): This is a dedicated computer lab with networked computer stations. This room is used for experiments that require computer use, as well as small seminar-style workshops and skills courses. A separate administrator′s station, with its own laptop, allows for research assistants to check-in subjects and to monitor the lab.

Faculty Office (Room 151): A faculty office is available to both permanent and visiting faculty and other scholars.


Director of Operations Office (Room 152): The Director of Operations maintains an office to assist with routine SSRMC operations.

STAIR Lab (Room 153): This room is dedicated to the STAIR Lab, one of the SSRMC’s collaborative research groups.

Intern/Fellow Office (Room 154): This space is reserved for a designated research fellow or intern.

Collaboration Room (Room 155): This space allows students to hold meetings, study independently, or access a quiet space for reading and writing.

Psychological Measurement Suite (Rooms 156-157): Two dedicated rooms are available for experimentation. These rooms are outfitted with cutting edge physiological measurement tools, including the Biopac MP 150 system, and standard psychological measurement tools, such as audio-visual communication between the rooms.


Conference Room (Room 159): A large conference room with computer projection resources is available for larger lab meetings, small classroom courses, or other meetings.

Biological Specimen Collection Room (Room 160): A small kitchen space is available for the collection of biological specimens and storage of temperature sensitive materials.

Facility Reservations

SSRMC Student Affiliates can reserve SSRMC rooms. To reserve a room in the SSRMC, use William and Mary’s Virtual EMS System. First, log into the Virtual EMS system. Then, follow the directions on the Virtual EMS information page. To determine which rooms you can access, go to Create Room Reservation > My Reservation Templates.

To reserve an SSRMC room, the SSRMC must appear under Reservation Templates. If the SSRMC does not appear, email the Director of Operations (ssrmc@wm.edu).

Finding the SSRMC

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