Research Team

The LRCS Research Team at UA Little Rock is directed by Dr. Rebecca A. Glazier. The research team appreciates the support and insights of our Clergy Advisory Board.

Dr. Rebecca A. Glazier

Dr. Rebecca A. Glazier, the primary investigator of the Little Rock Congregations Study, received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2009. She is a professor in the School of Public Affairs.

This research project is dear to my heart. There is so much good that religious organizations do in our community and I love getting students out of the classroom and into the community to learn about it. Seeing students develop research questions and test hypotheses in the data we collect is really rewarding. I am so grateful to the congregations we work with for providing these great opportunities.



Dr. Gerald Driskill

Dr. Gerald Driskill joined the the Little Rock Congregations Study in 2017 after engaging in 15 years of research focused on understanding the leadership practices of  a local network of faith leaders collaborating to serve the city. He received his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas. He joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1990. He is a professor in the Department of Applied Communication.

“This community engaged research continues to engage my heart, mind, and soul. I have been humbled by the commitment level of community leaders seeking to bring hope to our city as they address endemic challenges ranging from health and education to race relations and division. As they engage with us and our student in difference making, I am grateful for their time and passion.”

Student Researchers

More than 200 undergraduate and graduate students have contributed to the Little Rock Congregations Study since it began in 2012. Below are quotes from a few members of the research team.

Zac HaleZac Hale

I had the honor of participating in the 2016 LRCS from the early stages of research design through to the presentation of initial findings at the Anderson Institute’s Racial Attitudes Conference. The LRCS provided me with invaluable experience in collecting, analyzing, and presenting social science data, as well as the opportunity to engage with the Little Rock community more broadly. In addition to the excellent professional and academic experience, my time working with the LRCS team showed me the importance of engagement and dialogue as our city, state, and nation strive to heal divisions and achieve a better society.


Faith Thomas

Faith Thomas

Studying congregants and their connection to the 2016 election wasn’t something that I considered before. I was able to gain valuable experience through this project.



Paula Cavallari

Researching the correlation between church attendance and community engagement for Catholics and Black Protestants helped me grasp a deeper understanding on how religion informs community-driven political action. Moreover, working on this project increased my knowledge of statistical analysis, and it provided me with stronger tools to utilize in my future career in public policy analysis and development.”


Brian Gregory

The Little Rock Congregation study provided me with the opportunity to study the intersection between politics, religion, and race at the local level. Through this project, I was able to participate in upper-level research as undergraduate. It has also inspired the research that I am currently working on.




Lanie Benefiel

The Little Rock Congregation Study gave me insight into the world of academia I would not have otherwise gotten and helped me to realize this is the career field that I want to be pursuing.”



In all, more than 200 students from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service have participated in the research. In this interview clip, Dr. Glazier talks about involving students in the research.

Rebecca Glazier: Engaging Students in Research

Rebecca Glazier, JPSE editor, talks about how she involved undergraduate students in the Little Rock Congregations Study. Part of a series filmed during the APSA Annual Meeting on September 1-2, 2017 in San Francisco, California, USA. Credits: Grant Mukai Karima Scott Stefanie Mair (PSA-UK) © 2017 American Political Science Association