February 16, 2010
Writer: Writer: Mark Beck

Travis Hall, a Brigham Young University-Idaho student from Idaho Falls majoring in sociology, has been selected to present his research on how religiosity impacts academic achievement among adolescents in low-income families, at the 81st annual Pacific Sociological Association Meeting, April 8-11, in Oakland, Calif.

Hall was one of a handful of undergraduates selected to present at the conference, which will be attended by graduate students and professors from the western United States. He will present a poster illustrating his research methods and results to the attendees. "It will be a great opportunity to meet with a lot of academics, to show them my work, and to learn from them," Hall said.

Hall's hypothesis is that "low-income adolescents who are religious perform better academically than those who are not." He is currently analyzing the results from his research.

Sociology majors are required to execute a research project for graduation, but Hall went much further, said Department of Sociology Chair, Stephen Smith. "Travis is a very motivated student. He's always striving to be the best he can be. He's not interested in grades, he's interested in education."

Hall is excited as well: "I'm most excited about sharing my research with others from universities all over the West," he said. "I'm excited to show others that we are doing things at BYU-Idaho that most students aren't able to do until graduate school."

Hall will graduate in July and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology of education.