By Wu Xie

Wu Xie is a first-year PhD student in higher education and students affairs and Research Associate with IDEALS at The Ohio State University.

As I try to pin down the moment when I started identifying as an atheist and a political liberal, I realize that it was the culmination of my journey from mainland China, to Oregon on the West Coast, to Ohio in the Midwest where I now live.

China is a country traditionally known for atheism or agnosticism. During my 25 years living there, I rarely if ever reflected on my religious identity or political…


By Kevin Singer

Kevin Singer is a PhD Student in higher education and Research Associate for IDEALS at North Carolina State University.

According to the new IDEALS national report on interfaith friendship, Evangelical Protestant institutions are negatively associated with first year college students making close friends of other faiths. “Students at Evangelical Protestant institutions may find themselves in more homogenous communities,” the report reads.


By Mian (Helen) Wu

Mian (Helen) Wu is a PhD Student (Higher Education) and a member of the IDEALS team at North Carolina State University.

When I first began my studies in the U.S. as an international student from China, I was lonely and homesick. But over the years, I’m thankful to have made so many interworldview friendships (friendships across religious and non-religious differences) that make me feel at home here in North Carolina.

One afternoon while walking in the Duke University Forest, I ran into a colleague from Korea. We strolled together and talked about our experiences before coming…


By Eleanor Chappell

Eleanor Chappell is an Undergraduate Student studying education at East Carolina University and a Research Intern with IDEALS at North Carolina State University with hopes of pursuing a future career in higher education.

As a current college senior, I just barely made the cutoff to be classified as a Gen Zer rather than a Millennial. Some think of Gen Zers as the kids with an unhealthy reliance on technology, short attention span, and fear of face-to-face conversations.

Regardless of whether or not those stereotypes are true, Gen Zers are growing up in a time where the influx…


By Graham Knight

Graham Knight is a PhD Student at The Ohio State University (Higher Education) and works closely with the IDEALS team at OSU.

Saturday December 19, 2009 — a decade ago almost to the day — was the day I dropped my Catholic faith. It’s no coincidence that also on this day I received my rejection letter from the University of Notre Dame and gathered with family to celebrate my grandmother Mimi’s 90th birthday, which would fall two days later on the winter solstice. …


By Musbah Shaheen

Musbah Shaheen is a first-year Ph.D. student in Higher Education and Student Affairs and a Research Associate for IDEALS (Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey) at The Ohio State University.

If anyone told me six years ago that I would be involved in research about interfaith diversity and engagement, I would have laughed.

I was born and raised in a Syrian Muslim family, and religion was a big part of our lives. In fact, most of my memories from home are related directly or indirectly to religious practices, like breaking the fast during Ramadan or gathering…


By Lisa Davidson

Dr. Lisa Davidson is Assessment and Research Manager at Interfaith Youth Core, where she works with campuses on a variety of efforts related to assessing the effectiveness of interfaith programs and understanding the campus climate for worldview diversity.

I recently had the opportunity to present IDEALS findings at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Diversity, Equity, and Student Success annual meeting.

This year’s meeting location in Pittsburgh was particularly meaningful and moving. The terror and tragedy of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill community in October 2018 remain. I was honored…


Ben Correia-Harker is the Director of Assessment & Research for the Interfaith Youth Core, where he oversees the development of interfaith assessment services and resources, consults with campus partners on assessment practices, and manages research efforts and findings dissemination.

It was nearly five years ago when I interviewed at the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). I was nervous, as many of us are on job interviews; and yet I was excited about this opportunity to weave together my passion for student leadership development, my interest in religion and spirituality, and my talent for working with data. How could I be so…


By Suzanne Schier-Happell

Suzanne Schier-Happell is a PhD student in higher education and student affairs at The Ohio State University, where she has spent time working on IDEALS. She is also a visiting instructor in religion & philosophy at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

I am currently nearing the end of a three-year contract teaching religion at a small liberal arts university in the Midwest. I also happen to be at the tail end of a PhD in higher education and student affairs at the Ohio State University, where I have been working with IDEALS and developing as an interfaith…


By Kevin Singer

Kevin and Carolyn at the AAC&U Annual Meeting on January 13, 2019.

Kevin Singer is a PhD student in higher education at NC State, Research Associate for IDEALS, and editor of the IDEALS Blog.

On January 23, I joined Carolyn Roncolato, Director of Academic Initiatives for Interfaith Youth Core, to present at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting in Atlanta. The title of our presentation was, “Cultivating Interfaith Cooperation and Engaging Religious Diversity in Higher Education.” Around 15 faculty, staff, and administrators were in attendance from colleges across the U.S. …

IDEALS Research

The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Study

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