Dr. L. Allison Roberts is a sociologist and the Bement Senior Policy Fellow at the Purdue Policy Research Institute.

Dr. L. Allison Roberts holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom. She received her M.A. in International Relations and Public Policy (Purdue University) and B.A. in Political Science and History (Purdue University.) Her research and teaching investigates the intersection of social constructs, historical events, and national security or military experiences that impact society and policy. Dr. Roberts has taught and researched within the U.S. as well as the United Kingdom.

Dr. Roberts has studied military, veteran, and service personnel issues for almost two decades. Her Ph.D. research explored the life stories of ex-service personnel who experienced a traumatic injury (such as limb loss, hearing loss, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or blindness) and were subsequently medically separated, or medically discharged. Using life stories, Dr. Roberts examined the physical, emotional, social and institutional dimensions of life during recovery, rehabilitation, and onwards. This qualitative research drew upon the multidisciplinary fields of sociology, critical military studies, illness narratives, traumatic injury, critical disability studies, psychology, ageing, embodiment, and identity.

While pursuing her Master’s degree, Dr. Roberts worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters, Washington, D.C., in the Deputy Administrator’s Office for a summer. She was a Visiting Scholar in the School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom (Supervisor: Professor Rachel Woodward). For her Visiting Scholar fieldwork, Roberts did qualitative research on the cultural and social integration of U.S. Air Force members and their families at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, England.

Dr. Roberts, with Dr. Jengelley, recently taught the Spring 2021 Honors College course, Security, Technology, and Society, where students engage in collaborative, team-based research on topical security issues to create White Papers and Policy Briefs. The course is next offered in Spring 2022. She is also researching the perceptions of — and interactions with — autonomous vehicles in the project, Older Adult Needs and Preferences for Autonomous Vehicle Interiors: A Focus Group Study (PI, Dr. Konstantina Gkritza, Lyles School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University.) Dr. Roberts served as part of the working group for Purdue’s “Symposium on Ethics, Technology and the Future of War and Security,” which was part of the university’s 150th celebration events.

She has volunteered at the DoD Warrior Games, the Purdue Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, and taught at the Martin Luther King Peace Studies Day (at Newcastle University.)

Click here for some information on Ph.D. research presentations in the U.K. and Europe or see the “Research” tab, above.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

~George Bernard Shaw