Student Spotlight | June 2016
Department: I am a Psychology major with a minor in business.
Describe your work in a few sentences that we can all understand: My research is focused on how different motivational climates affect athletes. The goal is to help create an environment where each athlete can reach their full potential.
Q: Who mentors your project?
A: My research mentor is Dr. Mary Fry.
Q: What surprised you about doing research?
A: The biggest surprise was how great the support system is at KU. The idea of completing a research project was daunting at first, but the support system I developed really put me in a position to succeed.
Q: What did you find most challenging about getting involved in or doing your project? What advice would you offer to students facing similar challenges?
A: Whenever you try something new there is always going to be a learning curve. The first time I started writing my literature review and looking for articles that supported what I was focused on, I became stuck, but I was able to talk with my mentor and get a better understanding of the articles I was reading, and where to find research articles that supported what I was interested in. After that, it started to come together.
I would advise students not to get frustrated, and that learning the techniques of reading research articles and writing a literature review are part of the learning process. Do not be afraid to ask your mentor questions. They want you to succeed. The Center for Undergraduate Research was a good place for me to bounce ideas off as well. When looking for articles, it may help to look in the reference section of the article you are currently reading.
Q: What do you like most about your project?
A: As a former athlete, it is rewarding knowing that my research can help current and future athletes have a better experience in their sport.
Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in doing research or creative work?
A: You should definitely get involved with research. Even if you are not considering graduate school, there is so much you can learn about yourself and your field of interest. Also, don’t be afraid to get involved with research. You are capable of more than you think you are.
Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your research?
A: When I am not doing research, I enjoy playing music, running, and catching up on TV shows. I also enjoy spending time working for KU Info and learning cool new things about KU, and helping my fellow Jayhawks with their questions.