Student Spotlight | September 2018
Major: Psychology major with a minor in Applied Behaviroal Sciences
Describe your work in a few sentences that we can all understand: The primary focus of my project examines the attitudes towards female Black American domestic violence victims suffering from addiction within abusive relationships—in order to better understand the stigma surrounding this specific community of unrepresented battered women. Perceptions will be tested through a survey with a vignette and questionnaire items that involve demographics, SES, domestic violence attitudes, and racial identity.
Q: Who mentors your project?
A: Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Carl Lejuez is my research mentor.
Q: What surprised you about doing research?
A: I enjoyed it! The process of creating knowledge is easily the coolest experience I have ever been a part of. I was also amazed at the research opportunities KU provided for students. In the one year of showing interest for doing research, I am involved with the McNair Scholars Program and have been a Research Assistant in a social psychology lab.
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: Honestly, almost everything. From selecting the right mentor to submitting a proposal that satisfied both myself and my mentor. However, I eventually found the best mentor for my project who made the process seem like less of a challenge and that I can actually accomplish this seemingly impossible task to/for an undergraduate like myself. My advice to students facing similar challenges is everything good is worth working hard for! I have never been pushed this far academically and I am so grateful (I know, strange right?) After getting involved with research, assignments in my courses have been completed quicker, I finish readings faster, and the list continues. Research is also crucial to higher education, so getting prepared early will put you at a huge advantage.
Q: What do you like most about your project?
A: If I had to choose just one thing, I would say bringing attention to such an important, underrepresented group in society.
Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?
A: You have to get involved, trust me. It is an experience that can only benefit you, the only hard part is getting started and being pushed to reach your full academic potential.
Q: How do you spend your time when you're not working on your research?
A: Outside of research my favorite activities include cooking and eating; I am Kenyan American so my food embodies a variety of backgrounds. I have also recently picked up gardening; it has been very rewarding and fun, but takes patience and hard work. My garden is made up of mostly flowers, corn, tomatoes, and jalapenos.