Supporting students, mentors, and instructors engaged in research.

Sierra Falter

Alumni Spotlight | July 2014

KU major: Psychology, Art History, Pre-Law, Class of 2009

Current occupation: Associate Attorney

Research mentors while at KU: Todd Little and Paul Atchley

Describe the undergraduate research experience that you had while at KU: The opportunity to conduct my own research study was introduced to me my sophomore year after assisting on other projects. I had consistent and overwhelming support from the Honors program and the Psychology Department at KU. Because of the support of Dr. Todd Little, I pursued quantitative statistics - which I would have never even known about! It gave another angle to my research analysis, bolstering my findings.

 


Q: What do you think was the most important thing you learned while doing undergraduate research? 

A: The importance of having an ethically sound research model and proper research methods.

 

Q: What advice do you have for undergraduates who might be interested in doing research?

A: Start the conversation with your professors your freshman year regarding your interest in or curiosity about research opportunities. You'll be surprised at how eager they will be to support you.

 

Q: Do you use any of the skills or perspectives gained doing research in your current occupation?  How so?

A: My research resulted in my honors thesis - an exercise that prepared me for the detailed analysis that would be required in law school and now in my legal career.

 

Q: Many undergraduate researchers are making decisions about what to do after they graduate from KU. Having been in those shoes, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then? Do you have any advice?

A:  Balance the cost of continuing onto a higher degree with the benefit - don't be afraid to ask for advice from mentors, shadow prospective careers, and take time off to decide before jumping into something.


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