Alyssa Ong

Headshot of Alyssa Ong


Major: Accounting and Finance

Research project: My research seeks to investigate the perception, attitude, and behavioral changes in participants of Alternative Breaks, an organization which sends groups of students across the United States to volunteer with non-profit organizations over breaks, that last beyond the one week of service. The Alternative Breaks impacts are then compared to the impacts of participating in other activities over break to identify the unique changes provided by participating in an Alternative Break.

Research mentors: Catherine Schwoerer and Kala Stroup

Q: What surprised you about doing research?

A: I was surprised at how much I enjoyed doing research. My first research project exposed me to the joys of research and from then on I decided this was something I could do for many years to come, hence, my decision to pursue a PhD after obtaining my undergraduate degree.


Q: What do you like most about your research?

A: I like how practical the research project is. Every year, 11,000+ students participate in Alternative Breaks nationally and the findings from the research will be able to benefit many organizations. This will also shed light on the positive impacts of Alternative Breaks and have the potential to change the way the organizations raise funds.


Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?

A: Start by identifying an area of interest, talk to faculty members who do research in those areas or meet with a staff member at the Center for Undergraduate Research. It is not difficult to get involved and faculty members are more than willing to mentor undergraduates.


Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your research?

A: I play the piano everyday for at least an hour, and I work on different projects for Alternative Breaks and the Clinton Global Initiative University. I also have the pleasure of interacting with many University Honors Program students and sharing my experiences with them.