Blaine Ragsdale

Headshot of Blaine Ragsdale

Alumni Spotlight | November 2017

KU major: Behavioral Neuroscience , class of 2015

Current occupation: Clinical Trial Assistant  

Research mentor while at KU: Dr. Chrysikou

Describe the undergraduate research experience that you had while at KU:

A: I received an Undergraduate Research Award to work over the summer at the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center at KU Med. I did data processing and was able to help with the creation and maintenance of studies there.


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

A: One of the most important things to learn in general and something I continued to learn while doing research is how to work with others to achieve goals. Nothing meaningful can be done by one person anymore and learning how to collaborate is learning how to succeed in the future. Learning time management and strategies in an environment like an Undergraduate Research Award where there is help where needed is a great way to grow as a person.


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

A: Go for it! It provides a great option similar to an internship to learn more about your field from a perspective that might be further away from the classroom. Research can be a fulfilling way to spend your time and learn about your future.  


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

A: Specifically, I learned the basics on institutional review boards and how they work at a university that informs some of the ways I work on clinical trials today. I also learned what it is like to be a research coordinator and how to appreciate that role from a managing perspective.


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: You won't always land in your dream job right away, in fact if you do then maybe you should be dreaming bigger! Growing in a career is going to take time, but the more you strive to continue to learn in whatever you do presently the more well rounded you will be in the future.