Student Spotlight | February 2020
Major: Political Science, minor in English
Describe your research/creative work in just a few sentences that we can all understand: My research consists of explicating how certain mediating and mitigating variables influence and inform students' First Amendment knowledge and perceptions. Does political interest, years spent pursuing a certain academic discipline, liking coursework, GPA, extracurricular activities, or teacher attributes influence how students view their rights?
Q: Who mentors your project?
A: Genelle Belmas and Harrison M. Rosenthal
Q: What surprised you about doing a larger research project?
A: I always had a preconceived notion that research was all STEM-based; however, delving into my project I learned that was not true. I was surprised how complex and expansive the area in which I was researching was, and how much there was I hadn't even considered researching.
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: I found myself having a difficult time getting out of my comfort zone. The opportunities to present my research were often met with hesitation. However, I was able to combat this hesitation, thanks to the belief my mentors had in me; I felt motivated to seek out opportunities. I was able to present at the Southeast Colloquium in South Carolina, and at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. This all took course during my first year as a college student. I would encourage other students to not be afraid of trying new things and go out and find these opportunities. Don't stress, and believe in your abilities.
Q: What do you like most about your project?
A: I enjoy that my research allows me to analyze something I am very passionate about and truly enjoy working with. During my whole research process, I have found myself always learning something new every day. I also have the opportunity to meet and network with individuals in my field. Also, the work ethic my research project has instilled in me has made my research experience incredible.
Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?
A: Do it as soon as possible, the sooner the better. There are many opportunities out there to conduct research, and more than likely there will be something that interests you.
Q: How do you spend your time when you're not working on your research?
A: I spend the rest of time on school work and other school organizations. For example, I dedicate time to the Latin American Student Union as their Senator and attend Senate meetings every Wednesday. But I make sure to give myself time to relax, whether that be going out with friends or attending concerts, and much more.