STUDENT SPOTLIGHT | OCTOBER 2016
Department: Sociology, minors in philosophy, economics, and Russian
Describe your work in a few sentences that we can all understand: My research investigates the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger at KU. In addition, I am examining factors that may be associated with food insecurity in college students, including socioeconomic status, health, and student debt.
Q: Who mentors your project?
A: Dr. Tracey LaPierre, sociology
Q: What surprised you about doing research?
A: What surprised me the most is the attention that needs to be paid to small details, particularly in the survey that I designed with the help of my mentor.
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: The most challenging component of my research project has been finding a suitable sampling method and navigating various KU channels in order to distribute my survey the way that I would like. I would recommend that other students who face similar hurdles proactively reach out to various contacts about their research. I found some of the greatest help in places I really didn’t expect!
Q: What do you like most about your project?
A: I really enjoy discovering what research is in a very hands on setting. Learning about these topics in required courses for my major was interesting, but actually collecting data and analyzing it adds a new level of excitement.
Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in doing research or creative work?
A: I would strongly recommend proactively reaching out to faculty about potential research ideas. So many professors at KU are excited about helping undergraduates with original research ideas, but students really have to initiate that process!
Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your research?
A: I work for the KU Center for Community Outreach, which takes up a lot of my time. I really enjoy cooking, exercising, and exploring Lawrence!