Student Spotlight | November 2018
Major: Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Describe your research/creative work in just two sentences that we can all understand. This research project involved the collection of personal narratives and analyzed Mexican American and Mexican women’s practices of curanderismo (Spanish term for curing or healing) in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Semi-structured interviews of 11 women were conducted.
Q: Who mentors your project?
A: Brent Metz
Q: What surprised you about doing research?
A: I was surprised that I was able to complete my project in two months. I was able to conduct all of my interviews, write a paper, do an oral presentation, and design a poster.
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: Personally, I was afraid that I was not up the task. I felt that as an undergraduate student I was not qualified to do research. I was able to overcome this challenge because the people around me helped me to believe in myself when I did not. I could not have imagined for a second doing a research project on my own, but my mentor, my McNair Scholars cohort, and the undergraduate research staff pushed me to go ahead with the project. They were instrumental in my project.
Q: What do you like most about your project?
A: I like that I was doing field work and not only reading from articles. I enjoyed talking to people and hearing their personal story. I know that this small project will be instrumental in my future career as I pursue graduate school.
Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?
A: You are more than qualified as an undergraduate student to do research. Remember to always ask for help and do not rely only on yourself but the people around you, most importantly your mentors and professors. Definitely attend every info workshop that the Center for Undergraduate Research offers. They were an extremely helpful resource.
Q: How do you spend your time when you're not working on your research?
A: When I was not working on my project, I was spending time with my sisters and my mom. I was also taking small trips to Oklahoma to visit my friends from high school. I love to dance to Latin and Mexican music, so I was enjoying that as well.