Claim your curiosity.

Taylor Axtell

Student Spotlight | February 2019

Major: Behavioral Neuroscience

Describe your research/creative work in just two sentences that we can all understand. I look at an infant's attention when he/she is interacting with a social partner and how that attention develops over time. This is done by looking at the infant's eye movements (in both eye-tracking and play-based tasks) and other nonverbal behaviors such as reaching or pointing.

 

 


Q: Who mentors your project?

A: Brenda Salley, Ph.D. from the Department of Pediatrics at KU Medical Center and Corinne Walker, MA CCC-SLP.

 

Q: What surprised you about doing research?

A: There are so many different topics to be explored within any given field. No matter how deep you get into your research project, there will always be another question or variable to consider.

 

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: Finding the time to not only work on my project, but make sure it was completed well. I've obviously grown to really care about my project and always seem to find something else I want to do in order to make it better. I've found that it's helpful to remember that stumbling upon more questions just means that you're getting somewhere. Things may not necessarily turn out as planned the first time around, but that's okay--it's all part of the process.

 

Q: What do you like most about your project?

A: It's not your stereotypical lab work. I think being in the Baby Lab in any capacity is a great experience simply because it shows the variability in types of research that a lot of students may not realize exists. I don't deal with test vials all day; I get to play with infants and track their development as they get older.

 

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

A: Start now. I got involved in research in the spring of my sophomore year and I wish I had started sooner. It can be difficult to find time for a research project in the midst of so many other responsibilities, but it's really rewarding and worthwhile to pursue if you think research is something that might interest you. There's also not necessarily just one project that's right for you--I've had classes that entailed completing a research project on a smaller scale, and I became just as interested in those topics as I am my current one!

 

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

A: Aside from going to school, I also work at a nursing facility and volunteer at Audio-Reader here on campus. However, if I'm ever given the free time, my go-to is definitely reading. I used to read a lot when I was younger, so it's nice to jump back in here and there.


Spotlight Search



 

 

Connect With Us
Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
The Research Experience Program has certified more than 2,000 students since 2005
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
More than 150 mentors sponsored undergraduate projects through the Center for Undergraduate Research each year
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
Highlight your research on your transcript: Get certified through the Research Experience Program
Use research to apply what you learned in the classroom to a real problem
Students who perform research develop strong relationships with KU faculty
Research is a hands-on way to explore career options
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report