2019-2020 First-Year Scholars Projects


  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Diana Salamaga, civil engineering and architecture

    • 3D Imaging and Printing for Archaeological Artifacts

      New technology and software is increasingly being used to help document, preserve and present the remains of the past. In this project, students will help improve our capacity to use this technology to document archaeological artifacts, including some ancient bronze objects currently on loan to KSU from the Buffalo Museum of Science. The student will be asked to scan and produce 3D models of several objects over the course of the year using different techniques, tools, and software, and to document the process to other team members. By creating printable 3D models with a combination of scanners and photogrammetric software, the student will improve the capacity of School of Art and Design (SOAAD) to engage in this kind of activity in the long term. This is a superb opportunity both to gain some experience in the cultural heritage sector, and to obtain some cutting edge technical skills.

      Students interested in this project should be comfortable working with computers, both PC and MAC. Knowledge of programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, AutoCAD, Fusion360, etc. is helpful, but not essential. Students in Architecture, Engineering, and Computer Science are particularly welcome, but interested students in any field may also apply. Students should be able and prepared both to work independently and under supervision, both in the 3d scanning lab of the Visual Arts building and on their own. 

    • The student participating in this project should obtain:

      • An understanding of how archaeologists, museums, and others in the cultural heritage sector benefit from 3d imaging technology
      • Familiarity with specific photogrammetric software
      • Understanding of structured light scanning techniques
      • Familiarity with FDM and SLA 3D printing
      • The ability to succinctly and efficiently relay technical skills to others
      • Understanding of how computer aided design can be applied in museums and archaeological settings
    • The project will require students to spend time each week

      • Familiarizing themselves with relevant software packages
      • Reading manuals / taking online tutorials for relevant software packages.
      • Writing brief reports / make brief presentations on software and techniques.
      • Handling archaeological objects
      • Cooperating with faculty and staff in the 3d scanning lab.
      • Arranging appointments and times with various stakeholders, including museums, faculty and a staff.
  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Nadia Moore, civil engineering

    • The FABRICS of Concrete: a Sustainable, Innovative and Recyclable Approach in Concrete Structures

      The last hundred years in architecture and civil engineering have been widely dominated by the use of concrete, which became the second most consumed commodity after water. Although concrete and cementitious materials have a low embodied energy (of approximately 0.90 MJ/kg), they are used in vast quantities. In 2016 world production of cement amounted to approximately 2.8 billion tons, with production and usage accounting for almost 8-9% of total global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

      Although the technology has improved, providing stronger and more durable concrete, the construction techniques have not changed. Historically, concrete and reinforced concrete structures have been constructed using rigid formwork, mainly relying on the use of either steel or timber to generate the required temporary support structure.

      Starting from these considerations, this research project titled Flexible Architectural Basis Reinforcement in Concrete Structures (F.A.B.R.I.C.S.) aims to advance our fundamental understanding of non-rigid concrete formworks in an effort to marry architectural form and structural design. By challenging the paradigm of rigid formwork, this research technology will impact the embodied energy and the carbon emission associated with new concrete constructions by possibly saving up to 30% in concrete volume when compared to an equivalent strength prismatic member. In addition, the provision of an inexpensive, extremely lightweight, and globally available formwork material in place of wood will help address the need for housing in building economies that rely on reinforced concrete construction but lack in access of wood construction materials. This research thus offers exciting opportunities for engineers and architects in the move towards a more sustainable construction industry.

      Students working on this research project will investigate the use of formwork in concrete structures with varying degree of flexibility to achieve: (1) more economical construction while improving sustainability and resilience of concrete structures; (2) conform to varying architectural forms; and (3) the adoption of advanced concrete materials (such as Ultra High Performance Concrete, Engineered Cementitious Composites, etc.) in constructions.

      The research questions. This project simultaneously embraces questions of structural engineering, architectural design, and construction technology. The main objectives of this work are to:

      • R1. Define a new architectural language for concrete structures that will introduce the use of a coefficient of stiffness for concrete formwork;
      • R2. Explore the use of advanced cementitious materials that will minimize the use of reinforcement without sacrificing structural integrity; and
      • R3. Evaluate new design strategies that seamlessly integrate architectural forms with structural needs.
    • By working on this project, students can expect to improve on two separate sets of skills, technical and professional. Depending if you are an architecture student, an engineering student, or a generic KSU first year, you will be challenged with the idea of sustainability and sustainable approaches at different levels. In order to address the research questions, you will be working in a multidisciplinary group spanning from architecture to engineering, to art as the project will require expertise in different areas. This approach will provide you with a unique opportunity to work in a research environment that will foster your understanding of research problems and will help you to build fundamental skills for your future careers. Specific outcomes include:

      • Understand the role of previous research and literature review in the broad context of research (i.e., define the terminology associated with research and theory in advanced cementitious materials; describe past research studies and critically analyze past research in concrete formwork; and articulate how their research study makes a contribution to the field).
      • Learn how to develop a matrix for tests and conduct laboratory experiment (i.e., understand the role of ASTM standard tests in material characterization; design and performing of material characterization test, specifically in compressive and tensile properties; analyze and interpretation of the test data from concrete and steel tests).
      • Design and build small scale prototypes (i.e., design of concrete element using parametric tools, such as Grasshopper and Karamba; design of concrete elements including formwork, materials requirement for cast and procedures for concrete curing).
      • Develop skills in evaluation and analysis (i.e., apply knowledge and skills in cross-disciplinary platforms, such as Revit and Visual Analysis). This learning objective is specifically important as it will teach you how to disseminate and transfer your individual knowledge in a work environment.
    • Weekly schedule can be flexible. Students will work alongside senior students on several tasks:

      • Architectural and engineering design.
      • Drawing and formwork design (Rhino, Grasshopper, Photoshop, Illustrator)
      • Casting concrete (mix design, materials procurement, casting, and cleaning)
      • Data analysis and presentation
  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Isabella Rosinko, anthropology 

    • Dig into Your Future: Conduct Archaeological Research in North Georgia

      For the past 15 years, our Archaeology Program in the Department of Geography and Anthropology has conducted archaeological research across Georgia. Excavations at various historic and prehistoric sites have provided undergraduate students with training in the methods and techniques in field archaeology as well artifact analysis in the laboratory. Numerous research opportunities are offered year round in both the field and lab.

      In the field, students have metal detected enslaved African cabins on mid-19th century plantation sites in Cartersville as well as excavated cultural features (e.g., fire pits, storage pits, refuse pits) on prehistoric Native American campsites dating from the Early Archaic (ca. 7000 BC) through to European Contact (mid-16th century). While some students have focused exclusively on excavation for their research projects, others have chosen to conduct lab analysis on pottery, shell beads, military items, and stone tools. These material culture remains are derived from various sites located across north Georgia. These collections, consisting of a few hundred artifacts to several thousand, come from sites involved in our annual archaeology field school (run every fall semester in Cartersville) to student-developed projects. Recent student lab projects have included studying the earliest pottery made in North America, back 5,000 years. Not all of the student research focuses on local archaeology projects. Artifacts from my research at the ancient Maya site of Pacbitun, Belize has allowed me to bring back artifacts for lab analysis, and this material is available for study.

      In our archaeology lab, there are more than a dozen sites available for study. At present, archaeological research is being conducted at five different field sites: three historic and two prehistoric Native American. Students are able to pursue independent research or work with other students at any of these sites. During each week of each semester there are always students conducting their own research, with some lasting one semester or more. And, every week in the lab those engaged in research come together to wash and sort artifacts. These students, with different levels of field and lab experience, discuss their ongoing research with one another, which helps to foster a collaborative research environment.

      Any student interested in archaeology but does not know where to start are encouraged to contact me directly (tpowis@kennesaw.edu) or come to one of our open washing/sorting sessions on Thursdays from 12:30-1:45 pm in S0 4080, and we'll get you digging into your future in archaeology.

      • Learn about/participate in field archaeology
      • Learn about/perform artifact analysis in a lab setting
      • Learn about the history and prehistory of Georgia in particular and the Southeast in general
      • Participate in one or more research projects
      • Collaborate with one or more undergraduate students (including senior students)
      • Learn how to collect data, analyze it, interpret it, and disseminate the results
      • Disseminate the results of your research at local, regional, and/or national conferences (e.g., Symposium of Student Scholars, Georgia Academy of Science, Southeastern Archaeological Conference, and the Society for American Archaeology) through posters and/or oral presentations
      • Assist in/contribute to the daily/weekly operation of the archaeology lab, including equipment maintenance
      • Duties may include washing, sorting, and analyzing historic and prehistoric artifacts
      • Aid in data entry (in Excel) of material culture into various artifact catalogs
      • Assist other students with their research if interested/necessary
  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Ronit Barman, computer science

    • Investigating Topics in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and/or Psychology and Law from a Social Psychological Perspective

      There is the opportunity to work on one of two areas of research depending on student interest.One area of research is focused on examining factors that influence student learning in the educational system. Specifically, we are interested how applications like GroupMe may influence students' attitudes and behaviors and the classroom environment, as well as instructors' awareness of and response to students' use of this application. For example, we would like to know how students use the application, the perceived benefits of it, and the extent to which students can accurately identify academic integrity issues associated with it. On the flip side, we are also interested in instructors' awareness of the extent of use of the application by students in their classrooms, their perceptions of how it may impact their class environment, and what strategies they have used to minimize the potential issues associated with its use within their own classes.

      The other area of research is focused on factors that influence the occurrence of false confessions and public perceptions of false confessions. Much of the research on false confessions has concentrated on coerced false confessions that are at least partially related to pressure exerted by investigators. However, some false confessions occur because of a motivation to protect the true perpetrator. In such situations, the false confessor and the perpetrator likely have a prior relationship; thus, there may be contextual factors present in these types of confessions that may be different from those examined previously. In addition, recent studies have suggested that public perceptions of false confessions may be changing as TV shows, podcasts, and other media devoted to exploring cases that include false confessions have become more popular. There appears to be an increasing awareness that false confessions can occur as a result of non-physical pressure exerted by investigators. However, similar to the research on factors that influence false confessions, this research has yet to examine how public perceptions are impacted by false confessions that include a potential protection motivation.

    • At the end of this experience scholars will have gained experience in several of the following areas: designing a research study, searching databases to identify relevant research, reading and evaluating research articles, writing article summaries, preparing research materials (e.g., designing questionnaires, vignettes), assisting in the completion of IRB proposals, completing online training in ethics, facilitating data collection, coding and/or entering data using SPSS, performing data analyses, and assisting in the reporting of results (e.g., poster presentation). The exact number of these experiences and the depth of the experience will depend on the specific project we select and the schedule we develop. Scholars will also make progress towards a professional development goal of their choosing (e.g., exploring career plans, writing resume/CV). Scholars would also develop skills related to time management and planning, communication, and team work. Scholars would work on these activities with myself and potentially with other undergraduate students who are currently part of my research lab.

    • Our research lab currently consists of myself and ten students, both graduate students and undergraduate students. We meet weekly on Thursdays 9-10:30am. Ideally, interested scholars would be available during this time. During these meetings we provide updates on lab projects, discuss published research, engage in professional development activities (e.g., resumes/CV development, interview skills, presenting research, career planning), and break up into small teams to work on research projects. Scholars would be expected to participant in these meetings. Additionally, I would work with scholars to develop a reasonable schedule for the activities mentioned above, some of which would be accomplished during regular weekly meetings, other meetings arranged with myself and potentially another undergraduate research assistant working in the lab, and independently outside of meeting times. It is expected that we would revisit schedule periodically and make adjustments as needed. Similar to other research assistants in my lab, I would also expect scholars to complete a reflection of their experience both mid-way through a semester and at the end of the semester.


  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholars: Michela Crego, biochemistry; Lauren James, environmental science; David Jimenez, microbiology

    (additional funding provided by faculty mentor)

    • How to Build a Brain and What Happens When it Goes Wrong

      The Hudson lab at Kennesaw State University is broadly interested in: (1) understanding how cells in the body become neurons; and (2) how neurons connect to one another to make neural circuits and how those circuits control an animal's behavior. To do this, we primarily use a Caenorhabditis elegans nematode model for these studies. Nematode worms have many advantages for studying the nervous system. First, they have an invariant cell lineage, which means that whenever a cell divides, we know exactly what its daughter cells are going to be. Second, they're see-through, which means that we can actually see neuronal cell bodies and axon bundles without having to dissect the animals. Third, we can use fluorescent reporter genes to label individual cells in the worm's brain. Finally, we can use genetics to change the underlying genes required for nervous system development and function. By creating mutations that change the fate of a neuron or the shape of an axon, we can figure out which genes are required for making the nervous system and how that affects behavior. Is this relevant to humans and human neurological disorders? Oh yes! The genes required for shaping the worm's nervous system are the same genes required to shape the human nervous system. As such, we can look at the worm version of human disease genes and understand what the consequences are for mutating that particular gene and how it affects nervous system development and function. We have two main projects on-going in the lab. The first one is to examine a class of proteins called transcription factors to figure out how they affect whether a cell becomes a neuron or something else. Second, we are examining how sensory neural circuits connect together, and whether defects in nervous system connectivity lead to behavioral defects.

    • A first-year student joining the lab would work with a Master's student and contribute to one or more of the projects described above. Having learned how to handle worms, they'd use those worm-picking skills and basic genetics to build worm strains, examining those strains using a fluorescence microscope, then imaging those strains and looking for nervous system defects. As an adjunct to this, they would learn additional transferrable skills including polymerase chain reaction assays, automated image analysis coding and strain freezing. Students will maintain a lab note book and be trained in how to archive data on cloud-based servers and other back-up devices. They will present their data in weekly lab meetings, and also at the end of the academic year at the KSU Student Research Symposium. If schedules permit, they will also be invited to attend weekly research seminars in the College of Science and Mathematics, and monthly Worm Club (12 noon, third Monday of the month at Emory University), where they can see research presentations from other worm-based labs in the Atlanta metro area including labs at Emory University, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State. Students making exceptional progress will be encouraged to present their data at the regional Society for Developmental Biology meeting.

    • In addition to the research approach described above, a first-year student would be expected to contribute to lab maintenance by making growth media, cleaning lab glassware and maintaining instruments.
  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Nathaniel Anderson, mechanical engineering

    • Design, Development and Control of Compliant (Flexible) Mechanisms

      Compliant mechanisms incorporate flexible members to transfer the input force/position or torque to another point on the mechanism through the deflection of its flexible members rather than the revolute position of links. This research aims to design and develop compliant mechanisms that could potentially replace their counterpart rigid versions. Some of our ongoing projects are: (1) Design and Development of Bistable Mechanisms, (2) Design and Development of Compliant Prosthetic Knee Joint, (3) Design and Control of Compliant Gripper, (4) Design of Compliant Swimming Robot and (5) Design and Development of Laboratory Equipment to Be Utilized in Undergraduate Vibrations Courses

    • We are aiming to facilitate quality research by promoting and attracting more undergraduate researchers in Dynamics and Control Research Group. Through research, students will be able to:

      • Gain experience in the research field by identifying the design specifications and the objectives to be achieved
      • Increase multidisciplinary knowledge (collaborative research between mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering)
      • Articulate a clear research question and formulate a hypothesis
      • Compare and evaluate alternative designs
      • Use the library to search for existing research relevant to the research
      • Develop the final solution
      • Work collaboratively as a team
      • Work timely in an effective manner following the meeting dates and deadlines
      • Communicate confidently and constructively with group members and mentors
      • Present their findings to other researchers in the same field and broader audience
    • Students will be responsible for conducting literature survey, designing mechanisms, creating CAD models, identifying the parts to be purchased, building prototypes using 3D printers and assembly processes, revising the mechanisms based on the initial prototypes if necessary, identifying the required actuators and instrumentation, constructing experimental setup, data collection and documenting the results.

      Students are expected to attend weekly meetings, report the progress and communicate with team members.


  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Cooper Freeman, computer game design & development

    • Augmented Reality (AR) Pets for Youth Healthy Diet Education

      There have been several research studies using Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) technology to deliver public health information to people. For example, researchers use VR to show damaged lungs or discolored teeth to people after smoking for many years. However, there has been very little work done on how to use VR/AR technology to help children understand healthy eating and drinking behaviors (for example, that drinking soda is bad for their health). There are some challenges in using VR/AR technology with this population. First, it may not be advisable to show certain images to children, such as disgusting lungs. Second, there are challenges in terms of reaching a large number of children, which is important from a public health perspective.

      For this project, the student will design and develop a prototype to deliver information to children using a mobile app, which could be downloaded by anyone and therefore potentially address the second problem mentioned above. The app contains an Augmented Reality (AR) pet with happiness, hunger, thirst, and health levels. The app will provide different drinks and food with health-related information attached to the items to make the children aware of how to keep their AR pets healthy.  

    • The learning objectives include:

      1. Being able to know how to get the real requirements of a public health-related project (Software Engineering)
      2. Being able to study and research how to complete the user center design for special populations. This project will be geared toward children in elementary school (Software Engineering)
      3. Being able to investigate what kind of data we should collect from the prototype that could help us understand the impact of using our app for public health purposes (IT and Software Engineering)
      4. Being able to complete the serious game or VR/AR environment design (IT, CS and Software Engineering)
      5. Being able to conduct the data analysis to evaluate how to revise the app and help users (data analysis)
      6. Being able to work collaboratively as a team with other undergraduate and graduate students in our College of Computing and Software Engineering (CCSE) VR/AR Lab.
      7. Being able to learn more and gain VR/AR/MR equipment knowledge and development.
      1. Front end development: Design and develop the app.
      2. Conducting usability studies to collect data.
      3. Data analysis will start after we finished the usability study.
      4. A weekly group meeting is required.
  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Anna Conroy, exercise science

    • Muscle Fatigue: Females vs. Males and Nervous System vs. Muscle Factors

      Previous research suggests that females are more resistant to muscle fatigue compared to males. Our current research focuses on answering the following questions: 

      1. Do sex differences in muscle fatigue depend on the muscle contraction type?
      2. What muscle and central nervous system factors are involved? 

      Participants in this research will perform explosive, dynamic and isometric (no movement) muscle contractions on separate days to induce fatigue of the calf muscles. We will assess the reductions in strength, velocity, and power caused by fatigue and the recovery of these measurements for 10 minutes after the fatiguing exercise. We will also use electromyography (measurement of muscle activation) and peripheral nerve stimulation to gain insight on what nervous system and muscle factors are contributing to fatigue. Peripheral nerve stimulation will be used to electrically stimulate involuntary muscle contractions. Ultrasound will be used to examine muscle size and quality, and body composition will be assessed as well. The findings from this research have implications for exercise and rehabilitation program design, as it may be indicated that muscle fatigue/recovery and the associated mechanisms are unique for females and males. 

    • A student assisting with this project will:

      • Collaborate in a team setting with exercise science master's and undergraduate students
      • Become familiar with body composition, ultrasound, as well as muscle strength and power assessments in the Exercise Physiology laboratory
      • Become familiar with nervous system, control of muscle, and the influence of fatigue
      • Improve skills related to data processing, calculations, and figure making in Microsoft Excel
      • Upon exceptional progress, be invited to present at the regional American College of Sports Medicine conference
      • Assist with data collection using the tools previously mentioned above
      • Assist with lab equipment preparation and breakdown
      • Assist with verbal motivation during fatiguing exercise protocols
      • Operate in Microsoft Excel or other computer software to conduct data processing


  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Agazeet Haile, anthropology

    • What Kind of Patriotism: Critical Analysis of What School Texts Teach Children about Being Patriotic American

      What does patriotism mean for a child who lost his brother to police violence perpetuated towards unarmed Black men? What does patriotism mean for a child whose mom cannot come back to America due to the Muslim ban? What did patriotism mean for a Black girl in 1910 who had to pass by a "whites only" park on her way to school where she was then asked to pledge allegiance to the flag? What did patriotism mean for a Japanese American girl who was incarcerated by her government during WWII? What did patriotism mean for an Indigenous girl who was taken away from home and forced to attend a boarding school that aimed to "Kill the Indian, Save the Man"?

      Throughout US history and continuing today, children and adults have had different experiences with the government, which means they have different views and feelings about patriotism. Indeed, patriotism means different things to different people, ranging from an absolute loyalty to government leaders to a commitment to democratic ideals. And because of this, there have been many historical and current controversies regarding patriotism. The most recent example is in the Take Knee protest and the controversies around it.

      This research investigates what schools teach young children about patriotism. Are schools teaching children to critically examine multiple, competing notions and examples of patriotism and how they are related to the various notions of being a "good citizen" or "good American"? Are schools teaching children about the contentious debates regarding patriotism and think carefully about the forms of patriotism that support democratic citizenship and the forms that do not? Are schools teaching children to form their own well-considered definition of patriotism and how it relates to their notions of being good citizen? To investigate this, this research will analyze textbooks, curriculum standards, and other teaching materials used in schools.

    • Students will learn about how to design a curriculum analysis research; how to critically analyze the content of school texts; how to review previous research and synthesize the findings; how to summarize the research findings and present at a conference.

      • Helping the professor to find and review previous research related to the topic
      • Helping the professor to analyze the school texts
  • 2019-2020 First-Year Scholar: Anh Nguyen, accounting

    • Immigrant Integration: A Litmus Test for Community Well-being

      Currently there is minimal crossover between the fields of public health and immigrant integration; this is an ideal space for intersectional research from a health equity framework. Such a framework allows communities to recognize and address factors that can stand in the way of immigrants leading healthy lives, including the physical environment, health care, health behaviors, and social and economic opportunity. To advance the conversation on how communities could bridge the gap between health equity work and immigrant inclusion, we will collaborate with Welcoming America, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce the barriers that immigrants face by working with institutions from all sectors to build bridges between newcomers and long-time residents.

      As part of the research team, the undergraduate researcher will be working with faculty, staff, and students in a long-standing partnership with Welcoming America and their affiliates. Our prior research has had health and community wellbeing at the periphery of our work, now we seek to make health equity a central component of our research agenda. We believe that health equity is "social justice in health" (Braverman, 2014). According to Grantmakers in Health (2012), healthy equity is something we should strive for and it has been identified by leaders as field requiring applied research. According to Dr. Camara Jones, the Research Director on Social Determinants of Health and Equity, achieving health equity requires valuing all individuals and populations equally, recognizing and rectifying historical injustices, and addressing contemporary injustices by providing resources according to need.

      This understanding of health equity compels those working in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to look at both immediate causes of poor health and social determinants of health, the underlying causes of poor health. Social determinants such as income and education can affect health in a variety of ways, by making people more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors or risk exposure to environmental hazards or higher levels of stress (Woolf and Braverman, 2011). Several social determinants of health, including immigration status, language, and race, underlie the health inequities experienced by immigrants (Castaeda, Holmes, Madrigal, DeTrinidad, Young, Beyeler, and Quesada, 2015). Each of these determinants may subject immigrants to discrimination in employment and housing and may lead to isolation, depression, and other mental health challenges. Residential segregation places people of color and immigrants at higher risk of living in neighborhoods with poorer conditions such as higher levels of violence and environmental hazards. Therefore, place-based strategies are key to advancing health equity, and the field of immigrant inclusion has already made great strides to working within communities. Our working hypothesis is communities that are receptive and welcoming to immigrants have improved community health. Our aim is to identify if this is true and implement place-based strategies to examine their effectiveness. In doing so, the undergraduate researcher will learn about an evolving area of applied scholarship as well as how to craft a literature review matrix, gather and analyze data, present work for print and oral presentation in a multi-disciplinary team environment.

    • The research team has had a long-standing practice of supervising and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Former student researchers have consistently stated that the level of support and new skills gained as a result of being part of one or more of the multi-phase Atlanta's Immigrant Crossroads Project has not only aided them in their own academic studies, but has prepared them well to continue into graduate school or help them solidify their career goals.

      Therefore at the end of this experience student researchers would have experienced several of the following aspects related to applied research:

      • designing a research study,
      • searching databases to identify relevant research, reading and evaluating research articles,
      • developing a literature review matrix,
      • preparing research materials (e.g., designing questionnaires, vignettes),
      • assisting in the completion of IRB proposals and completing online training in ethics,
      • facilitating data collection in the field with community stakeholders,
      • coding and/or entering data for data analysis and performing data analyses, and
      • assisting in the reporting of results (e.g., poster presentation, manuscript development, grant proposal).

      The depth of the experience will depend on the specific aspects of the project the student researcher will work on. Since we define community health broadly, our work will intersect with one or more of these areas:

      1. Government Leadership
      2. Civic Engagement
      3. Equitable Access
      4. Education
      5. Connected Communities
      6. Economic Development
      7. Safe Communities

      From a personal development standpoint, student researchers will also make progress towards the following:

      • a professional development goal of their choosing (e.g., exploring career plans, writing resume/CV),
      • develop skills related to time management and planning, communication, and team work,
      • work with stakeholders and scholars at KSU and in the larger community,
      • will assist in proposal development for grant funding, manuscript preparation for publication, and/or presentation of findings at community gatherings or conferences, and
      • developing lasting mentoring relationships with faculty and community leaders.

      To learn more about the overall project --- and if other aspects of the larger project better meet your research goals, please visit this site:


    • Student research tasks are organized on a two-week cycle so that one can balance out their home, school, and other work responsibilities. Hence, at the start of the mentoring process an initial interview is conducted to learn more about the student to determine where best their interests and needs align with where we are in our current project phase. As such, duties will be determined based on the student researcher's personal and professional goals as well as their current and desired knowledge, skills, and abilities.

      Check-ins occur on a weekly basis via email and face-to-face meetings every two weeks to coincide when a research task is to be completed.

      Tasks often have a practice round, the first week, with feedback and recommendations that allow the student researcher to continue during the second week on their own.

      Students will be asked to complete a reflection of their experience at the midpoint and at the end of the term/year.

      When research team meetings are held with faculty colleagues, other student researchers, and/or community partners that may enhance the student researcher's personal or professional development, they will be invited to participate.

      Students who thoughtfully and thoroughly participate as part of the team will be acknowledged in work products and receive letters of support/recommendation.

      Those who are exceptional will be included as co-presenters or co-authors on work products.