"Riboswitches have been known to target molecules for antibiotics. I am trying to learn about the confrontational changes that specific riboswitches undergo in order to produce protein,
so I can manipulate to produce or not produce under different circumstances."
Grad Student Researches sexual violence on college campuses
NAME: Mel Dickey
CLASS: Grad Student
MAJOR: Higher Education and Student Personnel
How do you conduct your research?
Right now, I am analyzing data from the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Education in regards to sexual assault and rape. I am also reading a wide range of literature on the topic in order to create a literature review at the end of the semester.
How did you find this topic?
I became interested in this topic because of my own collegiate experiences with sexual violence against women, and the fraternity and sorority community. I firmly believe in what the greek community stands for and I would like to help the fraternities in particular act in accordance with their values. My Master’s program is in Higher Education Administration so I work with college students everyday and I want to make their experiences the best they can possibly be. When students experience sexual violence, their lives are flipped upside down and it may become more difficult for them to earn their education. I want to prevent this from happening.
What are your research interests?
I am interested in sexual violence against women, masculinity theories specifically dealing with men from the ages of 16-26, and the socialization of gender in America.
How did you get involved in research at Kent State?
The Higher Education program has a course option titled Individual Investigation where I can conduct research and work on a project for the semester. This seemed to be the best choice for me considering I want to pursue a career in sexual violence prevention.
How do you think you have grown as a student and/or as a professional as a result of research?
Being able to do research has helped me gain confidence and skills that will help me stand up and make change in the world. I participated in the Three Minute Thesis competition, where I worked on my presentation skills and received funds that I am putting towards attending professional development conferences next semester. My research is also helping me put theory to practice in order to solve the real life issue of sexual violence against women.
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES SENIOR SEEKS A BETTER ANTIBIOTIC
What is your research? Riboswitches have been known to target molecules for antibiotics. I am trying to learn about the confrontational changes that specific riboswitches undergo in order to produce protein, so I can manipulate them to produce or not produce under different circumstances.
What do you enjoy most about research?
I enjoy the people that I work with. My research lab is like a small-knit community. While we all come from different backgrounds, we all have similar goals. It is enjoyable to spend time with people that are educated on the same topics, are learning at the same level, and share a passion for science. It’s an intellectual, yet an energetic environment. We have fun while we learn.
What are the benefits of undergraduate research?
Research is a great resume builder and it really makes you stand out as a student. It shows that you are dedicated and willing to learn outside of the classroom.
How has your research experience impacted your overall college experience?
Research has impacted my college experience greatly. I started the second semester of my sophomore year, but I wish that I had started sooner. My knowledge is expanding beyond the classroom, and I have also had opportunities to develop my personal skills through research as well. For example, I participated in the Undergraduate Research Symposium where I was able to work on my presentation skills. I actually received an honorable mention award for the work we are doing.
How have you grown or developed as a result of undergraduate research?
I have grown as a student and as a professional. I have learned how to talk as a professional, how to be a more-well rounded student, and a more well-rounded person.
What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a researcher and how did you overcome it?
From this experience I found that no matter what level of research you are doing, it’s more than studying and taking a test. You have to think about the big picture. You have to not only think about the present, but also think about the past and how you are going to change things. That is a challenge, but a good challenge. By spending 6-9 dedicated hours in the lab per week, and enjoying what I was doing, I was able to find the bigger picture, and explain this to many people at varying educational levels.