Human Ecology undergraduate students attend National Conference
Thursday, December 14, 2017
The National Council on Family Relations annual conference was held November 14th-18th in Orlando, Florida. Four undergraduates from the college of Human Ecology, Kristen Krueger, Bo Steele, Meghan Dyster, and Mollie Reves, participated in a research project regarding Down syndrome with Briana S. Nelson Goff, professor, School of Family Studies and Human Services. The undergraduates along with doctoral student, Jessica Cless, presented their poster “Advocacy Amongst Parents of Children with Down Syndrome” at NCFR during a poster session on November 17th.
Kristen Krueger, junior in Human Development and Family Sciences, received an OURCI Undergraduate Travel Award in order to fund her travel to NCFR. She also received a Human Ecology Undergraduate Research Award Scholarship for the Fall 2017 semester. Bo Steele, junior in Nutritional Science/Pre-Med, received a travel grant from the College of Human Ecology and the Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health Department in order to fund his trip to Orlando. Meghan Dyster, junior in Human Development and Family Sciences, and Mollie Reves, senior in Communication Sciences and Disorders, received travel grants from the College of Human Ecology and the School of Family Studies & Human Services.
During their poster session, the students had the opportunity to present their research while networking and learning from others in similar fields. Meghan Dyster stated, “I enjoyed seeing and learning about all of the other research projects, as well, as communicating with other students and professionals. Attending NCFR allowed me to understand the importance and impact research makes within our field.”
Research provides a great contribution to the field, but it also provides opportunities and experiences for students. Mollie Reves stated, “I think research is important because it helps further and improve the knowledge we have. I chose to participate in research as an undergraduate because I learned the value and importance of it in some of classes and thought it would be a good opportunity in helping prepare for graduate school. Research has helped me learn how to analyze data, be a better critical writer, and has developed my ability to work in a team. This research team also gave me the chance to travel and attend a national conference and has taught me skills in how to be a professional, as well. Overall, this research team has been very beneficial and enjoyable aspect of my undergraduate experience and I look forward to continuing this work.”
Each undergraduate student became involved with Nelson Goff’s research for a variety of reasons, such as personal experiences, to grow academically and professionally, to make valuable contributions, and to take advantage of the unique learning opportunities. According to Bo Steele, he became involved with research due to a personal experience; “The reason that I originally got involved with the research was because my sister has an intellectual disability, so I have a soft spot in my heart for research toward that population. Being able to help further knowledge in the field of intellectual disabilities was a very enlightening and rewarding experience.”