Brittany Brakenhoff, a McNair scholar at UNL, enjoyed her 2008 Summer Research Experience so much that she began seeking out research programs where she could have a similar experience at a different university the following summer. After doing some research, she across a list of universities that have Summer Research Opportunity Programs (SROP) through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) website. Interested in couple and family therapy, Brittany focused on schools where faculty had similar research interests. Research by Dr. Natasha Slesnick at The Ohio State University (OSU) piqued Brittany’s interest; Brittany applied to and was accepted at OSU to conduct research on substance-abusing mothers and homeless mothers.
While researching at OSU, Brittany spent most of her time working in Dr. Slesnick’s lab and writing an independent research paper. She reviewed literature, designed her own research study, and analyzed the results. “With the help of my mentor, I was able to get my research paper published, which helped expose me to the publications process,” says Brittany.
The positive relationship Brittany developed with her mentor ended up greatly benefitting her in the long run. Because of her summer research experience, she decided to apply to graduate school at OSU to continue working with Dr. Slesnick. The transition from researching as an undergraduate to graduate school went smoothly for Brittany. She says, “It made it easier to adjust to graduate school because I was already familiar with the campus and faculty.” Brittany earned her Master’s in August 2012; her thesis focused on substance abusing mothers and their children during family therapy sessions.
Interested in conducting undergraduate research like Brittany? You may be interested in:
“With the help of my mentor, I was able to get my research paper published, which helped expose me to the publications process.”