Major : Psychology and East Asian Languages and Cultures –
Bio: Blair is a senior double majoring in Psychology and East Asian Languages & Cultures. She has been a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Ian MacFarlane for three years and her own research has focused on mental health and services in Japan. Over the course of her time at Austin College, she has taken a Jan Term in Scotland and Tokyo, Japan, and spent a semester abroad in Nagoya, Japan. She has done internships with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Grayson County, the Fannin County Children’s Center through Austin College SEPA grant writing program, and the Texoma Community Center through the Clinical Practicum course. Next semester, she will begin a Master in Social Work program with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Families.
Research: This time at SWPA was my second and last time attending as a current Austin College student. After a week spent presenting at the Austin College Student Scholarship Conference then at the Perot Museum for the GO! Fellowship Forum, I felt extremely prepared and excited to present my own research at a regional conference.
My research was the product of about three months of work at Nanzan University while I was studying abroad there for Fall 2015 in Nagoya, Japan. I had signed up for the Fieldwork Research in Japan class, knowing I had a unique opportunity to do some first-hand research, as opposed to simply looking up articles written by someone else on our databases. Between studying, exploring Nagoya, and traveling with IES Abroad, I spent the semester researching the Psychology and Human Relations department at Nanzan to see how Japanese psychology education may differ. I was also interested to see how students planned to use their psychology degrees and found most students were unwilling to enter psychology-related work, which partially helps explain why many with mental illness in Japan are not receiving services they need. I was originally planning on presenting my research last year at ACSC, but was actually glad that ended up falling through so I could present this year. In particular, I felt very lucky that my research was so related to Dr. Vikram Patel’s talk about global mental health treatment.
Not only did I get to present my own research, but I helped present Dr. Ian MacFarlane’s research, for which I served as a research assistant. Talking with students and professors at ACSC about your research is fun, but explaining it to someone in your field from another school is a really cool opportunity. You get the chance to engage in conversations with people about your research as well as their own. With that comes some critiques as well as feeling like you learned something new and exciting. The presentations, critiques, questions, and discussions were all quite reminiscent of my AC education; a culmination of all of the skills I have learned here. I recommend attending a conference or two to every student at AC who is interested in research. You may be surprised how much fun you have teaching and learning from others.