Major: Public Health
Minors: Neuroscience, Leadership Studies
From: Plano, TX
Research background: I have been active in research for three years, completing research projects in Neuroscience, Psychology, Community Health, and Civic Engagement. Her Neuroscience research was published in the peer-reviewed, on-campus research journal ACUMEN in 2018. Kylie successfully defended her Public Health Honors Thesis identifying the efficacy of the international Chronic Disease Self-Management Education program in promoting long-term healthy behaviors and quality of life, while recognizing alternative, effective community-based implementation tactics. She plans to continue her health-related research as a professional, and is grateful to Austin College and the Center for Research, Experiential, Artistic, & Transformative Education for providing her with a strong research foundation and the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research.
After attending the Southwestern Psychological Association Conference this past weekend, my appreciation for undergraduate research at Austin College drastically increased. I realized that the research conducted by Austin College students is such high-quality work, and I felt immensely grateful to my on-campus mentors for caring about and being involved in my work. Before attending the Conference, I was timid about the reactions my research would elicit because I had not presented my Honors Thesis research to so many academic professionals. However, during my poster session, I noticed that my research was well-received by academic professionals and students alike. More than half of the people I spoke to during my poster session requested electronic copies of my poster, and one woman even requested a copy of my entire Thesis! She was excited by my research and was interested in applying my findings to a similar chronic disease self-management program that she runs in her own organization.
I am so happy that I was able to attend the Conference, as the feedback from academic professionals helped me realize the weight of my research and why it is so applicable. It was nice to see my hard work pay off, and I am eager to present more research as a future health professional. Without the Public Health Departmental Honors Thesis nomination and the support from Dr. Renee Countryman, I am not sure I would have been as successful in my research as I am. Austin College has taught me so much about the importance of research and what ethical, helpful, and applicable research looks like. I hope that CREATE is able to talk to more prospective students in the coming years, as it is important to promote the availability of research. I never thought I would have the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research, yet here I am. Thank you, CREATE and Austin College, for providing me with the opportunities and skills to successfully conduct meaningful research.