During the 2015-16 academic year, senior Sociology and Psychology major Emily Hum worked as a USTARS (Undergraduate Sociology Teaching and Research Student) for UNL’s Biosociology of Minority Health Disparities Lab (BMHDL). At BMHDL, Emily worked with Dr. Jacob Cheadle researching stress levels of LGBTQ individuals. Through in-person interviews, neurological tests, and collecting biological samples from research participants, Emily and Dr. Cheadle attempted to analyze the pathways by which stress caused by discrimination leads to problems in an individual’s mental and physical health.
For the 2016-2017 year, Emily is continuing her research with LGBTQ individuals as a UCARE (Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience) with associate professor of Sociology Dr. Christina Falci. Beginning in Summer 2016, Emily aided Dr. Falci in analyzing data from one of Dr. Falci’s earlier studies about how people’s gender differences influence their mental health. Also during this summer, Emily created a poster detailing her work with Dr. Falci, which she presented during the 2016 UNL Summer Research Fair.
As Emily prepares to apply for graduate school in the near future, Emily has said that the research she has taken part in at UNL has been invaluable to her. “My work with Dr. Cheadle and Dr. Falci has really helped me narrow down my interests,” Emily said. “And not only did USTARS and UCARE help me build my résumé, the research fair gave me more confidence in explaining my research to others.”
Though Emily has yet to apply to graduate school, she says she will likely apply for either counselling psychology or sociology with an emphasis in minority research.
Story by Lane Chasek
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