Benchwork to Focus Groups

Drought Resistant agriculture

During my freshman and sophomore years of college I continued the work of Dr. Karthic Aghoram by transferring and testing a drought resistant gene. I received a research grant for sustainability during the summer and worked with a student from the North Carolina School of Science and Math. 

I was very proud of myself to have the opportunity to gain research experience at such a young age. At the time, I was a biology major working in the same lab as the nutrition research students. After talking to them every day about their classes, I decided to switch my major to nutrition. This opportunity made me realize the importance of GMOs for purposes such as drought resistance. I am now able to argue for GMO's in nutrition to help alleviate food insecurity around the world. 

This is the poster that my research partner and I made together. 

Surveying the Food Climate of Meredith College

A requirement of the honor's program is to complete a thesis project. I chose to research my own college because I wanted to know how college affected my peers' diets. I conducted focus groups asking questions about their opinions on how their health has changed and challenges of college. This project made me want to keep learning and helping college students be healthier. My literature review taught me that college is such an important time to develop healthy habits, and that people gain weight in college at a faster rate than the rest of their lives. Read my thesis!

This is my final research poster for my project. I presented this for a nursing home, North Carolina undergraduate research symposium, and at Meredith College "Celebrating Student Achievement" day. 


Preliminary Analysis

After transcribing 6 focus group recordings, this was my initial interpretation of the themes that the participants talked about. They didn't view nutrition as a priority, were confused about nutrition information, and valued convenience for eating. 



This is when I presented my research at a conference at my school. Everyone kept laughing because they assigned for me to present right beside the cake!


Research Award

This is a picture of me and my research advisor, Dr. McMillen, when I won an award for "excellence in research" for my program. Many people in the college were very intrigued by my research and wanted me to help them encourage the student body to eat healthier. I am so proud of what I achieved.