Summer Student-Faculty Research Project

Connor Sullivan and Jonathan Bowman, PhD

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer Student-Faculty Research Project

Connor Sullivan and Jonathan Bowman participate in Keck Faculty Fellows program, which provides funding to support research in collaboration with an undergraduate student. After collecting data during summer 2012, here is Connor’s reflection:

I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in a research study with Prof. Bowman looking at the differences between the way a pair of friends communicate over the phone, compared to the way they communicate in person on a day to day basis. Although we aren’t quite finished with the study at this point in time, the progress we have made over the summer has really helped us to find the shape of the experiment and to make all of the minor adjustments needed to make it function.

A lot of my friends asked me this summer what the hardest part of the study has been so far, and the answer is never what they expect to hear. It hasn’t been the paper and all of the revisions that come along with it, or even the countless amount of hours spent on campus running pairs of participants through the study. The hardest part by far has been recruiting participants to come and be a part of the study! I had to stand in front of summer school classes and ask for volunteers, knowing they weren’t even paying attention, much less ready to come spend 15 minutes participating in the study. In the end, we interviewed 42 pairs.

It has been a lot of work so far, but creating a research project with another person from scratch is a great accomplishment. I would definitely recommend getting involved in research. It seemed overwhelming at first and although it was a lot of work, it has helped me to grow as a college student and a scholar. I can’t thank Adam Morris (another research assistant) and Prof. Bowman enough for all of their help. Research isn’t as scary as it sounds and it can actually be very enjoyable and fun.

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