Wednesday, March 16, 2016

FWS Student Highlights: Courtney Harris

I am currently researching under Dr. Jhumka Gupta in the Global Community Health department of the College of Health and Human Services. Dr. Gupta is a social epidemiologist, and I have the privilege of assisting on several of her projects. I am working on a pilot study looking at Endometriosis and period stigma among adolescents in the United States. I am also assisting in the translation of data from a study on intimate partner violence (IPV) in Mexico, which involves translating Spanish transcripts and field notes into English. The other project is the start of research on the connection between IPV and chronic illness.

My specific tasks vary from week to week, but I am always busy with some aspect of our research projects. An ongoing task I have is to conduct a review of the literature surrounding the link between chronic illness and IPV, particularly looking for articles focused on chronic illness as a precipitating factor of IPV. The data from the Mexico study are lengthy, so translation of those has also been an ongoing process. We have focus groups for the endometriosis study, and transcribing these is a big task for me. Once the focus group session has been transcribed we analyze the qualitative data and look for any recurring themes. I am also responsible for different institutional review board (IRB) applications when they arise, which has proven to be a lengthy and informative process.

This week I discovered that conducting a thorough and comprehensive literature review can be an incredibly complex process! I am grateful for this research assistantship because it provides an opportunity to dig deeper into my areas of interest and gain a bigger picture of the overall research process. A career goal I have is to work in programming planning and evaluation for a global health outreach organization, and the knowledge I have gained through this experience will make me a more marketable candidate for this type of position. Thanks for the mentoring, Dr. Gupta!